Monday, April 26, 2010

It's going to be a long summer

My neighborhood is weird. It looks nice because there are a lot of big old houses, but a lot of the houses are broken up into apartments, so we don’t know anyone. The only person on the street we know is Peggy, who rents the apartment next door. When I first met her—after the masturbating environmentalist moved out—I thought her brains were full of caterpillars and marshmallow.



I still kind of do.

Peggy cares full-time for her grandson, Luke, who is four. We can see right into their living room, and the television is always on. She’s a single grandmother who works at home, so I know she’s doing the best she can but literally, the TV is always on.

On Friday, in preparation for my STD-ridden date night, I played hooky from work. My friend dropped off her three-year-old daughter for a few hours so she and Junior could play outside. After a few minutes I heard:

“Hiiiiiiii, Junior and Junior’s mom. Whatcha doin, Junior? Hiiiiiiiiii. I’m inside……..are you playing outside? Hiiiiiiiiiiii.”

I’m not an unfeeling asshole, at least not all the time, so I invited the boy over. He doesn’t have a yard and from what I’ve seen (yes, of him sitting on his couch), he seems like a decent kid.

So there we were.

Yep.

Three kids and me.

………

……….

Omigawd.

They were like little bees on speed. They were bored with the sandbox. They were hungry. They were thirsty. This one had too many turns blowing bubbles. One had to pee. The other had to pee. They were hungry again, but not for peanut butter. This time they wanted cheese. No, not that kind of cheese. Nooooooooo! Not that kind!

Agggggggggggggh!

Finally, I gave them some LEGO people and told them to shut it.



My friend’s daughter picked up two LEGO people and started a pretend conversation: “Do you want to go in my pool?” “No, I’m going to the store.” “Okay, well, good-bye.”

Luke looked at me and shouted, “WHAT is she doing?”

“Playing, sweetie. Do you want to—”

—“WHO is she talking to?”

“The LEGO people.”

“Why? WHY is she doing that?”

The more she made pretend chatter, the more Luke freaked out. I was starting to freak out. I knelt down and explained that she was playing make-believe. She was pretending and using her imagination. But he kept on with the “WHY is she doing that?” And he was, quite clearly, in shock.

Had nonstop TV turned his brain to caterpillars and marshmallow, too? Was it possible that a child couldn’t understand pretend play? I wanted to ask an expert, but the next available person was Chuck.

“What do you think?” I asked him.

“Wait. Pull my finger.”

Morale of the story: Stay inside, but with your shades down and your windows open. Wide open.

25 comments:

The Mother said...

This is why I hated playdates.

You never know if you're going to end up with a lemon.

Shana said...

Oh my gosh. You crack me up.

blognut said...

Poor Luke, I want to blow up his TV and make him learn how to play toys.

Also, is it okay if I love Chuck a little bit?

FoN said...

That was pretty funny. And kinda sad. At the same time.

Lindy said...

Did you pull his finger?

Brandy said...

oh no. no imagination? that's truly scary.

Pricilla said...

From what I understand imaginations went out when video games came in....

Buggys said...

That's so sad and kind of scary. He, at least, must see children on TV playing pretend, right? Or Elmo pretending to be a Fireman?

Mrsbear said...

More than two preschoolers at a time is usually a good recipe for a migraine. I probably wouldn't have expected that kind of reaction from imaginative play either but then again, he comes from a line of marshmallow/caterpillar heads so...

Emily said...

Your husband cracks me up!

Lisa said...

Tell Luke he ain't seen nothin yet. Give us 24 hrs with him, we'll totally freak his freak.

Julia said...

That is exactly why I'm writing my own line of books for children, but sadly those who need it the most will never see them. That makes me so sad. And the farting too. Very saddening.

Kisha said...

The way you tell a story is HILARIOUS, but I'm all sadfaced for caterpillar boy. Poor kid.

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Sara said...

LOL He should understand pretend play. My kids are fascinated with kids their age between Walmart, neighbors and the Y, they have invited everyone they meet to our house to play. :S

Jeanne said...

That breaks my heart.

I freakin' hate wasted potential.

SmartBear said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
Poor kid!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Lets take away that kid's TV and have him grow an imagination. Man! That drives me nuts.

Er...where is the remote? OK. Right ... time to shut that TV off before I look like a hypocrite. Again.

slow panic said...

that is very sad.

Frogs in my formula said...

Maybe he'll grow an imagination over the summer...while Junior and I are outside escaping Chuck's ass.

Leanne said...

Words to live by. Thanks.

Keely said...

I'm kind of heartsick for that kid. Geez.

Stacie's Madness said...

buahahah, you are hilarious...and that poor poor child.

Jen said...

Poor kid. My son has/had a friend just like him when he was little. The kid has dropped out of school so he can sit at home and play video games and watch TV. He probably weighs about 400lbs. His mom can't or won't help him. It's very sad.

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