While I don't expect my kids to be conformist robot children that are unable to voice an opinion or express displeasure in various situations, lately it seems that everything I say, no matter how insignificant or important it may be, is automatically declared "retarded" and results in one of the following lazy-ass, snarky caveman replies:
- But that doesn't make any sense, so no.
- I don't want to.
- Ugga ooo ah ugg, uhhh.
- (sigh) Just, enough. Geeez.
- Can't someone else do it? I dunno who, just not me.
- What are you talking about?
- That sounds dumb.
- Uh, what? Wudja say? You weren't talking to me, were you?
- I got it. OK, yes. Got it. GOT IT! Wait, what?
A couple days ago, I was in the car with Charlie and we were headed home from one of his tennis clinics. Another parent at the clinic told me that one of the coaches had recently ran a marathon, and another had ran a half-marathon after losing a significant amount of weight. Like, triple digit significant. Since I can't visualize myself running any distance exceeding three miles without stopping for a beer and only own a scale so that I can weigh my luggage before I travel, these stories impressed me. And since Charlie only works with these coaches every-other-month, I don't know them very well and wanted to make sure I was pairing the correct name/face with the right success story.
I was attempting to talk to Charlie about these coaches -- specifically about Mark, the coach that lost all the weight -- because he lost so much weight that it truly altered his entire appearance, including his face. So I asked my kid who had just spent four hours with these coaches: "Hey, that guy sitting in the chair next to where I was standing, that was Mark, right?"
"Hmmm? What are you talking about? Mark who? There's no Mark. Whatever..." he mumbled while gazing aimlessly out the window.
Maybe I wasn't being specific enough, so I tried again: "Mark. Your coach at the tennis clinic Mark. Mark the guy that started eating better and lost weight Mark. Mark the guy who worked out like a maniac and started running and kept on running and in fact just ran a half-marathon Mark. That Mark."
"I seriously don't know a Mark and have no idea what you're talking about. Are you talking about Bruce? Bruce didn't lose any weight." Keep in mind, this is the third year that Charlie has been working with Mark.
"No, I'm not talking about Bruce and besides, I know him. I'm talking about Mark. I'm pretty sure he was standing next to me, but I just want to make sure." Seriously dude, wake the hell up!
"Oh, that guy? Well that's Mark, duh. And did you know he lost a bunch of weight? I dunno who you were talking about, but that guy was Mark." I looked at him peripherally, desperately searching for a hint of sarcasm in his eyes, or a "Holy shit I'm a stupid moron I can't believe I didn't know who you were talking about" look, but all I saw was a look that said "Mom is dummy. Oooga ugh meh."
"Boy, do I feel foolish. How could I have not known that was Mark. Maybe I should have asked you." Somehow, miraculously, I managed to not smack him in the forehead when he said "Yeah."
After a few minutes of silence, I noticed that Charlie was banging some random beat on the door handle. Just when I was wondering what the hell he was doing, he said "Hey mom, wanna hear my caveman song?"
"I've heard it. In fact, I hear it all day, every day." I was pretty sure he wasn't going to understand this.
"Whatever. I have no idea what you're talking about." And I was right.
A couple days later, the boys wanted to go hit some tennis balls with a friend of Charlie's. I took a break from mowing the lawn so that I could prop my sweaty self in the car and drive them there, then returned home to finish mowing at top speed before they needed to be picked up. Now, I'm not really a high maintenance kind of girl, but driving around with projectile sweat shooting out of my forehead and grass clippings coating my legs seems a little bit on the disgusting side. But since I didn't think I'd have time to take a shower before they would want a ride home, I somehow managed to hover over my car seat and drive back to the courts to pick them up.
Sure enough, as soon as I got there I found out they wanted to hit for just a few more minutes (at least, that's what I assumed because all I really heard was "Couple more, K.") so I sat on a bench and watched. And listened. And eventually made the fatal error of speaking.
Zach complained, "Man I'm serving like crap today and just double faulted twice."
I said, "That doesn't sound so good. Maybe you should serve a couple dozen balls before we head home."
Zach turned and looked at me like I just threw a bucket full of gasoline in his direction and was about to light the match and then grunt-yelled "Whatever! I'm not even talking to you! Gawwwwwd."
I contemplated just getting back in the car, driving home, turning all the ringers off and letting them find their own way home. But then I envisioned them having to walk the five miles home, hunched over and lugging those big tennis bags full of equipment, and decided against it.
After all, what if they got distracted by hunting a mastodon or starting a fire and someone decided to steal their bags? Replacing those racquets would be pretty expensive.