One night over the weekend the kids put on a play for us. Sidney was already asleep, but the other four swapped clothes and acted as each other. The highlights were Efram, dressed as Bennett: “Wanna go outside? Wanna play catch? Wanna shoot hoops? Wanna make shots on goal? Wanna bike? Wanna run? Wanna blow up something?” …. and Francie, dressed as Fiona: “Hello. I am Fiona and I am super cute. Penis!” … because I swear to God, that’s how the girl ends every sentence.
It warmed our hearts and M and I found it in ourselves to forget that only hours earlier Bennett had hacked into Times Up, the software we use to limit the kids’ computer time. He managed to uncover our passwords, fiddle with the settings, and ensure that he and Efram were the lucky recipients of hours more time than we had allotted them. (I actually do recommend this software, unless you too have a young Madoff-in-training at home.) Earlier in the week I had to change the password on my phone for the third time this month. Even though I turn my back when unlocking it (he can tell what I’m punching in just by looking at my hands), and I use somewhat random historical dates as my “secret” code (Magna Carta*, anyone?), he manages to crack the code with regularity. (Consequently, I was at the bar mitzvah of a friend’s son last weekend. As I watched the rabbi place his hand on the boy’s shoulder and tell him what an outstanding and upstanding young man he was becoming, and how proud he made his entire extended family (each member of which he had to name), all I could think was HOLY CRAP. I have two and half years to turn this ship around, or we’ll be having a certain someone’s bar mitzvah in juvey. No need for guest lists or menus. I shall require no more than a bowl of corn chips and a bottle of coke.)
But as I like to say, I believe parenting is about the things you choose to remember. So, I will choose to remember the play, and not the piracy. I will also not choose to remember that while we were out for an (early) dinner with the kids last night, Fiona taught little Sidney how to say her favorite word. I am quite used to getting awful, searing looks from other restaurant goers. But when Francie began to cough maniacally (we really cannot shake this bubonic thing), Fi and Sid took turns screaming PENIS at the top of their lungs.
Some things are not that cute, even when screamed by chubby, curly haired toddlers.