Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kid Stuff: Another Day, Another Manifesto

The Unawriter continues to make appearances at Casa McGlinchey.

My mom babysat for us awhile back.  She came bearing six donuts - one for each child to consume after dinner, and two each for breakfast the following morning.

Apparently, while watching PJ do his homework, she commented on his sloppy handwriting and told him that she knew that he could do better.

He pitched a fit, and she responded by revoking his donut privileges.

PJ responded with the following:

Allow me to translate.  "OPEN, NANA.  I said I'm sorry.  Please let me have 3 donuts, pretty please.  I'm super sorry, Nana.  Check yes or no if you accept my apologies.  Yes or no."

We also got a note this afternoon, when we told the boys that they could not go out to ride bikes and play soccer unless they made a serious effort to summit Mount Toysandjunk (I think it was tall enough to qualify as a mountain) and return things to their appropriate boxes and bins.  A few minutes after being sent off to tackle this task, PJ returned to our room with a note that said:  "You said I can't play soccer unless I clean, but Connor said that I was annoying him and made me leave the room, SO NOW I CAN'T CLEAN WHICH MEANS THAT I CAN'T PLAY SOCCER."

You're probably wondering why he simply didn't just TELL US this information?  Yeah, good point.  His voice works and all (and how - he's a loud one).  But it's ever so much more dramatic to enter the room in "silent running" mode and shove a note in an adult's hand, and then wait expectantly (remaining close-lipped) while they read it, and stifle their urge to laugh out loud.

If notebook paper (his preferred canvas) is unavailable, a parking lot and chalk will do in a pinch.  Here is the Unawriter at work at a recent TCU tailgate:

We start out innocent enough:  "Frogs rule, yo."  Okay, so a little attitude there, but all in good fun.

Then we add some art:

I believe that says, "TCU Rocks."  And, yes, that's a horned frog - I think.  Our horned frogs look an awful lot like our stegosauri.

Then we ask one of the girls to create a chalk body outline for us.

Big Bro is enlisted to draw a second body outline.

And then the mayhem begins.  Aww, he's adding a heart:

And drawing an arrow through it.  See, that's a Colorado State player - and the TCU defense JUST DONE WENT AND SHOVED A STAKE THROUGH HIS CHEST, YO.

I try not to worry when he draws crime scenes.  He's a boy, after all, and a dramatic one at that.  It was less than a year ago when he announced his career aspiration to play a corpse on CSI Miami and then have lunch at the craft services table.  (Why CSI Miami?  Two words:  Spring Break.  Spring Breakers tend to be young, and he wants to get a jump on this acting thing by being cast as a dead guy sooner rather than later.  Also, Spring Breakers tend to get themselves in lots of trouble, making for MUCH DRAMA.  This whole topic arose when PJ happened to walk in on a CSI Miami episode where a drunk Spring Breaker had fallen off of a balcony and impaled himself on a giant post at pool level.  For a second, I naively thought that the open-mouthed expression on my then six year-old's face signaled horror rather than admiration.  I quickly went into damage control mode:  "Isn't that kid a great actor?  He has to sit there perfectly still and not blink or twitch, and he gets to wear that cool makeup and a prosthetic device that makes him look like he has a spike through his stomach.  Cool, huh?"  Cool, indeed.  The wheels were already turning.  Playing a dead guy:  pretty awesome.  Playing a truly messed-up dead guy dripping in gore:  amps on eleven.)

So I'd be lying if I told you that our installation at the TCU game was our first foray into the true crime genre.  A few weeks ago, PJ was bored, so he started drawing imaginary crime scenes, and - being PJ - he labeled everything.  In the left margin:  the weapon, labeled "rifle" or "pistol" as appropriate.  In the middle:  the victim, with X's for eyes.  To the right:  THE TIME OF DEATH.  SOOOOO many questions:  Does he do this at school?  Surely not, or we would have received a call home by now.  Did he have to assign the victims names of ACTUAL CLASSMATES?   I made inquiries and quickly determined that he bore no ill will towards the named students - they were just people he knew, and therefore knew how to draw.  I gently outlined for him the consequences of making a perceived terroristic threat in a public school and received a horrified assurance that he would not be drawing any more crime scenes - at least, not in class.

I asked my spouse if we should be concerned.  He gave me the look that says, "Oh, honey, sometimes it is so obvious that you did not grow up with a brother."  How did PJ know the difference between a rifle and a pistol?  Um, because he's a boy.  It's a boy's job to know the difference.  Give a boy a room full of innocuous, non-weapon-y toys, and he WILL find a way to turn one into a pretend firearm.  Or, in the case of my boys, give them a ream of notebook paper, some crayons and tape, and THEY WILL CREATE BROADSWORDS AND BOWIE KNIVES OUT OF PAPER.  No, I am not making this up.  The other day, I discovered a paper battle axe.  (Okay, maybe that one was an editorial comment from my spouse?)  During the same cleaning spree, I found what I initially thought was an abandoned Unawriter note but subsequently determined was an actual list of toys that could be used as weapons in a pinch.  The title of the list:  "THINGS TO USE FOR REEVENGE OR FITEING WITH MY BROTHER."

All of this reminds me of my Brownie Scout days.  The boy who lived diagonally across the street was in Cub Scouts.  He managed to sever his finger after slamming it in a car door, and his parents packed it in ice, drove their child and his finger to the hospital.  The finger was successfully reattached.  (This was all EXTREMELY cutting-edge stuff - remember that I was a Brownie Scout in the seventies.)  Our Brownie troop made him get well soon cards, featuring flowers and rainbows and unicorns.  His Cub Scout troop also made him get well cards - each and every one featuring a depiction of a bloody severed finger.

I recall being horrified - but I guess that's not surprising.  On account of the fact that I didn't grow up with a brother.

1 comment:

Adam & Monika said...

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