My kids are in the ‘magic zone’ right now. They’re out of the baby/toddler/diaper/tantrum stage, and the teenage hormones haven’t kicked in yet. They can read, they can tie their shoes, they can wipe their own bums (we won’t talk about how all three of my children have mastered the art of plugging the toilet)(A soiled diaper > being splashed with toilet water). We have a lot of fun together, for the most part. The only glitch in our dream of a Utopian family is that we have a Baby, a Middle, and an Eldest.
The Baby knows she is the baby and milks it for all that she is worth. She ‘needs help’ to FIND HER SHOES and sometimes she JUST CAN’T DO IT and everything is SO HARD. If this is her ‘magic zone’, her teenage hormones are going to turn it into the ‘danger zone.’
The Middle is doing what he has done since the beginning: He wants to be the star of the show. He dives to the ground for no reason whatsoever, he hugs you with his entire body (Read: arms and legs wrapped around you), and HE SEEMS TO NOT KNOW WHAT AN INSIDE VOICE IS. Add to that the fact that this featherweight sounds like a herd of elephants when he goes up and down the stairs and you get an idea of how LOUD he is. You couldn’t miss him if you tried.
The Eldest is, well, the Eldest. He is pushing the boundaries, often, because he feels as though he has it all figured out at the age of ten. Being an Eldest myself, I get it. I so get it. This helps diffuse many situations, because I can talk to him on the ‘I know’ level. Sometimes, though, talking isn’t even necessary and laughter makes it all right.
We went up to the ski hill this past Saturday, as we do. There is always a discussion about which runs we are going to do and in which order we are going to do them. I rode up on the chair with Emily and the dudes followed behind up. We converged at the top of the mountain and Nathan laid out the sequence of runs that he thought we should do.
Graham: I don’t think we should follow Nathan’s plan.
Me: Okay. So which runs do you want to do?
G: I don’t want to do Nathan’s plan.
Me: You said that. But you still haven’t told me which runs you want to do. Which runs do YOU want to do?
G: *Blank look*
Me: It seems as though you don’t have a plan of your own, but just don’t want to do Nathan’s plan. Are you just having a bad attitude?
G: Never mind! You don’t understand! We’ll do Nathan’s plan!
He huffed, and he puffed, and he FELL OVER. He turned to storm away in a preteen rage and simply … fell over. In slow motion. Turn, slide, BOOM. On his side, on the ground.
I started laughing immediately because DIVINE RETRIBUTION. Matthew was trying to help him up, and it wasn’t working, and I kept laughing. Then Graham called me “Brutal” as he laid there on his side and I laughed even harder. Which made him call me brutal a few more times until I got to the point where there were no sounds coming out of my mouth and tears were in my eyes.
After the next few runs (Nathan’s plan!), we headed in for lunch and even Sir Graham was laughing about the entire encounter. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. I’m also pretty sure that ‘Brutal’ will be our code for a family joke for many years to come. “You’re so BRUTAL” is the new “I love you.”