Friday, December 3, 2010

"Why?" and the Case for Boarding School

Just try to send us to boarding school...

I am intently curious who coined the term "the terrible twos." Did this person give their child up for adoption on the eve of their third birthday? Send it to boarding school for pre-schoolers? Because if this person let the kid stick around, they'd have found out the threes ain't no picnic.  And the person who coined this phrase is guilty of leading all stressed out mothers of two-year-olds to believe that they only need survive until the kid's third birthday for things to get better. BAHABHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  The joke's on us, ladies! Because they don't get better at 3. They are just as big of a pain in the ass with the added bonus of an expanded vocabulary with which to torture you.  And with the high twos and low threes comes the very bothersome "why" stage.  Following is an excerpt from a recent discussion with Lulu:

Me: Lulu, what are you doing? (I asked this because I looked over to see her with her finger up her nose up to her knuckle while out in a public venue.)

Lulu: (matter of factly)  Mommy I'm picking the boogers out of my nose.

Me: (wondering where she learned the word "booger" because I assure you I have never uttered that word.)  Well... don't pick your nose.  Do you want to blow your nose?

Lulu: Why?

Me: Because nobody wants to see you pick your nose.

Lulu: Why?

Me: Because it's not very polite.

Lulu: Why?

Me: Because it's yucky.

Lulu: Why?

Me: Because... (thinking of how to explain that nobody likes to see a kid digging for their own snot)

Moxley: Because you should use the blue thing when we get home. (the blue thing is that nose-suctioning device)

Me: (slightly annoyed a 3-year-old is smarter than me) Right! We should use the blue thing!

Lulu: Why? (as she goes to hand me her "boogers.")

Me: Because mommy doesn't like to be given boogers!!!! (annoyed she got me to say "boogers")

Lulu: Why?

The conversation about boogers actually continued for quite a bit longer and it occurred to me as I tried to explain my distaste for nasal residue being placed in my hand that I once routinely sat in meetings during which the strategic direction of a Fortune 500 company was discussed.  I'm pretty sure I am exactly who Leslie Bennett had in mind when she wrote The Feminine Mistake... Leslie, I can assure you that I will never have to support my family alone because my husband would be too terrified of me to ever leave. Shoot himself in the head to put himself out of misery, sure. But leave me while he still has a pulse, no.

Oh, and isn't it lovely that aforementioned "blue thing" is a nose plunger / sometime lollipop holder? Very hygienic.

So speaking of boarding school, I used the think such a concept was the sinister making of morally bankrupt people who had way too much money on their hands and couldn't be bothered to take care of their own kids. I mean, what kind of mother outsources her parenting duties to the extent they don't even live at home? Everyone knows it's your responsibility as a parent to allow offspring to live at home until they reach 18 at which time you pray to God they get into college -- preferably one at least a two-hour drive away. Then you suffer through them coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks at which time they will barely acknowledge your annoying presence except when they want to borrow the car, which they'll probably crash at some point and not even apologize unless they happen to kill somebody. They will be non-rent-paying squatters at your home for the summer too, in between partying with their high school pals and making minimum wage in some useless job that will make them look like directionless losers on their resumes.

In the old days parents needed only suffer through this cycle for four years before their adult children limited their visits to the holidays with their own families in tow. Not anymore! College now can stretch on for YEARS. Graduating in four years is for overachievers only. And when they do finally graduate do you know where they expect to live? In their old bedrooms. Which they demand be in the exact state they left it four / eight / twelve years prior. And grandchildren? With the rampant arrested development epidemic not to mention fertility treatments you'll likely be senile and/or blind before your kids reproduce. Perhaps if your children are never permitted to live at home in the first place, they don't expect to return there to live as adults.

So my point here is: the rich who ship their kids off to boarding school at a young age aren't morally bankrupt. They are enlightened VISIONARIES.  Alas, my children will attend Chicago Public Schools. And I didn't see a room and board option on the form.  


  1. Two posts in a week!

  2. stellar post! your girls are adorable and so smart. just think of all the young lives they will enrich once they enter public school. take care.

  3. I was one of those silly women thinking.. "If I can only get thru the two's the three's are around the corner" and was so disappointed as the three's are MUCH WORSE! Why is the sky blue? Why are grandma's feet so ugly? Why can't I leave 1/2 a cheesestick in Daddy's belly button when he's sleeping on the couch?"

  4. Those monkeys are stinkin' cute!

  5. Thank you, thank you and thank you for reminding me that the teenage years are not the worst. You are absolutely on target - three SUCKS. "Do ants have bones?" was one of my favorites. "WHY? You ask?" Because every other question was WHY? WHY? WHY?!!

    To be serious for a moment, my graduate school training says that kids this age want reassurance and receiving the same answer over and over again provides that safe, predictable, reassuring atmosphere. Doesn't mean it doesn't drive their parents batshit crazy.

    It could be much worse. At least your kids are destined to become stars on some tv show or music video or lunch boxes or something. They're stunning. And they're photogenic not only in a way that proves their gawgusness but their personalities. That's gold, I tell ya, gold!!

  6. In my experience, it has been the Terrible Twos, Tortuous Threes and Fucking Fours. Brace yourself.

  7. I clicked over from Susan's place as soon as I saw you were from Chicago. :)

    Your girls are freakin' adorable!!!! I remember those days very well. Thankfully, I only had to deal with ONE child annoying the ever-livin' shit out of me!!!

  8. Are you on Twitter? You should be on Twitter. No, you need to be on Twitter. Please.

    How's that book coming along? :-)
    I'm waiting for that too.