“I’m sorry, did you just tell your son not to lick the cat?” my friend Jen asked me once as I was babbling about something else.
I paused. “Oh. Yeah. I guess I did.”
Sean was a toddler, and going through a licking phase. He’d lick the tv, the screen door, me. As I sat on the couch talking to Jen about nothing, the cat curled up next to me (most likely for his own safety), Sean toddled over. Eyed the cat. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw in slow motion how Sean’s mouth opened, then his tongue came out as he leaned in towards the cat, who had a “Oh please God, no, help me!” look on his face.
“So yeah, I was at Target and they had this thing that would be perfect – Sean! Don’t lick the cat! – for your living room. It’s so cool…”
I’d spent weeks telling Sean to not lick things, it didn’t occur to me that an outsider might think that was a little weird.
Luckily, it was a Jen friend, so she thought it was hilariously weird. It was her favorite story to tell people for years I think – and that was okay because it was hilarious.
Fast forward fifteen years or so…
I was on the phone with same friend Jen last week. Miriam was cooking dinner, and I went to investigate how it was going, which led to me pausing my conversation with Jen to let Miriam know that I’d rather her follow directions and not experiment with things. Which was more like “Um, according to directions, you’re supposed to do things in THIS order. They’re there for a reason. And why are you cooking while riding a scooter?”
Miriam just looked at me as she stood on Maura’s scooter. “Because I can?”
Jen, who has been on the other end of too many conversations like this, asked “Wait, she’s on a scooter?”
Maura has a three wheeled scooter that she’s decided works best in the house. It’s become a thing with the kids to just scooter about the house. Even one of the teen boys came down the hall on it.
“Really?” I said, eyeing the almost-grown male.
“Why not?” shrugged said male.
But scootering while cooking? That’s where I draw the line. We have standards in this household. Weird, low bar, standards, but standards none-the-less.