Funny to look back on this now! I hardly ever want to hide under the couch cushions to escape this child. He tells me many times a day how much he loves me. Age seven has been a lovely place in Grahamland. But lest I fail to appreciate the glories of seven, this post was from mid April 2012. It was supposed to be a follow up to this one: http://www.electricboogaloo.net/wordpress/archives/2012/02/16/moppety-moppety-wombat-wayne/
A post which I must point out does not have words in it like kill, murder, strangle or sell in relation to my child. To my credit.
We are having fewer days where Graham tries to test the term “unconditional love” to its limits. And even when he has a day of acting like the Singing Bush, I have to admire his natural comedic timing and talent for fart jokes. He’s really something special when it comes to bathroom humor. I know, I know, every mother thinks that about their child but in my case it’s true.
A few days ago, he told me in a very sweet voice: “Mama, you are very loved.”
“Aw,” I was surprised since he often tells me how much he does not like me because I’m the meanest mother who has ever existed and ever will exist, “That’s so sweet.”
He clarified, grinning but completely deadpan: “Not by ME. But the man you got married to probably loves you…”
He says things like that all the time. His favorite jokes are the kind where you drag out and set up this whole long thing and then get the person in the end. He also likes anti-jokes: Knock knock. Who’s there? A butt. A butt who? YOU SAID BUTT I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT.
and the kind where you pretend to be overly literal. It confuses people sometimes because he’ll order his food, “And I want steamed rice, but not rice that was LITERALLY turned into steam Hahahaha Get it? And I also don’t mean that I want rice that’s steaming now because that would be too hot! Just rice that was cooked by not frying it because I don’t like fried rice. Please.”
So in a noisy restaurant what does the young, childless waiter hear? A little kid’s confusing monolog about rice that seemed to end with the words “fried rice, please.”
One afternoon when the weather was perfect, I threw the boys outside and told them to pretend they were in one of those survivor man shows. All I really meant was don’t come back inside right away because goodness sakes they’re old enough to spend time outside without an adult and they often refuse. BUT they took the assignment seriously. We’re SURVIVER-MEN. They immediately started pretending that their very survival was on the line.
I checked on them fifteen minutes later (I want them to learn independence but let’s not go insane with the free-range kid business). They were hard at work preparing for OOS (Outdoor Orphan Survival). Nicolaus had constructed a working bow and was experimenting with different arrow shapes and sizes. He was gathering wild onions and strawberries which we have instead of grass. It’s a rental.
Meanwhile Graham… Well. Okay. This is what I’m talking about with this young man’s brain. Graham was set up on the driveway with a ukulele and bongo drums. He played open chords with his hands, played the drums with his feet. When he saw me watching from the porch he paused to demand tips from me. “And no imaginary invisible money is allowed!”
Which of these kids is better prepared to survive out there? I don’t know. But Graham’s approach is very similar to the survival skills that my youngest brother still uses, except he sometimes does let people pay him with invisible money. And he’s doing okay.
So yeah. It’s getting easier, whatever crazed Daffy Duck relative had invaded Graham’s brain over the last year seems to be relaxing its grip a little. The other night he asked us to take him to the park even though it was dark, cold, raining, and only 10 minutes till we needed to leave to go somewhere. I felt a tantrum welling up so I said “hey! I’m at the park right now! Want to go down the slide with me?”
That business would NEVER fly with the Graham from last summer. But he stopped. Something shifted… and he jumped into a long, detailed, very weird narration game about us being at a playground in our living room. It was a weird playground, he’d say things like “ohhhh nooo I forgot to tell you there is extra gravity over there so you are going to slide down that slide extra fast haha watch out!” Or “You got me going almost the speed of light on this spin-around-thing and there’s no friction so I will never ever stop!”
“Or oh sorry, I can’t play tag with you because I’m on the swings right now and I might be somewhere where time is going too slow, I’m not sure but anyway I don’t think tag will work when time is like that.”
So yeah. Still bumpy, every phase ends in fits and starts but I’m thinking we might keep him after all.