Friday, March 2, 2012

Innocence not-so-Lost

It's a well known fact that I hate dust. And dirt. And lint. And grime. And sticky spots. And sticky spots that have collected little bits of dust. So chances are that if you were to burst through my front door on any given day at a completely random time, it's pretty likely that you'd find me with a can of Pledge in my hand, possibly even crawling on the super dangerous open ledge located in our two-story entry that seems to be a DUST MAGNET! You know, the ledge that if I were to slip and fall off of and come crashing down to the ceramic tile underneath, the children are instructed to suppress their laughter just long enough to call 9-1-1.

Every other day as I'm buffing finger smudges off of the piano and dusting picture frames, I find myself glancing at these pictures of when my boys were younger and sometimes thinking "where did those days go?" or, more accurately, "when exactly did they start incorporating 'freaking' and 'crap' and 'moron' into their vocabularies on such a regular basis?"

At least I still have Zoe. Sweet, innocent, harmless little 7-year-old Zoe. True, she prefers Spider Man to Barbies and Nerf guns to tea parties, but she still loves to give me a hug once in a while and still thinks I'm sort of smart and believes in every fictional, furry, overweight, sweetly retarded character associated with various holidays and childhood milestones.

So yesterday, as I was dusting the kids' bedrooms and throwing away various kleenexes and gum wrappers, I came across a stack of small handwritten notes in Zoe's bedroom. Since I am a firm believer in respecting my kids' privacy and not snooping unless the note is RIGHT THERE and the child has recently had the privilege of consuming a meal that I prepared for them, I read them.

The first note is a to-do list:

Um, and the what? And the who? What the hell kind of second grade is my kid going to? Why doesn't she know how to spell "beautiful" correctly?

After I picked Zoe up from school that afternoon, I told her to go upstairs and get ready for tennis and oh yeah, you know those notes that you left on your dresser? Why don't you bring them downstairs so we can talk about them. Suddenly, her half-Asian eyes took on a full-Caucasian appearance and her mouth dropped open as she ran up the stairs. She came back down, slammed the notes on the counter and again, took off up the stairs yelling "OOOOOH! MMMMMYYYYY! GAAAWWW!"

With a bowl of mac and cheese in front of her and me remaining completely calm and obviously open to any reasonable explanation, she told me that a boy in her class was at the boy's bathroom at the same time that a girl in her class was at the girl's bathroom, and when the boy came back to class he proclaimed that he and the girl "were just hanging out over there, sexin' it up and stuff." All of the kids laughed and Zoe immediately interpreted his statement as "So, cool, sex means they were together, near each other, hanging out, that sounds neat." She told me that yes, she did think AJ was a pretty nice kid and is glad that she is friends with him, but now that I've informed her that sex means THAT THE BOY HAS TO SEE THE GIRL NAKED, she plans on remaining "just friends" with all the boys. Like, forever. Her whole life.

Before you start leaving lectures/comments below about how I'm a horrible parent who's obviously not taking these issues seriously enough and how I should start planning my outfit and schedule that perm appointment for my episode of "16 and Pregnant," I'd like to share with you what was on the back of the sex note:

Yes, that's right. The most exciting thing for her wasn't dressing up beautiful or sexin' it up with AJ, it was the fact that she had lost a tooth that morning, which means that some geriatric chick carrying a sack of change was going to break into our home in the middle of the night and steal her stinky baby tooth.

And you know what every visit from the Tooth Fairy requires: a handwritten note.

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