They're waaatching yoooou.....

This afternoon I stood at the kitchen counter making my 3-year-old son a sandwich, while he sat at the table behind me.

“Hey Mommy. I see you butt. Is right there.”

I turned and looked. He was, in fact, staring and pointing. At my butt.

“I can see it. Its you butt. Is right there.”

I turned back to the sandwich.

“… You have a butt.”

That's right. Mommy. Got. Back.
He said it with no mirth, no sense of amusement. He wasn’t trying to be gross or weird. He just…. noticed that his mother had a butt. And so I fought every urge I had to break out into a twerky rendition of “Baby got Back”, and just answered him in kind.

“Yep, that’s right. You found Mommy’s butt.”

One of the things with parenting, is that the kids like, stare at you. Like, they stare at you all of the time. It’s violating. It’s creepy. And I’d like to say that sure, this is how kids learn new things about life, love, communication, social interaction, appropriate ways of behaving oneself and handling various situations, but sometimes, sometimes it’s just my 3-year-old staring at my derrière.

Of course, I know that they are also learning things by watching us. My son learned that pushing-middle-aged-women can have ample backsides.  They are learning all about us and in doing so, learning about themselves. As an example…

A few months back, New Addition (real name to come) brought her 6-year-old self up to me while I was getting ready for work one afternoon.

“Mommy, when I grow up and get big, am I going to have those things in front like you do?”  (Creepy, right? …No?)

“… are you asking if you’re going to have boobs?”

“No! I mean those things on your face!”

I looked up into the mirror. Yeah, I guess I can see it, my age is definitely showing these days.

“You mean, wrinkles?”

“NO! I mean those hairs that come down in front of your face! Am I going to get THOSE when I’m a grown up?”

Bangs. It was bangs. See, her previous foster mother also had bangs, and she’d decided this was the state of all adult female hair. And by the way, if those questions didn’t bring you on the exact same crazy trail that they brought me on, then you are a liar, and OF COURSE the first thing you thought was boobs. Come on now. This is a place for honesty.

Thankfully, sometimes when the kids watch you, it’s not just your butt, or those bangs you grew to hide your wrinkles that they’re staring at. Sometimes it is far worse things. But what could be worse than my butt, you ask? And the answer is pretty much anything because MYBUTTISAMAZINGTHANKYOUVERYMUCH.

Ehem. I digress.

A few weeks ago, Husband and I decided enough months had passed, and it was time for one of our bi-annual fights. You know, what with all the snapping and the arguing and the crying (on my part, of course, Husband hasn’t cried since the Nixon administration). I don’t even completely remember what the fight was about, some kind of miscommunication leading to defensiveness and hurted feelings, but I’m better now and I don’t really care.

Anyway, somewhere about halfway through our little tete-a-tete , I noticed something. Rather, 8 somethings.  4 little sets of eyes, peeking out from behind every door down the hallway. And all staring directly at us.

They crept closer. They snuck right up to where the hallway opens up to the main living space, which we were, at the time, using as our own personal Octagon. Personal Insult! Unfounded Accusation! Desperate Assessment of our Entire Relationship up to this Point! BAM!! WHAP!! THONK!!

And through it all, I began to notice some little whispers.
“Hey you guys, I think they’re FIGHTING.”
“You guys, you guys, I THINK THEY’RE GETTING A DIVORCE!”

Okay, so that last one caught my attention.

I time-outed the fight and looked over at the offspring. I expected to find huddled together in fear about the instability of their future. I expected tear filled eyes, kids gripped by worry about the state of their parents and their family. Instead, I found them huddled together, with looks of exhilarated, unadulterated intrigue gleaming on their faces. Right.

See, the thing is, we don’t let them watch The Bachelor yet. The only soap opera style drama they get in their lives is from the rare (rare-ish?) emotional outbursts of their overly exhausted parents. And this was the freakin event of the year. They should have made popcorn.

So yeah… sometimes they are watching you to learn. Probably a lot, I’d guess. But sometimes, sometimes it seems they are also watching you because as it turns out, there’s just nothing good on TV.

Power on, friends. And, ya know, keep the show interesting.

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