Mar 29, 2012

Car Talk

3/29/2012 — cori

We were driving down a very bumpy road the other day.  I was driving and Chloe was sitting diagonal from me in the back seat.  I was wearing short sleeves.  My attire is a pivotal point to this story.

So there I am, driving along with all three kids in tow when Chloe exclaims, "Mom, the fat on your arms looks very swivelly when you drive."

I'm so astonished with this out of the blue comment that I can't help but laugh at her use of vocabulary and random observation.  "You said swivelly right?  Not jiggly?"

"Yes.  You know, the fat on your arms is swivelling around in circles as we go over the bumps on the road."

I am now laughing my head off.  I find this hilarious (and true)!  But the boys don't.

Gavin, my ever faithful defender and loyal son, declares, "CHLOE!  You can't say that to Mom.  That will make her sad!"

In jumps Bennett to the rescue, "Ya.  It will make her self-conscious.  You don't want her to feel that way, do you?"

Now Chloe is back tracking and horribly sad at the possibility of making me sad as per her brothers' admonitions.  She was just stating a very true observation, my arms were jiggling all over the place on the horribly pot-holed road.  Now she is starting to cry and re-phrase, "Mom, I wasn't trying to be mean.  I didn't mean your fat...I meant your skin... its moving back and forth alot...".

But I was more interested in the whole "self-conscious" phrase used by Bennett.  "Bennett...when did you learn that word?"

"Well...I've always known it.  I just decided this would be a good time to use it."

"Ahh, I see.  So, have you ever felt self-conscious?"

"Oh ya."

"How?  When?"

"I'm self conscious about my butt."

"Your BUTT?  How in the world can you be self conscious about your butt?!"

"It's too long."

"Long?  As in l-o-n-g?


I swear this is all true.  You can't make this stuff up.  I purposed in my heart to remember the entire conversation word for word (as much as a mental stretch as that is for me) since it was so incredibly bizarre.  I knew I would be going back to revisit this little unexpected episode in my day for years to come.

"Explain, please."

" see, every time I'm walking to the shower and I look in the mirror on my way in, my butt just looks so long."

No one prepares you for these types of conversations.  How is a parent supposed to convince their 10 year old son that their butt is not long but normal?  That conversation is no where in the parenting manuals.  Long gone are my swivelly arms.  We've moved on to much deeper issues.

"Honey.  You so don't have a long butt."  (Try saying that with a straight face.)  "What else are you self conscious about?"

" teeth.  They're long too." He says this with all sincerity.

"Bennett, your teeth are perfectly normal.  You just have skewed vision if you thing everything is long."  How's that for encouragement.  This conversation is going nowhere fast.  I must exit.

By now, Chloe is crying, thinking she is the worst kid ever, begging me to forgive her, asking me not to be mad.  Gavin is laughing his head off.  Bennett is being self-conscious about everything and begging me not to blog a word of this.  I'm laughing hysterically, assuring Chloe that if I was upset I would not be laughing so hard.  That assurance at least stops the tears.

We have made it to our destination and the 'car talk' is over.  Thank God.

*  I have since gained permission (albeit begrudgingly) from Bennett to broadcast this story on my blog under the auspices that he will want to remember this when he is older.

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