We were driving home last night when I (single mom) overheard my girls (age 5 and 10, adopted from China) discussing how puppies are born:This cracked me up so much because it sounds soooooo much like my kids, too! They have decided they are not having children because it hurts. And that means they're not getting married, because that's the only way to keep from getting pregnant!
5-year-old: "I think it comes out the eyeball!"
10-year-old: "No, it doesn't."
Me: "It comes out of the mother's bottom." (Sorry, I know that is not the scientifically correct term!)
5-year-old: "That must hurt!" (As if it wouldn't hurt for a puppy to come out of it's mom's eyeball!)
10-year-old: "Yeah, my friend and I don't want to have babies because we think it will hurt."
Me: "Yeah, it does hurt." (Not that I have any personal experience with such things.)
5-year-old: "How do you keep from having a baby?"
10-year-old: "You don't get married, but if you want to have a baby anyway, you can adopt."
5-year-old: "How do you adopt a baby?"
Me: "You have to go to an adoption agency that will help find a baby to adopt and then you have to prove that you will be a good parent (giving a few examples of the type of evidence that you have to provide) and then you have to promise to take care of the child forever."
5-year-old: "Did you do that?"
5-year-old: "But you do yell at me sometimes."
Me: "Well, they didn't ask me about that." (I really don't yell THAT much!)
5-year-old: (Pauses for a moment.) "Well, they should have!"
And, oh yes, the yelling thing struck a nerve! I was telling a friend yesterday that we've reached the dysfunctional point where the kids don't even seem to hear me until I yell, so my New Year's Resolution is to reverse that and yell less. So that friend sent me a link to an article in yesterday's New York Times, entitled Can Yelling at Your Kids Be Good?:
You know what to do to read more.
I never lose my temper. I am Zen in the wake of any storm. Sometimes I speak a bit more, um, loudly, than other times, but that’s only because there is background noise and I want to make sure my boys hear my rational and calm explanation that begins with an even-keeled “how many times do I have to tell you…”
If you ever meet them and they start to spin tales about how, once or twice (or whatever) I actually lost my voice from shrieking about the dang clothes left all over the darn floor, well, boys do have active imaginations, now don’t they? And the one about the time Mom threw a full glass of water (the contents, not the actual glass) at one of their heads (she missed, they will tell you) — you don’t have to believe them. (I would never miss.)