My family is weird. Don’t worry, I totally see it. I have to laugh sometimes when I am talking to a friend and they say something like “Your kids are so… different.” Depending on the friend, you can replace “different” with “interesting”, “unique”, or “entertaining”. Believe me, I live with these people. I know.
I also know exactly how they got that way.
My kids are weird because they have weird parents. They have a mother who thinks she can win at puzzles. They have a father who actually proposed to their mother after knowing her for six weeks. There wasn’t a whole lot of “normal” for them to scoop out of the genetic pool.
One time that I am able to really enjoy this weirdness is when they are doing the dishes. No, I do not mean unloading the dishwasher, I mean actually washing the dishes. Like with dish soap. In the kitchen sink even. Before you ask, no, we’re not Amish.
Yes, we do have a dishwasher. We have had over ten dishwashers. We also have incredibly hard water and a mysterious child named Notme who refuses to rinse their dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Therefor we have had ten broken dishwashers in the past 14 years. We are done buying new dishwashers. Our children can wash the dishes and that Notme kid can go make messes elsewhere.
A huge benefit of our kids doing the dishes is that we get to overhear some pretty entertaining conversations. Sometimes these conversations are remarkably profound. Sometimes they are just ramblings about their friends or things they have seen. Once in a while these conversations are so bizarre that I am sitting in the living room silently laughing while, at the same time crying at the depth of their thinking. Yesterday involved one of those conversations.
Yesterday I was in the living room folding laundry. Huggy and Baby Snarky were in the kitchen doing the dishes together. I don’t allow earbuds while the kids are doing dishes so they were forced to talk to each other for entertainment. I wasn’t really listening to them until my mom hearing kicked in when Huggy exclaimed “Oh no, Baby Snarky! You can’t do that!”
Uh oh, I thought. What is that kid up to now?
I continued to listen.
“Oh Baby Snarky,” She continued “You just can’t do that. Don’t ever ever let anyone tell you that you don’t look good in a top hat!”
Um, top hat? When has Baby Snarky ever worn a top hat? Does he have some other life I don’t know about? A life that involves Park Ave. and Puttin’ on the Ritz? I had to know more, so I continued to eavesdrop.
“Huggy, just leave me alone!” He responded, sounding like he was almost in tears. “Sometimes you just can’t wear a top hat, no matter how much you want to. Sometimes you just look bad in a top hat.”
“But you can’t worry about what other people think! If you like the top hat, then you should just wear it! You always look good when YOU like what you are wearing! You need to stop listening to those other people!”
Wait, other people? Who are these other people that get to see Baby Snarky in a top hat while I just sit around here in my boring, unhatted head? Then Baby Snarky answered my question.
“Huggy! Other people don’t say I look bad in a top hat! I’M the one that said I look bad in a top hat! I just can’t pull it off. I guess I’ll just never be able to wear one!”
At this point the boy was so sad that his super sensitive sister just had to do something.
“Baby Snarky, you do NOT look bad in a top hat. You look great in one. You look just like everyone else when they wear top hats.”
Wait, now SHE hangs out with people in top hats too? When are my children leading these fancy and sophisticated lives? Is it while I’m making dinner? Because I can start making a lot more mac and cheese if it means I get to be fancy too.
Baby Snarky suddenly started yelling at his sister.
“Don’t say that! I wish people would stop saying that! Everyone says that people are all the same, but they are lying! We are not all the same! What about people with brown skin?! Do you think people with skin that is brown like it when people say that everyone is the same when everyone is NOT the same? I bet they don’t like it because it is a lie. Some people have pink skin, some people have brown skin, and some people don’t look good in top hats. I don’t like that people can’t just talk about not being the same. I don’t look good in a top hat. It makes me different, not the same. Stop saying we are all the same!”
Whoa. Ummm… So, Baby Snarky is normally a pretty happy kid. Ranting isn’t really his thing. I was a little speechless.
Then, very quietly, Huggy said “People are all the same on the inside.”
“We are all just blood and guts on the inside, Huggy.” Baby Snarky said with a disgust I have never heard before in his voice. “Nobody wants to see blood and guts. People would probably rather look at me in a top hat than look at blood and guts.”
Then there was silence for about three minutes.
Then, suddenly, they were off on a conversation about squishy key-chains made to look like food.
They are weird.
They think profound thoughts.
They also hang out with Jay Gatsby, apparently.