When I was young, I didn't talk like an alien in front of my parents. I didn't pass gas on purpose or burp like I was a contestant at the state fair. I didn't wear my underpants on the outside of my clothes and I most certainly remembered to brush my teeth each morning without a reminder, Did you brush your teeth today?, from a very tired and definitely not a morning person-type mother.
Things were so very different when I was young and I spend way too much time trying to figure out why. Was it just the times? Was it Jimmy Carter? Was there something magical about the 70's and 80's that is lacking in the new millenium, besides an MTV that played actual music and Wham! (oh how I miss me some Wham!)? Is it my parenting style? Because surely I've read enough books and put my time in taking care of other people's children prior to becomming a mother myself that I should know at least 20% of the time what I'm doing.
What is it?
I am not a morning person, sipping on my coffee, my head artfully wrapped in a towel, listening to Paul Harveys The Rest of the Story with a smile on my face and an easy demeanor that invites conversation from my children over their bowls of steaming steel-cut oats made with apple juice instead of water in a 1970's style kitchen with big, yellow, flowered wallpaper on the walls. I am more of a don't speak unless you're spoken to and there are frozen waffles in the freezer if you need some food type of a mom - who, bleary-eyed, gets up and attempts to throw together nutritious lunches for her kids in the wee hours of the morning. And yes, I do consider 5:45am to be a wee hour. No human should be forced to get up that early unless they're catching a red-eye to Amsterdam.
Maybe that's it?
It's not that I don't love my children with every fiber of my being, that's not it at all. It's just that I don't understand them lately.
And not just because the 2 in question most of the time are boys.
Or maybe that's it?
Why do boys talk in tongues? Why can't they keep a straight face to save their lives when I'm trying to be serious with them? Why don't they remember to brush their teeth? It's like breathing, it should be second nature at this point. Why do they blurt things out at the dinner table with mouthfuls of tater tot casserole even though I've taught them since they could hold a spoon not to do that?
And for the love of Pete, why do they wear mismatched socks?
It's a mystery.
My dad referred to them once as The Manning Brothers (Peyton and Eli - football player brothers who I really knew nothing about, save for some commercial a few years back when one of them was showing off in his underwear) when I was complaining about the puppy-like quality of their brotherly relationship, in that they simply could not keep their mitts to themselves. I suppose he's right, they're brothers. And not only are they just male siblings, they're close in age and share the same chromosomes which, unbeknownst to me being as a) I'm not a boy, and b) my sibling and myself are 4 years apart, defines their brotherly environment in ways that I will never understand, no matter how much coffee (read: VODKA) there is in the world.
So for now, problably until my last breath in this world, I will put up with the wrestling, the goofing off, the amazement over rather loud bodily functions, the weird voices and the general goofballness of their daily lives.
And I will be thankful, every one of those days, that I have the third child to fall back on...that is, as long as she stays far away from her brothers, which isn't likely to happen and chances are she's already ruined. But, a girl can dream right?