Monday, February 6, 2012

Curse ye, Woodchuck! and other dirty things

So it seems like the content in our house has been getting raunchier and raunchier.  Back during the big Christmas Roadtrip of 2011 we were listening to a fascinating audio documentary about life in the Puritan settlements of British America.  Apparently church was an all-day affair and this posed the same problems then that it does today.  The Puritan churches had their own unique way of dealing with those problems and had lay members assigned to wake up people who nodded off during the services.  The narrator read a diary entry from an early settler which recounted a certain member of the church who nodded off during a Sunday service. When the "waker-uppers" gave him a none-too-gentle nudge with a long stick (which was apparently the traditional way of keeping members awake) the man leaped to his feet shouting "Curse ye, Woodchuck!"  Despite attempts to deny sleeping, I think he gave away his dream state a bit.  The fam cracked up at this anecdote and "Curse ye, Woodchuck!" has become our new swear phrase.  So instead of hearing my children mutter or holler the usual "darn it!" my house now rings with people cursing small rodents.

On another note, Shannen has reluctantly admitted that she's growing up, a fact which inspires much dread in her thanks to her fear of change.  As evidence of this inevitable status, she's now playing online dating simulation games.  Not dirty or even risque ones.  Just the sweet, innocent sort where there's a damsel in some sort of distress who comes in contact with a variety of males and is faced with the choice of which one to build a relationship with as the adventure progresses and in the end is confronted with choosing to marry one.  It's been interesting to see her take, as well as Mindie's take, on which choices to make.  Each has her own particular style and preference.  Mindie tends to go for the best friend.  Shannen opts for the character that sacrifices the most for her character.  Neither like the pushy characters that constantly declare their undying love.

Evidence of this "growing up" is also appearing in our conversations lately.  I've had to answer some of the most awkward questions lately.  Everything from "how EXACTLY do gay people have sex?" to "What's a brothel?" and "what are people like when they're drunk?"  I'm glad that my girls are comfortable enough to come to me with these questions but I hate answering them.  Their father is just glad they never ask HIM stuff like that and has flatly stated that if they ever do, he'll be referring them to me.  I feel so loved.  Every time I think we've gotten the most uncomfortable possible questions out of the way, they come up with a surprise for me.

It's extra uncomfortable because I *never* had conversations like that with my parents so I have no frame of reference for how to answer even the most basic of questions.  Beyond a 5 minute conversation with my older sister when I was 8 where she related the mechanics of sex as "the guy gets on top of you and puts his THING inside you and then it's like he pees in you," which left me thinking it was all a terrible joke she was playing on me (helped somewhat by the fact that this wasn't the most remarkable or outlandish lie she had ever told to get a reaction out of me), I'm entirely self-taught in the realm of adult actions.  Not that my education was lacking.  Our county library was more than helpful.  But reading psychology and anatomy books isn't exactly great for preparing me to answer these questions.  Heck, I was 17 before I figured out how to pronounce one of the pieces of female anatomy that was often overlooked in the anatomy books but seemed to feature prominently in the raunchier psychology books (thanks, Nancy Friday, for the education...)

Hopefully things will settle down soon and we can go back to a peaceful coexistence that doesn't feature discussions of genitalia or mind-altering substances.  I like zombies.  Can't we just talk about a diet that's high in gray matter??

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Me through the eyes of my daughters

1. What is something that your mom always says to you? (both are true)

Mindie: "Hi" in a creepy voice randomly wandering in

Shannen: You always tell me "Did you know that I love you?"

2. What makes mom happy? (honestly, I don't care that much whether they clean except when things are nasty - and even then it makes their dad much happier than their mom)

Mindie: Getting to bake.  When we clean. Embarrassing us in public.

Shannen: When my room is clean.

3. What makes mom sad? (again with the cleaning - I think this needs work in our relationship.  Also, it doesn't make me sad when they don't HELP with dinner, but I do get lonely in the kitchen because it's very isolated, so I enjoy their COMPANY when I make dinner.  Apparently that's something I need to clarify through actions to them)

Mindie: When we don't clean and when we lie and when the car doesn't work.  Actually, that's more like what makes you mad.

Shannen: When we don't help her with dinner.

4.What makes your mom laugh? 

Mindie: The dog. The Interwebz.  When Shannen burps.

Shannen: Embarrassing stuff that we do.

5. What was your mom like as a child? (I try not to talk about my childhood too much because it wasn't pleasant or healthy.  Maybe I should try to find at least SOME things to tell them, though)

Mindie: (whining) I don't knooooooow.

Shannen: (whining) I don't knooooooow.

6. How old is your mom? (I'm 34)

Mindie: Like 33, 34, 35.  Somewhere in there.

Shannen: I believe 33 or 34.  Maybe 35.

7. How tall is your mom? (I'm 5'7".  And yes, Shannen IS taller than me)

Mindie: Well, you're about as tall as me so like 5'5"

Shannen: Well I'm taller than her so I assume 5'4" or 5'5"

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

Mindie: You have lots of favorite things to do.  Like you like doing some crafts and you like playing games like MoO and you like baking.

Shannen: I'd say bake.

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

Mindie: Plays on the interwebz and talks to people on the interwebz and sometimes cleans and cooks.

Shannen: Hmm.  I do NOT know.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

Mindie: Um. For a book or for acting or something.

Shannen: Acting cuz mommy's a really good actor.

11. What is your mom really good at? (I find Mindie's inclusion of "drawing" somewhat humorous.  I really suck at drawing)

Mindie: Acting and writing and drawing and cooking and watching scary movies with me when nobody else wants to because everybody else sucks.

Shannen: Acting, cooking, hm, oh yeah, she's also good at fixing computers.

12. What is your mom not very good at? (This is true.  I suck at DDR and Guitar Hero/Rock Band.  It takes me a LOOOONG time to build the muscle memory involved in rhythmic actions)

Mindie: Playing Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero.

Shannen: Um, huh, I do not know. Oh yeah.  Sometimes she's not really good at video games.

13. What does your mom do for a job?

Mindie: You don't really have a job.  You like stay at home and you cook and stuff.  You like to cook.

Shannen: Plays on the internet and cooks and cleans.  

14.What is your mom’s favorite food? (I don't have a favorite food.  I just like food.)

Mindie: I don't know what your favorite food is but I know that you like red velvet cake and you like bloody meat.

Shannen: Unknown
15. What makes you proud of your mom? (Again Mindie sees something in me that I completely don't see in myself.  Most people don't think I'm a terribly positive person.  Also Shannen's meat thing cracked me up.)

Mindie: You don't think this very much but I think you're very positive.  And you don't embarrass us in public.  Even though you try to, really.  Like sometimes you do things that are really embarrassing but when you know it's important you don't do things that are embarrassing.

Shannen: Hm, like I said, her acting is really good and she's really good at fixing computers.  And she cooks lots of good meat.  Gooooood meat.  Mmmmmm.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? (I can see an argument to be made for Garfield - fat, lazy, and kind of snarky.  Also, I would kill to LOOK like Naga from Slayers.)

Mindie: I don't know.  She would be like the funny spontaneous one that didn't really know that they were funny and maybe a little bit stupid.  Kind of like Naga from Slayers.

Shannen: It would be really rude.  (after reassurance) Garfield.

17. What do you and your mom do together?

Mindie: We bake and cook and do crafts and watch movies and talk.

Shannen: We play games, we talk, we go to the store together occasionally.  

18. How are you and your mom the same?

Mindie: Random.  And we both are creative and like to watch scary movies and, and we both like animals a lot.

Shannen: We both like acting and cooking., I think that's it.

19. How are you and your mom different? (Note: if only Shannen knew that "clean" is not my natural state.  I'm clean because it keeps the hubs happy - Shan's room is like 1000% cleaner than mine EVER was growing up)

Mindie: I don't like to cook and bake as much as her.  

Shannen: Mom is cleaner than I am.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? (OK, I don't know what the "kicked me out" thing is.  But I take full responsibility for the gypsy one.  In jest I tell them sometimes that if they don't settle down I can still sell them to the gypsies.  It's become a running joke.)

Mindie: Because she hasn't kicked me out yet.

Shannen: Cuz she tells me every day.  Plus she hasn't kicked me out of the house yet or sold me to gypsies.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? (Both wrong, but I can see why they wouldn't get the "real" answer.  He's just - a good compliment to me.  We're a classic "opposites attract" deal.  I'm impulsive, he's methodical.  I'm intuitive, he's critical.  I love the way he tempers the worst of me and brings out the best of me. )

Mindie: Because, duh, buh, um, like she said she trained him to be a beard man because she likes beards.  And like they share a lot of the same interests like they play a lot of the same video games and they are both interwebz masters.

Shannen: Lots of things.  I do not know of a favorite.

22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? (I don't know that I have a favorite place to go.  Maybe "home" is my favorite place.)

Mindie: I don't know.  Like her happy place is like on a balcony overlooking the beach.