Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Begging for Scraps

More and more lately, I find myself following my children around the house hoping for scraps of details from their day or evening out with friends. I feel like a Golden Retriever patiently sitting with my tongue hanging out: "So, how was the concert? How was swimming? What did you have for lunch?" Most of the time, they give me bored or annoyed looks and reply with "Fine" while doing something else, making me feel about as interesting as a washcloth. If I wanted fine, I'd go outside and greet the neighbors. I want solid chunks of information. I want to know what was really cool about the concert, what tasted really good at lunch, who was really fun to hang around, who was really bothering them all night. I want to hear snippets of conversations. I want to hear about every single moment. Yeah, that's gonna happen.

And so, much like a CIA operative, I lie in waiting, hoping to ambush them when they least expect it. I wait till they're really psyched about the chocolate milk I just put in the fridge and in a moment of unguarded happiness, I can sometimes glean a little more than they're usually willing to give. Or I hear them giggle while Instant Messaging their friends and casually ask: "What's so funny?" And to quote Gomer Pyle, surprise! surprise!, they leak out exactly what they're laughing at. Amazing.

I need to be quick and flexible. I have to be willing to run upstairs and look at a website that they've just discovered so I can share in the moment. Or I need to casually slip them the newspaper review of the concert thereby initiating a discussion of how wrong that review is.

It ain't much, but it's probably all I'm gonna get. And sometimes good enough is better than nothing at all.


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