Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

Children & Whiskey

with 12 comments

There’s a bottle of 86-proof whiskey, sitting on my desk – called Old Grand-Dad Whiskey – which seems redundant given that most grand-dads are considered old already. Why rub it in? We’re giving it to someone as a gift, which I think is a little strange; it’s the gift that keeps on giving, especially after you develop chronic liver disease. The accompanying card will say, ‘Can’t wait to see you dancing on our table later!’ or something to that effect. Isn’t that what whiskey does to you? The only place I can truly have whiskey is in cake form, but that’s not saying much; I would probably eat severed zombie thumbs if they’d been baked inside a cupcake.

That whiskey might have come in handy while tutoring at 826 yesterday, when I faced a Sisyphean challenge in the form of a fifth grader. I remember her from last year as being adorable, talented, smart, and smiley – which she still is – but she has officially reached Tweener status. I don’t know if you’re familiar with what a Tweener is (no, it’s not Twitter-related; yes, it’s a common affliction), but it’s just a simpler, less dramatic way of saying I wanted to die every time she opened her mouth.

She doesn’t have Tourettes or anything, nor is she a racist, fascist, or any other kind of -ist, except maybe a former ‘artist.’ When I asked why she doesn’t draw anymore, she told me about her new hobby:ย  talking. I was hoping her constant stream of verbal diarrhea would be more like that mounted, singing infomercial fish: a slight buzzing in the ear, a bouncy loop. Animated white noise that’s easy to ignore. Instead, she taught me the joys of right and wrong, which I enjoy learning at such an advanced age. So it’s right to pat a child on the head with a soft, open hand, but wrong to pat a child on the head with the pointy end of your bayonet. See? Everyone learns in the tutoring center.

It didn’t help that she spoke on a plethora of different topics in varying high-pitched voices at unpredictable volumes. I remember doing that, and annoying the everloving shit out of everyone around me; I assumed this was karmic justice. I don’t know if she developed ADHD overnight, or if she’s just being ten. My hunch is it’s her age, and I cringe thinking about my LOOK AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT years. Also known as the ‘everyone is probably measuring how much fun I’m having by the volume of my laugh SO I SHOULD LAUGH LOUDER HA HA LOOK HOW MUCH FUN I AM HAAAAAAA’ years. Also known as being a sad ass tweener: not a kid and not a teen. Somewhere in-between, a place that’s awkward and screechy and embarrassing and tragic. Ca-ringe.

In the HOURS we spent together, we talked a lot. Well, she did. What I did was learn how to meditate with my eyes open, in order to keep my head from crawling up my own ass in an attempt to escape from reality.

A conversation example:

Me: Okay, we only have a few math problems left. Ready?
Tween: I CAN’T I CAN’T NONONO OKAYYYY THERE! HA! AM I ANNOYING YOU, AM I, I AM AREN’T I!
Me: Nope, let’s just do these problems – they’re super easy, and then you can be finished for the day.
Tween: I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE I DON’T WANT TO PLAY BASKETBALL MY DAD SAYS I SHOULD BUT THE PIECE OF PAPER WAS THROWN AWAY I NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM I HAVE A BIRD BUT I HATE HER NAME DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY PARENTS SAY THEY SAY I SHOULD HAVE BEEN BORN A BOY AND IT’S TRUE AND THEY SAY I WON’T STOP TALKING BUT IT’S MY NEW HOBBY AND THEY JUST WANT ME TO SHUT UP AND EVERYONE’S LIKE AAAAAAAH YOU’RE SO ANNOYING BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER HOBBIES AND I DON’T LIKE DRAWING ANYMORE AND HEY! HEY! MARIA! MARIIIIIIAAAAAA! HEY! HEY! MARIIIIIIIAAAAA! SHE’S IGNORING ME SHE’S JUST LIKE MY DAD! HEY YOU KID WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME WHY IS EVERYONE STARING AT ME LIKE I’M CRAAAAZYYYYYYYYYY STOP STAAAAARIIIIIIING OH MY GOODNESS I NEED TO FINISH THIS BUT I JUST CAAAAAN’T AND AAAH! EE! SO WEIRD LET’S DO THIS MATH I HATE MATH!
Me: [quietly dies]

I must have been like this once, so I tried for Patience, Compassion, and Selective Hearing, especially knowing my son will probably be like this one day – and if not a Chatty Cathy, at least something that annoys the poop out of me. Miracle of miracles, our little talking bird is still alive and breathing, so I guess the meditation worked (or she’s really, really, reallyreally lucky). Thank you, Breitenbush, for sparing this motormouth’s life.

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Written by sn0tteh

September 25, 2009 at 5:10 PM

12 Responses

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  1. Its because her parents said she couldn’t be an artist. Look what happened to her.

    mafiamama

    September 25, 2009 at 5:23 PM

  2. I was totally her at that age, too.

    Wait. I just actually read the all-caps part. Ohgod no more drawing? WE NEED THE DRAWING. LET PROJECT TALK-HER-INTO-DRAWING-AGAIN COMMENCE.

    I mean, if I hadn’t been dancing and taking violin and whatever other hobbies I had at that age, someone surely would’ve killed me because of the talking.

    Corey

    September 25, 2009 at 5:26 PM

  3. @mafiamamma I know! She needs an artist intervention.

    sn0tteh

    September 25, 2009 at 5:35 PM

  4. @Corey Project Talk-Her-Into-Drawing-Again sounds good, although I’ll be bringing earplugs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    sn0tteh

    September 25, 2009 at 5:36 PM

  5. @JenZug just #FF ‘d you… and I followed because I worship her. And I think I love you. The who ___y Mc___son stuff drive me wild. And cake. I even started a group on the FB called “Girls who eat cake by the row”. I am that passionate. I am so glad I found you.

    “… I would probably eat severed zombie thumbs if theyโ€™d been baked inside a cupcake.” Dude. Me too!

    jennyonthespot

    September 25, 2009 at 5:41 PM

  6. @jennyonthespot Thanks! I think I love you, too, if only because of the zombie thumb cupcakes. Not everyone will eat those.

    sn0tteh

    September 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM

  7. @mkhblink I will keep that in mind when slaying zombies. Note to self: collect thumbs and whiskey.

    sn0tteh

    September 26, 2009 at 8:03 AM

  8. Yes, I’m quite familiar with this age. The best part is getting 10 of them in a room together for a birthday party. The volume is amazing.
    When I was a tween I had a mullet. I didn’t talk to anyone.

    Michelle

    September 27, 2009 at 11:51 AM

  9. How about if you tried giving her whiskey? I guess its better that she’s taken up talking as a hobby than is attempting to turn into a living Bratz doll (like many other tweens/teens), but probably not by much.

    Manthony

    September 28, 2009 at 10:22 AM

  10. @Manthony No whiskey. I’m trying to be a fucking ROLE MODEL, HELLOOOOO. Or something like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    sn0tteh

    September 28, 2009 at 10:36 AM

  11. @Michelle I reject all of your sentences. They scare me. I could see you rockin’ the mullet!

    sn0tteh

    September 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM


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