My brother, Steve, my sister, Shannon, and I (phew... so many commas!) went to lunch today and were reminiscing about how when we were younger, we had trained our baby brother, Tyler, to make certain faces depending on which trigger word was said. While such forays into the memories of decades past often bring a feeling of wonderful nostalgia, today I was left feeling puzzled.
Why puzzled, you ask? Because the words we used to trigger Tyler's expressions had nothing AT ALL to do with the action. For example, we would say something like "Scuba" and he would raise his eyebrows up and down. "Leroy" was a trigger word that would make him shake his head. "Crazy" would make him do everything at once, so that one makes sense more or less.
But "Leroy" ??? "Scuba" ??? We didn't even KNOW a Leroy! What the hell was our deal? My best guess is that they were chosen for their status as funny sounding words that are not commonly spoken in day to day language. It makes me laugh, but also makes me fear what my children might train my other children to do. I mean, the apple never falls far from the tree, right? Unless you're planted on a cliff. But I like to think of myself as the kind of tree that is planted in a warm, cozy meadow. My apples aren't likely to fall far.
As a preventative measure, I've decided to train my firstborn to be very useful around the house. Key words like "vacuum" and "lysol" will be used to accomplish menial, but important, household tasks. That way, as he grows older, he'll train the younger children and I'll rest easy in my lazyboy.
One day, though, they'll get smart. In an act of expeditious mutiny they'll overthrow their sluggard chief. I'll be bound with neck-ties, and thrown in a corner while I watch "Lord of the Flies" come to life before my very eyes. My plan will have failed miserably and I'll wonder why trying to train my children ever seemed like a good idea.
Which brings us back to now. I've decided that training my children isn't such a good idea. Maybe I'll just let them grow like normal children.
After all, who wants to end up like this?