Monday, March 12, 2007

Eat Your Words But Don't Go Hungry

Here is Stinky with one of her friends in Des Moines last week for the girls state basketball tournament.

My friends who have boys in junior high, always complain about how it's so hard to talk to their sons. They say most of their questions are met with one word answers or grunts. How wonderful would that be? Yeah, yeah, I know it's good that my daughters feel comfortable enough to talk to me about everything. But every now and then, I fantasize about having a boy who would say, "Nothing," when I asked him what was wrong.

On Saturday afternoon I was transporting what seemed like 150, but was really closer to five kids from one destination to another. There were a couple of boys in the car, and they totally shattered my illusions. They talked more than the girls. (which I honestly, had no idea was even possible) So, here's my version of overheard in the backseat of a 1999 pine green Subaru station wagon:

Teen Boy: Last summer all we did was play Halo. It was so boring, and my friends were so mean to me. One time I washed with some soap my mom got at Bath and Body Works and the guys kept telling me how pretty I smelled. They just kept flipping me shit and they wouldn't stop, so I slapped one of them. He turned around and slugged me, but not very hard because he didn't want to lose his game. So, then I said, hey watch it, you almost died and when he turned to pay attention to his game, I punched him in the face really hard. He was so mad. He told me that if I didn't smell so good, he would have fuckin' killed me.

At this point, I think I should maybe say something, but I'm not sure what. Plus, there's a sixth grade kid jogging just ahead of me on the sidewalk. He's wearing an iPod and he looks all kinds of spaced-out, so I pay a little more attention than I normally would have. Sure as shit, he turns without looking, and runs right in front of my car in the middle of the street. If I hadn't been watching him, I would have hit the poor dumb kid for sure. All of us in the car are a little shaken. I would have felt horrible, if I had hit him, which is why I'm irrationally pissed-off at him

Teen Girl: I know that kid. He used to go out with a girl I know.

Me: Has he always smoked crack?

Teen Girl: What?

Me: Nothing.

Teen Boy: Dude. What a dick. We should just go back there and all kick his ass.

Me: (Just in my head) That would be awesome. I'd feel so much better about almost, accidentally, hurting someone, by taking all the power back and hurting him on purpose.

Me: (Aloud this time) Although it sounds tempting, how about we just get you all home safely? Is that your house there, with the basketball hoop in the driveway?

Sometimes it's no fun to be the parent.


Lynnster said...

See, it's things like this when I read about your adventures with your teenagers that I often think I would be going thru and often thinking the exact same things, or close, if I had kids. Just like that unspoken thought.

I mean, I'm a grown up and a responsible and mature adult when I have to be and really, as a kid and teenager, I was lots more mature than other kids my age for the most part. But part of me either never grew up or I'm just still in touch with that obnoxious younger side of me whereas most other people my age have forgotten that side, or something. I don't know how you moms do it sometimes. I have been around moms of teenagers or on the other end of the phone listening to some deal they're having with their kids and I think I couldn't possibly keep a straight face thru all that. Heh.

Though I guess it stands to reason why my friends' kids and like-aged other kids will talk to and hang out with me when they will barely speak to their own parents. I expect a lot of your kids' friends feel comfortable with you the same.

On another note, when I was younger and thought I wanted to have a whole bunch of kids, I always thought if I had a choice and had to choose all boys or all girls, I'd rather have a bunch of boys. Which was probably pretty dumb. Then again, Edge comes from a family of four boys and no girls, and though none were saints, all of them were pleasant, talkative, outgoing, and basically nice guys as youths. But I'm pretty sure they were an exception to the general rule.

Whoops, didn't mean to talk your blog off there. Even tho you say you're not a mommy blogger, you are the kind of Mom I think I would probably be, so hey, you're an inspiration that way. ;)

Margaret said...

dude, what if you pulled over to beat the kid up and he was all pretty smelling?

Not-faint-hearted said...

I've got the two teenage boys and I'm always amazed (and frankly a little jealous) when I see them opening up in the presence of their friends. I think that's what you got to witness.

fringes said...

I'm too busy laughing with Margaret's comment to write my own. I love your stories, Churlita!

booda baby said...

What would I know about whether or not home schooling, in the end, was better or worse or whatever, than normal school, but there's no question that with home schooling, you get to talk shit with and back to the kids. I mean, you get to say the stuff that's otherwise stuck in your head bubble.

It's great. It's in the rule book.

Brando said...

This post rules with an iron fist. Hysterical. The soap thing is so true for a teenage boy. And I love the "you're going to die" feint.

If you, God forbid, had hit that kid, you could have comforted yourself by realizing you performed an important Darwinian function. 'Cause that boy is probably going to be eaten by wolves anyway.

mist1 said...

That pretty much sounds like all the guys I know. They're adults.

Churlita said...


That is so nice of you to say. I really think some of it is that I'm a single mom, and kids don't necessarily think of me as a grown-up... Or it could just be they don't think that because I'm really immature.


We might still be able to beat him, we just wouldn't be able to kill him for smelling so nice.

Not Faint Hearted,

I definitely see that. It's not like the guys emotionally opened up at all either. They were just chatty because they had an audience for it...One that wasn't going to get them in trouble.


Thanks. MArgaret, is hilarious as usual.


I know - poor guy. I really did want to go tell his mom so she could put the fear of goddess into him.


That's what I was thinking. They don't change much after 13, do they?

Remiman said...

Think Art Linkletter!
"Kids say the darndest things"
Go back and ask the kid if he wants a job. Offer to let him be your hood ornament and horn combo. His job will be to Look pretty while yellin' at dichheads wearing their ipods while walking in the middle of the car lane.

Bice said...

I say run over him and strengthen the gene pool. The more stupid people we get rid of before they breed the better this world will be.

Churlita said...


He'd probably love that job.


That is so compassionate of you, but ultimately, I worry that it could just as easily be one of my kids pulling a bonehead maneuver and then I have to cut the poor kid some slack.

Killer said...

I have never been accused of smelling pretty, I could see where it would cause problems for a teenage boy.

Churlita said...


Yeah, in girl world, it's a good thing to smell pretty. I'm glad you haven't borrowed your mom's soap lately.