Monday, March 19, 2012

A father's gift

I often tell my husband that what takes him two seconds to teach the girls typically takes me two weeks to un-teach them.  Inappropriate jokes, quotes from inappropriate movies, punching at inappropriate times and for inappropriate reasons...I think you get the idea.  Don't get me wrong, my husband is a loving and responsible father, it's just that he can't resist stirring them up, and I think he enjoys the rise he can get out of me when I hear one of our precious children hollering "say hello to my little friend!".  While some of the "wisdom" he imparts upon our offspring is purely for his own enjoyment (see Scarface reference), some of it is actually valuable, like how to throw a proper punch.  The problem is that once the skill has been taught, he and the kids get to practicing and skip over the part of the lesson in which one would usually outline when and where would be an acceptable time to put this skill to use - i.e., not at the kitchen table while we are eating dinner.  One particular skill that he has demonstrated for the girls has seemed to gained favor with them, as they see any time as a good time to use it - spitting.  I'll take a moment here to say that I do not hate that he showed the girls the right way to spit.  I was (and still am) one of those dorky kids who ended up fishing watermelon seeds out of my shirt in the summertime while trying to hide the long dribble of spit hanging off of my chin because of my inability to spit for anything.  Honestly, I still miss the sink when I brush my teeth.  It's a tragedy, and downright embarrassing.  However, as useful as it is to spit, there's something...hillbilly...about just doing it to do it.  A few weeks ago I picked up the blonde from school and as we were walking back to the car, she turned her head to the side, cleared her throat and hocked a loogie right there on the sidewalk.  I was stunned.  Here was this blonde little pigtailed girl in a rainbow skirt and fashion boots (her words, not mine) slinging loogies like it's nothing.  She didn't even think anything of it, just kept walking to the car as I stood there staring at sizable, bubbly spit right there at my feet.  Gross, and yet, astonishing.  I could never spit that coolly - it would be a big production for me to work up a good spit in the first place, and then to spit it all out at once, without any of it dripping down my front or getting in my hair on the way would be a miracle, and besides that, she was walking at the same time.  Remarkable.  Once I got over my amazement at the fruit of my husband's teaching, I realized I should probably address the spitting at school, particularly since I wasn't the only mom who saw it, and I was the only one who was impressed.  I told the blonde she shouldn't spit on sidewalks where people walk, and should try not to do it at school, unless she really must spit, then she should excuse herself to the bathroom and spit in the sink.  MISTAKE.  I should never have even said anything, because as soon as I drew attention to it, she took it as a sign that I had acknowledged her role as a "spitter", and now she must honor this designation by going into the bathroom regularly to spit into the sink, and eventually to spit into the toilet.  Naturally, the brunette takes notice and decides that she, too, must spit - only, bless her heart, with a bit less finesse than the blonde.  And a bit less concern for where she spits.  She spit on this very keyboard.  No joke, just came right up to the computer, and let it go right here on the semi-colon.  Wiped her chin and left it at that.  Now I am faced with the terrible dilemma of frequent spitter children, and the constant worry of putting my hand in a loogie.  We've long since passed the two week deadline to un-do my husband's handiwork, but I have to say, I might just deal with it for a while longer.  I hear county fair prizes are pretty sweet for long distance spitting.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Hannah, I had to chuckle when I read about the 'how to punch' part. Not only did Bill instruct the girls in that art but would conclude such lessons by pulling up his shirt sleeve to flex his upper arm muscle-which would generate gales of laughter. To this day when he does that only the rolling of eyes and an 'Oh, Dad' come from them. (He is not to be deterred, however.)
    There are some things that only a dad can make his daughters aware of: know how to put up a defense and there are folks out there who are toughter than you (or at least they think they are).
    I grew up with 4 brothers (no sisters) and if I remember correctly you had only brothers as sibs. So some how we learned valuable truths about the world of 'maleness' from dads that no mom could teach.
    Smiles, chuckles and in depth analysis aside-you were right on with the title of your Blog entry. Keep it up. I enjoy/like/benefit/savor them all. Bonnie W