When I was a kid, I never felt that my parents thought I was acting retarded. That's a grand statement right there.
Even when I took a tall plastic kitchen garbage can - the thinner plastic kind that you find at places like WalMart now - and decided to try to build a race car out of it. I tried to hammer nails in it, took apart my dad's wheelbarrows to get their wheels and managed to use hand vices to secure 2x4s to the garbage can. Lookie, I had a 3 wheeled garbage can 'race car' with nails and 2x4s sticking out of it! When I got in it, it all collapsed under my weight.
Or the time when I put a pound of frozen hamburger in a pot of water and stewed it all day long while my parents were at work. I was making soup. Surprise!
Nope, they never made me feel stupid and I can't even remember my dad yelling about his dismantled wheelbarrows.
So let's get back to present day....
I was trying to read on the patio yesterday and the kids were playing with rocks next to me. The new neighbor lady was outside with her questionable children Riley, 9, and Tristan, 4. They were flying kites (why didn't I think of that?! Overachieving neighbor lady, showing me up while my kids play with rocks).
Alex got that manic look she gets when she has an artistic idea, dropped what she was doing and literally scampered off to her room. She came back with a...kite of her own. It was a piece of printer paper with great gobs of duct tape all over it, mostly to secure the pencils she had used for the ribs of the kite. She had tied about a foot of twine to the end of it and began running all over the yard, dragging it along behind her. "Mom, why won't it fly?!" I tried to conjure up my parents' faces and remember that they didn't point and laugh or shake their heads disappointedly when I tried to sew my own 1st grade outfit out of wrapping paper. "Nice job, sweetie! Maybe we'll just buy one sometime..." was about all I could muster.
20 minutes later, Gus comes up and says, "Mommy? Mom. mommommommommommymommomomom."
"What?!" I said, putting my book down.
"Watch me, mommy. I just learned how to do this. I am going to clap with my feet."
I slowly, slowly turned my head, wondering really what in the hell my son was going to do. He was on his butt, hands behind him on the ground and he pulled his legs up and began slapping his feet together, laughing hysterically the entire time. He was so excited. I had to laugh, I couldn't help it. "Hey, that's amazing, really, amazing!" He ran off, beaming, presumably to share his new talent with the neighbors.
As the afternoon wore on, Alex had created a bridle for our new foster puppy out of nylon rope, which he just chewed through immediately, much to her dismay. Gus made the hole in the yard that Lali dug last week bigger and deeper so he could put his "stuff" in it (ie, Matchbox cars, lint, rocks and Spiderman).
I'm just waiting for the Association's letter to arrive any minute about the crater in my yard, and was kind of wondering if they'd somehow overlooked it. Gus ensured that that letter will indeed be arriving momentarily, full of the usual threats and hostility. Perhaps I'll write back, "I realize you passionately hate all of your residents, my family included, but the large hole in my yard is entirely necessary as my son has a need for additional storage for his "stuff." Sincerely, Christy."
Anyway, I made it through the weekend without laughing AT my children and managed to laugh a lot WITH them. Thanks Mom and Dad for the valuable lesson of just nodding and smiling.