Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Sounds From Another Room

"I know what you and Daddy were doing in there," my three-year-old daughter said matter-of-factly, adding two plastic fried eggs to the skillet on her toy stove.

Horrified, I froze outside the bedroom door where I had hastily been knotting my robe.

"You do?" My voice cracked.

Breathe, Juno. Breathe. In my mind I frantically tried to recall what the parenting books said to do when your child discovers you in a compromising position. God. We've probably scarred the kid for life.

Amber nodded solemnly. "Yes." She opened the toy fridge and pretended to pour a glass of juice. "Want some?" she offered sweetly.

I tipped the glass to my lips. "Yum. That's really good juice." My daughter nodded, satisfied, and moved to put a slice of plastic toast in the tiny toaster.

"Soooo. . . " I kept my voice deliberately casual. "What do you think mommy and daddy were doing in there?"

"You were eating ice cream."

Relief left me weak kneed, and I sank into the couch.

"That is exactly right. How did you know we were eating ice cream?"

"Because you kept saying 'Mmmmmmm. . . mmmmmm'. I knew you must be eating something really good so I figured it was ice cream."

Made sense to me. I laughed and got to my feet. "Well for being such a smart girl, what do you say I get you a little bowl of ice cream too?"

Amber's face brightened and she trotted after me into the kitchen.

What can I say? I'm not above bribery and deception--under the right circumstances.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Rich and I lay in bed together making owl sounds. We had just finished talking about how we used to call owls when we were children, and now we blew into our cupped hands trying to get just the right pitch and tone.

'What the hell is that?" I could hear my daughter's voice in the hallway. "What are they doing in there?"

"Don't ask," advised my son. "Last night they were doing weird cat sounds. Some things you're just better off not knowing."

My husband cracked up in mid-hoot, and I tried to smother my laughter in his shoulder.

Most of the time my kids and I operate on a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" agreement. It helps cut back on the therapy bills.

I looked at Rich. "Should I tell them we were actually talking to the cats?"

"Nah, let 'em wonder," he grinned wickedly. "Besides they won't believe you anyway."

"True. " I sat up and gave him a kiss. "I can do a terrific seal impression. Wanna hear?"

There is something infinitely satisfying about having your adult kids think that your sex life is more wild and exciting than theirs.
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I'm a 40-something writer, artist, and Jill-of-All-Trades. For me, magic is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. My writing tends to take me to unexpected places--not so surprising when I think about it. I had an unusual growing up and have always chosen the offbeat over the "safe". I prefer interesting people over beautiful ones, and I am fascinated by people's stories. What I love most about life is its glorious imperfections and fantastic plot twists.

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