The kids love silly play. I love that the kids love it. And together, we often get silly. With words, that is. I tend to discourage silly physical play, because you can pretty near guarantee someone will get hurt. But silliness with words? No one gets hurt with word silliness!!!
Lunch is ready. The little ones are in their high chairs, the big ones are scrambling into their chairs, I am placing the food on the table. When I go to place my butt on my chair, however, it’s occupied. (The chair, obviously.) With Tyler’s butt.
“Hey, you! You’re in my chair!”
“Yeah, Tyler!” Big sister Emily chimes in. “Do you think you’re Mary?”
“That’s it! For a minute he forgot, and he thinks he’s me. Does that mean I’m Tyler?”
“Yeah! You’re Tyler and he’s Mary!”
Tyler, who to this moment has been limiting his participation in the conversation to one of his full-voltage grins, shakes his head.
“I can’t be Mary! I have the wrong skin!”
“The wrong skin? What does that mean?” I’m genuinely puzzled.
Emily doesn’t quite “tsk”, but you can hear it in her voice.
“YOUR skin is old, Mary!”
“Yeah, and it gots lines on it.” Tyler pokes my face beside my eyes.
“Those are called laugh lines. That’s because I’ve laughed a lot in my life.”
“And you’re laughing now!” Tyler is pleased. “So I can see them even more!!!”
Yeah. That’d be correct. But better than frown lines, right??? In truth, rather like my laugh lines. I figure I’ve earned them, and they say something of how I’ve leaned into my life. No ‘ouch’ there.
Emily, however, is a stickler for accuracy. “”Those are wrinkles, Tyler. She has lines on her hands.”
I do? Tyler and I look at the hands which are currently doling out their lunch. “Those blue bumpy lines?” he asks.
Oh. Ouch. Veins. Veins which, I might add, have been visible since I was sixteen or so, a result of playing the piano since I was seven. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The fact that they are now visible even when I’m not playing the piano is… is… is reality, dammit.) Laugh lines are pretty. Veins? Not so much.
Time to grab hold of this conversation before it becomes too totally demoralizing.
“Tyler does not have my skin, so he’d better shift out of my chair, or I’ll sit on him!” I make threatening motions with my butt. “Look out, little boy! Move that little bum of yours!”
“Yeah, Tyler! Look out or she will squash you with her big bum!!!”