“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In Disguise--With Glasses

I'm told that when my mother was a little girl, she was kind of a brat. Actually, I don't know if "brat" is even the right word, but I know that our Judy was the only small child in a family full of adults, and that she definitely drove everyone crazy.

One of my favorite stories is the one where she was a little girl driving in the car with her father (my grandpa) on the Skyway. Somehow, she had procured a pair of those glasses with the nose and the mustache, and she had her face pressed against the window while she made horrible, vicious faces at the passing cars. Suddenly, a horrifying thing happened. The car door that my mom was plastered against flew open. Clutching onto it for dear life, her little feet ran along the pavement of the Skyway beside the still moving car while my grandfather screamed in terror. When he stopped the car, he yanked her back inside, grabbed the silly glasses off her face, and threw them right out the window. 'Cause that's how it's done in my family.

As a joke, she recently bought a pair of those glasses and wore them out to dinner with my grandparents. Since then, my kids have made great fun out of wearing them periodically.

Flash forward to today, a day dominated by Noah. Having decided NOT to nap this afternoon, demons seemed to possess his mind and he ran wild. He kept flicking his tongue like a lizard and instead of talking, he yelled at everyone. Instead of saying, "Excuse me, Mother, I think I might need a fork please," he'd holler at the top of his lungs, "I NEED A FORK NOW!!"

At my mother's for dinner, he screamed for a snack when it was time to eat. When we gave him his chicken, he yelled that he wanted potatoes. When we gave him potatoes, he wanted more. When we gave him more, he wasn't hungry. Then he wanted a banana. Then he wanted jelly beans. It was maddening. We kept him busy for about ten minutes by teaching him to write "Bielecki" by himself, but he's so d@%# smart that he had it down with no trouble at all.

He finally became quiet over a game of folding chairs. They're those child-sized ones in primary colors, and my mom keeps them tucked away for larger family parties. Noah decided to unfold all the chairs and line them up. Three times there was a loud CRASH! Once there were tears. Twice he fought with Joey about the arrangement of the chairs.

Then he decided to pretend the chairs were a bed. He stretched out along three of them, his eyes closed in pretend sleep. I was so fed up with him, I did something really terrible. I dug around and found the silly mustache glasses. I put them on, and snuck up beside Noah.

"Can Mommy have a kiss?" I asked.

He turned to me, opened his eyes, and screamed, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

'Cause that's how we do it in my family!

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