Monday, August 3, 2009

Attila the Hun and Bubble Gum

As a father of three children, I should be very aware of everything that I say to and in front of them. There is almost a 100% chance that they are going to repeat it at some point. This will usually occur when you absolutely least want to hear your words again.

With that in mind, you should also be aware that just because you mentally edit everything that comes out of your mouth, it may not enter their tiny little ears, process through their young brains and eventually spew back out of their big mouths in the same context. It is uncanny how the most subtle of responses to a simple question can be repeated from them and make you as the originator sound one step above Attila the Hun on the "mean" scale.

Case in point: A few days ago, I am sitting on the front porch. Madison and Marli are outside, but in the neighbor's yard playing. It is getting to be a little later in the evening. It was approaching the time when you round the kids up and bring them in the house for the night. There were several of the kids from the subdivision playing in the same area.

Madison was the continuously running back and forth to our house to get this and that from the garage and assaulting me with a continuous barrage of questions. I need to preface this next part with a little history of the next statement. Madison recently just learned one of the necessary childhood skills, the ability to blow a bubble. This is a huge accomplishment. On her final trip back to me she asks if she can go in the house and get gum to dish out to the mass of kids in the neighbor's yard.

Not thinking the entire scenario through I say, "No." I then followed that up with "just go play and quit running back and forth." I did not think it would be necessary to explain that she was spending all of her play time running back and forth and not playing. In addition, it would soon be time to come inside for the rest of the evening.

She spins back around, heads back to the neighbor's yard to continue her mission of a 5 year old. It is at this time the second coming of Attila the Hun takes place.

In the angelic voice that belongs to my Madison, I hear her explain in a high decibel level,

"My Dad said you can't have any of my gum."

I then begin to rapidly attempt to locate a rock in a our landscaping to crawl under. In being 6ft, 300+ pounds this is an impossible task. So, I, Attila was exposed in the open with no cover.

I then yell "Madison" across the yards to get her attention so I could clarify to this yard full of snot factories that is not what I said. It is amazing to me that as an adult I was worried about how I was going to be viewed by the neighborhood pack. Yet the story takes another downturn. As my daughter is responding to me, I see one of the gum deprived kids, take off like a world class sprinter and run towards his home. Great.

I do my best back stroke of explaining loud enough for the others to hear that was not what I said or meant. I do not think they bought it. Before I could completely plead my innocence to the young jury, the modern day Carl Lewis returns to the yard slinging bubble gum to all the kids, like Huggybear from Starsky and Hutch on the corner slinging dope.

I then over hear the "Flash" tell all the kids that his parents let him bring gum for everyone. I am pretty sure that he even glared at me.

I am not sure there is a moral to the story or that it could have been prevented. All I know is the next time Attila will make sure there is plenty of gum for everybody.

No comments:

Post a Comment