Every night the hubby and I participate in the what seems to be the only universal accepted American past time. We sit in front of the boob tube (TV for those of you whose brain is still fully functional- mine has been turned into a mushy ball of fat from watching) Well change that- we attempt to watch the boob tube. Now that we have teenagers it is more of a word scramble where we attempt to hear every third word between the “Mom-I’m home’s, Mom- I need a ride to school early, Mom- Let me tell you what happened today, Moooooom, he farted on me, and the list goes on and on” They can go all day and only manage the simple words of “fine and yeah”, but attempt to do something where they are not the center of attention and all hell will break loose post haste.
I remember the days fondly when they went to bed at 8 (o.k.- 9 – I was never super mom) and there was at least a few hours of adult time, but alas those days are gone and we are left with the only hope of ever getting those hours back in the highly anticipated empty nest and at the rate mine are progressing – I’ll probably die first.
Tonight while in the pursuit of the ever illusive third word I actually grabbed two in a row. (it was a commercial so there was no reason for them to talk at this point) The two words I grabbed though were tremendous. My ears perked up. Apart these words are not special at all, nor would they of grabbed my attention. These were two words that I had never ever thought about putting in the same sentence. They were- get ready for it- “Intelligent Toilet”
To most people I’m sure these words don’t mean much, but to me they cause my brain to go into a tailspin. The face lights up and the idea’s start going faster than a roller coaster. After the initial look over at the man of my dreams and saying “Exactly what the heck is an Intelligent toilet” (well heck wasn’t the word, but my mama will be happy) followed by another 5 of the crazy idea’s in my head out loud- the look on his face alone after the 5th said I needed to hush and go write it down. The show was back on and he really would of liked to hear every third word at least.
The first thought I had after the initial “what the heck” was there must be a new definition of “intelligence” that everyone forgot to tell me about because……..
Exactly how “Intelligent” can a toilet be? Scratch that- there are people with actual brains not much smarter than the average toilet
Does it talk to me? If so, what would it say. I’m imaging something along the lines of “Good morning – are you going to moon me again today?” Can I set the voice to say anything I want? That would be fun- I would set it to scream like a horror movie in the 16 year old’s bathroom every time you sat down or better yet say “Clean me” in an authoritative football coach voice. Yes- that one mama likes!!
Is it perceptive and if so what does it perceive? If it’s who sits down by our weight- well let’s just say if it’s got a weight component you can keep or it’ll end up in the burn pit sitting right next to that horrid scale. However; I might have to purchase if it can perceive a teenage boys is going to miss the bowl and move itself to catch it- that would be a cool trick!!
Does it comprehend it’s own existence? If so – can you imagine how bitter it would be? There are humans running around extremely ornery who just perceive they’ve been shit on- this thing would be miserable.
Does it read and learn? That’s a scary thought and all I can see are millions of Americans everywhere running to the “water closet” to hurry and change out their reading material in order to not “dumb down” the toilet.
I finally decided google was in order- I just had to know what makes a toilet “intelligent” It sadly doesn’t talk. Which is a shame because that little gift to my family would of been fun!! I was impressed -let me tell you this thing lights up, warms your tush, washes you and even cleans itself and it does all this for some crazy astronomical number that if I actually bought would mean I had more money than sense.
So there you have it folks – the new definition of “intelligence” – being able to warm your ass and cleaning yourself after a shit. That sure does puts a whole lot of people back in the intelligent quadrant of society- who knew?? Who needs a college education? I got this licked – or dried!! (Yep it does that too)
It makes me curious what’s coming down the pike next. I don’t know about you but I’m holding out for the “brilliant” box of rocks…………
I really do have an evil streak and have always loved making people a little nervous. When it comes to involving my children I find it even more amusing. I bet you think I’m talking about turning into the MAMA BEAR and protecting the little A-holes and scaring people who are responsible for them. What would be the fun in that? Everybody seems to be doing that today- even at the expense of common sense. Any adult that calls, concerning your kids today, is so nervous you can basically hear the shaking over the phone. We all know “THAT” parent “Yes Mr Principle I am sure you think you saw my little Johnny do that, but that just is not possible because he just wouldn’t of and he told me he didn’t and if you think you are going to punish him I’ll go above your head” I really wish principles could say “Yes- you dumb ass parent, just because I saw him do it obviously doesn’t mean he’s lying to you either” Well- I guess you all know why I’m not a teacher or administrator now.
I like doing it a little differently. Differently isn’t the right word- opposite is more correct. I learned this skill from my father who when he took me to school the first day handed his hand to my teacher to shake, introduced me and said “If she misbehaves in any way and you are forced to punish her please let me know and she will get three times that punishment at home.” Needless to say- that at home thing was waaay scarier than anything that sweet woman in front of me could do so I wasn’t getting in trouble.
I love making today’s educators a little scared I may hurt my own parasites. Trust me the reactions are priceless cause it’s so not what they are expecting. The poor school nurses who are tasked to call parents every time one of our little darlings does anything dumb or even remotely gets a boo boo have it the worst. I have abused these poor women unmercifully for years. Trust me I think they have me on speed dial and a heart around the last day one of mine will be in their school. My favorite was when my darling daughter was 5 and she brilliantly wadded up a sticker and promptly shoved it in her ear. The following nurse conversation went something like this:
Nurse- Ms Ross- typical long pause because of shaking
Nurse: This is Nurse Ratchet at the elementary school and Sally has a sticker in her ear
Me: A What?
Nurse: A Sticker and it is so far down in her ear she is going to have to go the doctor to have it removed
Me: Excuse me? She DID WHAT??
Nurse: She has a sticker stuck in her ear
Me: PUT THE BRILLIANT CHILD ON THE PHONE- tone loaded with sarcasm
Nurse: Ms Ross she is going to need to go to the Doctor
Me: Yes I GET that, but please PUT THE CHILD ON THE PHONE
Nurse: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, unless I have another child in your office who was dumb enough to shove a sticker down their ear- again tone loaded with sarcasm
Nurse: Giggling now- OK
I have spent many a day on the phone with the elementary school nurse for one dumb child maneuver or another for 10 years. Our conversations are always similar. She starts out all nervous because she believes I may be upset because my little dumbo Johnny hit his head on his desk and me asking- Does he look hurt? No- well send him back to class. I guess there are parents out there that think by a teacher watching them and saying “No- please don’t do that” it will somehow work miraculously better than when they say it and he bumps his head anyway. I wish there was just some form I could sign in the nurses office that says:
Yes I understand they are children and they are clumsy and I give you permission to not call me with the exceptions of:
1) Profuse bleeding- stitches or very large bandage needed
3) Projectile vomiting
4) Obvious broken bone
5) Black Outs for no reason
6) Stupid action that requires doctor visit (Ya know you’ve gotta cover the brilliant sticker in the ear)
If none of the stated above applies I give you permission to wipe it off, put a band aid on it and send them back to class.
Now because of “THAT” parent I am sure I would have to sign it in blood for fear of legal action. “That” parent seems to believe that this building full of people who have dedicated their lives to children are really just a bunch of incompetent boob heads who know absolutely nothing about our little darlings. I’m sure my telecommunications background definitely qualifies me to know more of how to treat little Susie’s injury from falling on the playground and skinning her knee than the trained nurse in that office.
I’m telling you the next time the school calls for injury or especially disciplinary actions- try living in a reality where little Johnny isn’t perfect. Actually act like you have respect for the adult on the other end of the phone and say “THE CHILD DID WHAT??” This causes pregnant pauses of confusion while their brains catch up to understanding this long ago behavior. Trust me- if you have an evil streak and like to make people uncomfortable- just act like a parent.
Everyone has lofty ideal’s when they start out on the joyful journey of parenthood. We all spend the 9 months of pregnancy excited and looking forward to this little bundle of joy which we will love and cherish. We will not and I repeat not say the things our parents said or do some of the things our parents did we did not like. We will negotiate and work out our differences with our children- they will be brilliant right?? . We will hug them and tell them we love them when they misbehave- they will be brilliant right? We will talk and have intelligent conversations with them- they will be brilliant right?
Then the inevitable happens and the child is born. Within the first year you start to have a sneaking suspicion the child may not be brilliant. You spend the whole year working with the child and the first word they truly understand and can say is “NO” and they have no intention of negotiating with you at all. You struggle with trying to explain: that’s dangerous, that’s hot, that’s bad, that’s scary, that will break etc etc etc. The child still looks at you steadfastly and says “NO”. After the negotiations fail you resort back to the tried and true method of – OK I’m bigger than you so I will just move you. This method works every time and you start to think- hmmm- maybe those who have done this before me, might of been on to something 🙂
As they grow they learn new words and start to use your words against you. I was a parent who never spoke baby talk to my children. My eldest was about 2 when we were standing in the grocery store check out line. He had been sitting in the cart through the whole shopping experience and was just about at the end of any 2 year old’s patience limit. He pointed at the ground and said “down”. I said “No” so he pointed again and said “Down” in a more forceful manner. I again said “No” at which point my two and 1/2 year old looked at me and said “Down- mommy that’s not negotiable” Now the negotiable was a little garbled, but hey- I got the point. He stayed in the cart, but I realized he was smart. He wasn’t smart in the way I had expected- more in the way I dreaded.
This new found child intelligence turns quickly into the “WHY” stage. Now for those parents who have not survived the “Why” stage yet- get ready because you will shortly find yourself saying things you never ever expected. The “Why” stage sneaks up on you. As a parent you have spent the last 3 to 4 years teaching this little being who you made all about the world. This little fat faced toddler now thinks you are the most brilliant human on the planet and know everything. My favorite conversation every went something like this:
Chid: Mom- Why does that man have a chainsaw in his truck?
Me: Because he was cutting down a tree (perfectly good explanation- I thought)
Child: Why was he cutting down a tree?
Me: Because it was probably dead (I think I’m doing well)
Child: Why was it dead?
Me: Because some bugs eat trees and they die (OK- now we’re teaching)
Child: Why do they eat trees?
Me: Because just like us they need energy and have to eat
Child: Why? Why? Why?
After the next few why’s and my explanations of each I found myself trying to explain a bugs circulatory system to a 4 year old. Right then and there I learned that sometimes a perfectly acceptable answer is “Just cause”
After the why stage their intelligence suddenly turns into the most evil kind of all. At about 8 to 10 they now have the skills to out negotiate you!! They ask to do something and you say “NO”. They then look at you, with that 4 year old cherub face (which they’ve mastered now) and say “Why?” Being the intelligent parent, who wants to always be reasonable, you spend about 4 to 5 minutes giving them many valid reasons for your decisions. Then something terrifying happens!!! That child- who until now thought you were the smartest person in the world- turns into Matlock, Ally McBeal, and Jack McCoy all rolled into one. He could now, at 9 years old, get a job in any court room in the land. He’s arguments are brilliant, valid, and worst of all – better than yours. You try to negotiate, but somewhere around 30 minutes in you realize by the smirk on the little shits face- you are beaten.
This is when you learn the most important and tried and true lesson of parenthood that has been passed from generation to generation. This lesson is painful to learn because it goes against EVERYTHING you believed while you carried them and changed their cute little diapers. It is a beautifully simple statement with no negotiations possible. They hate it because it seems sooo unfair. A perfectly good explanation to any child’s question is “BECAUSE I AM YOUR MOTHER AND I SAID SO!!”