...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the arts. they rhyme with 'farts,' so my kids dig them

The end of last week, the boys were sprawled out on the living room floor, each completing a page out of their respective summer skills workbooks.

Yep. I am entirely "that mom." The one who makes them take 30 torturous minutes out of their weekday to stay fresh on their academics so they can hit the ground running when school starts while meanwhile, according to them, their friends "...get to do whatever they want because it's summer! Why are you so mean?! Has it been 30 minutes yet?! We want to ride bikes, play in puddles, hunt for bugs, vandalize the community, and scare the elderly with our foul mouths! Gah!" Of course, I sympathize with their plight. Kids should be kids. So I respond to their queries and complaints accordingly:

"Wrong! Do it again! If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"

I'm hardcore, baby. Hardcore.

So Thursday, my oldest was working on a reading comprehension lesson, making his way through a paragraph about Michelangelo and his works. I was telling my son about the ornate works he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and all the magnificence it involved. As I was telling my son that if he dreamed really hard and saved up his money, he might one day have enough for a month's Internet connection so he, too, could one day gaze upon the face of God as imagined by the artist, my youngest son, 6, chimed in that Michelangelo also carved amazing statues.

Rather stunned, I turned to my young art critic and asked him how he knew of these statues. Had Zack and Cody escaped the Tipton and embarked on a madcap Italian adventure during an episode of The Suite Life I'd somehow managed not to see? Was kindergarten art really more than just creating magic with watercolors and some papier mache? He told me he "just know these things, Mom," and I'm not up to doubting him, because the kid is whip smart and I'm counting on him to either wipe away the tears that come with me (and from me) helping his older brother conquer fractions, or he'll be the one to explain them clearly to him.

I just never thought he was that up on the art scene. So we discussed sculpture and marble and beauty and such for a few minutes, up until the youngest wrapped up his workbook assignment, hopped up, and ran upstairs while the oldest and I finished up. A few moments later, I hear my youngest's voice behind me. "Michelangelo's most famous statue was called David," he announced.

Prepared to cheer a knowledge of Renaissance art I failed to grasp even after a semester of art appreciation in college, I turned to find my young art connoisseur standing at the bottom of the steps, naked. One heel was gracefully turned up and toward us, one hand was barely brushing his right leg while his left hand teased at his chin with the hint that he wanted to rest it there. I believe they encourage you to be quiet and respectful in museums, so I was speechless, as was my oldest son as we took in the spectacle before us in our living room Louvre

Remaining stone still, my young David eventually cracked the left corner of his mouth and muttered, "He was probably thinking about how cold it was standing there naked all the time."

"Um, you've apparently seen the statue," I said. "If you paid any kind of attention at all, you'd know that was truly probably the case."

Then? Then the boy farted. As boys are wont to do. The explosion that ripped through his nethers caused his stony facade to crack as he erupted in laughter and fell, crumbling into tiny pieces, upon the floor. It was that part of the lesson that captured my oldest's attention, and he soon joined his brother in a chorus of guttural laughter.

So I told them to gather up, pick up, and, in the case of my youngest, suit up, and get their smart, and in the case of my youngest, noisy, asses outside.

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Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Well, now I understand why David looked so backed up.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Franny said...

Bwahahahaha Brilliant!!! Absolutely Brilliant.

What I'd like to know is if he actually planned the fart. He's artistic and funny? you are molding some spectacular husband material.

Monday, August 18, 2008 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger The Savage said...

I think I'm having a Liz Phair moment... I'm gonna tell my son to grow up happy as the grass is green and whipsmart as the English Channel's waters....

I lust all things you!

(I am quite sure there are kids' programs that have covered the Michealagelo subject)

Monday, August 18, 2008 5:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the pink floyd comments! Great post.

Monday, August 18, 2008 6:53:00 AM  
Blogger unmitigated me said...

I always wondered if Goliath was naked for that fight, too. Doesn't seem fair for only the little guy to be in the altogether.

Monday, August 18, 2008 7:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought that "artsy fartsy" was just an expression. I stand corrected.

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:00:00 AM  
Blogger Laura B. said...

This is absolutely why I hope Shooter and I have at least one boy...if not two. That is one of the most hysterical things I've ever heard. You have truly "special" kids...hahah!

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

You killed me on the "Suite Life" only because I know my kids get a lot of their cultural information from watching "Survivor."

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I think moobs and acne go together like bread and butter. What's one without the other?


Monday, August 18, 2008 9:16:00 AM  
Blogger xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

::giggling uncontrollably::

Your boys are amazing. Simply amazing.

I think the youngest has a future in stand-up (F)art comedy!

Monday, August 18, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Where do they come up with this stuff? =P

Monday, August 18, 2008 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger The Maid said...

When my kids teachers ask if they want stuff to do over the summer...I politely respond with "No freaking way"

I don't want the homework during the year, let alone during summer.

You are good lady!

The Maid

Monday, August 18, 2008 9:57:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

You even made funny kids. Can you do no wrong?

Monday, August 18, 2008 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw it coming. I grew up with four older brothers. I saw it. Still, even after that, I busted out laughing. Gotta appreciate the smart ones!

Monday, August 18, 2008 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Let's hope he's not doing his David impression on the playground at school. Because honestly, that's no way to get himself some concubines.

Not that *I* never tried.

Monday, August 18, 2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger A.C. said...

Wow...that's amazing...cool kid!

Monday, August 18, 2008 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey if Lizzie Maguire can make it Italy then why not Zack & Coday?? lol Great post.

Monday, August 18, 2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Oh, DKG, you are such a hard-assed, nose-to-the-grindstone mom. . . Molly hears the same stuff from our kids. Including the farting. . .

And yeah, David probably is gettin' a chill; you know how they keep the AC in those art museums. . .

Monday, August 18, 2008 1:29:00 PM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...


Monday, August 18, 2008 1:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've decided, I'm sending my kids to you.

I like the way yours think and I need a break.


Monday, August 18, 2008 2:04:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

That's the kind of performance art that wins prestigious awards. Can he always manage to fart on cue?

I just hope they don't teach him about Damien Hirst...

Monday, August 18, 2008 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger CT Mom said...

I like the way you think! I got a math tutor for my 10 yr old daughter - I think the only reason why she didn't protest is that the tutor was not me.

Loved The Wall lyrics - took me back to my laser Floyd days.

And both my girls think any statement that contains the word "fart" or "butt" or anything else dealing with that area is hilarious.

Monday, August 18, 2008 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

okay i hate to say this, but ask your son if he can help me with my math homework. mmkay? needin' a little bit of help these days....


Monday, August 18, 2008 7:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god, girl. i was knee deep in farts all day today at my first day back at school! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008 7:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homework in the summer?

I like the way you think.

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:04:00 PM  
Blogger MsPicketToYou said...

i love art and need a better mom around here. 'cause our workbooks are dusty. you game?

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:10:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Good Lord! Moments like those are why I can't wait to meet our kids.

Your kids sound wonderful. Griping or not, they do the summer homework and still manage to amaze with art appreciation and well-timed flatulence.

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:54:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

Bwahahahahahaha! I have a 5 year old niece what say you about an arranged marriage???

Monday, August 18, 2008 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

He's six and he's telling you all of this?
Sign him up for college and be done with it.
You've got some smart funny boys, but that should come as no surprise, look at their mama!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:30:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

that is hilarious! your young one is a card! and I had to laugh because I'm always saying to my kids "how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat" only my youngest one gets it, he's a music freak, the oldest just looks at me, rolls his eyes and walks away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

i'm sorry. you lost me at 'summer skills workbooks' wow...you are a way better mom than i am! ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Ahahaha!! The newest generation of David eh? Gotta love the sense of humour of the boys. My 4 yr old's sense of humour matches my 30 yr old husbands hehe...farts all round!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger TentCamper said...

That's what I'm talking about!!!! Smarts and farts! Boys need both to survive in this harsh world!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ali- summer skills workbook? Wow.
Very funny

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 6:26:00 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Your son sounds incredibly well balanced--artsy and fartsy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 6:40:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

BP Dad - It's impossible to injest the amount of fiber necessary to help that problem when your arms are made of marble and are difficult to bend. Also? My kid apparently needs more fiber.

Frances - I think it was a spur of the moment fart, but it definitely emphasized his lesson!

Savage - There probably are a ton of kids shows that do, but the kids are so engrossed with the various WWE shows, and so far, I've not seen them get too educational in anything other than bad acting, which, oddly enough, my kid can do, too! Your song choice, btw? Nice!

Anonymous - Thank you! Some floyd here and there is always a good thing.

MaM - The kid likes the feel of the wind on his tiny tush (so to speak, ha!), so he'd be naked more often were it appropriate!

Twobusy - !!!! Again!!! How did this phrase escape me when I was writing this?! Where were you when I was writing this?! I'm tempted to start tossing my drafts to you before I ever hit publish!

Laura - Boys are a unique adventure every day. I bet girls are, too, but maybe less naked! My hope is you can experience that, too!

Cocotte - I suppose this is why I should get them to read more, but sometimes I have to pick my battles.

WWoW - They're like Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. But less tasty.

iMommy - My youngest boy is such a performer that if he doesn't nurture that skill, I'll be shocked. He's a crazy showman!

heather - TV. Or their dad!

Becky - Ha! Um, some days we waxed and waned on the summer learning, but I've learned from experience, it can't all be Playstation and bike rides!

Always Home - Nope. I'm practically bionic, I'm so good!

Meg - As one who grew up in a female-dominate environment, this whole being outnumbered by boys and their farts thing is always a new adventure for me!

ftn - It wouldn't surprise me to get the phone call telling me he was standing atop the monkey bars on the playground, showing off his David. Or, you know, whatever.

a.c. - The little dude is honestly alwayas a pleasure to hang around with!

cece - Ah, the very special episodes... Thanks for paying a visit and reading. I appreciate it

Des - Someone has to run a tight ship in my house. Women make the best captains!

Eternal - ...from the mouth of another mom surrounded by boys!

redneck mommy - If your daughter will cook and serve me one of those four course meals, she and her brother are welcome anytime!

Brian - The on cue thing is a skill he's working on, but seriously, I think he's pretty much got it mastered.

CT Mom - Ah! Lazer Floyd! That was every Saturday night at the science center when I was a teenager! Friday night was typically Rush.

kimmy - Gah! Math!! Math!! They boys start school today, and seriously, based on the math I tried to help my oldest with this summer in those workbooks already has me hunting through the list of tutors for this school year!

katie - Ha! Nice way to christen a new year of preschool, huh?!

bejewel - Thank you! I've seen how quickly they can forget things, even during that first week of summer break. Great to see you here!

Ms. Picket - If you take the math portion of the workbooks, I am game for tackling the remainder!

Melissa - You want to borrow my kids to get some practice?! Now they'll be bringing their real homework!

Bee - This little boy of mine is a hardcore charmer, but I get the sense your niece is, too. Let's review the paperwork on this idea!

Zip - Ha! I had that same idea, because I remain stunned that he even knows this already! The trouble with the plan, though, is our alarming lack of a sizable savings account!

Stacie - Boys are a joy, aren't they? (please tell me that's still the case when they're older...ha!)

Ali - Um, ask my kids if I am and I bet they'll have a different answer!

Madwoman - I totally credit (blame) my husband for the boy's sense of humor.

tentcamper - Ha! If that's all it's going to take, I'm going to tell this boy when he gets home from school that it's time to go out and get a job and a place to live. He's clearly ready to conquer the world!

Tags-n-stones - Oh, there were many days when we forgot we had them, and some days that involved bribes!

Meg - He's a true Renaissance man!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:38:00 AM  

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