I visited my old neighbors last night. They have four wonderful children, all under the age of ten. N, seven, greeted me at the door in white karate pants and a Kool-Aid mouth. “Hello, Sarahbrown. I’m taking judo now, and I know how to flip people. I am not allowed to flip R.”
R, five, looked up at me with doleful brown eyes that suggested that perhaps this had been a recurring issue.
“How do you like kindergarten, R?”
He forged ahead. “She has my old teacher. My new teacher, Mrs. Bobbinghouse, she reminds me of you, Sarahbrown. She has a voice like you, and even a blue shirt like you. But, she has smaller these.” Here he made a gesture using both hands that I will leave open to speculation.
At this point, two-year old J came running into the room, sat on my feet, and became so excited that he started bouncing up and down and spat all over my knees while shouting, “Where Daddy do? Where Daddy do?” He was either inquiring as to his father’s whereabouts or talking about Scooby Doo; I’m not sure.
“Sarahbrown! Come take a look at this. I have four canker sores! I used to have three, but now I have four.”
R tugged on my shorts hem. “Did you know that boys have a penis and girls have a buhgina?”
I tried another tactic. “How’s that new baby sister?”
R turned a lonesome somersault, and N plugged in his Gameboy. J filled his diaper while still sitting on my foot.
“Tired of people asking you that one, eh?”
In unison: “Yeah.”