When I was a kid, there was this Public Service Announcement that used to play on Saturday mornings. It featured a disheveled looking dad walking into his teenage son's room holding a box in his outstretched hand. (It was years later before I finally put together the fact that it was probably supposed to be choc full of weed.) Disheveled Dad shakes the mystery box at angst-ridden son and says something along the lines of "Who taught you to do this?!" and after a few painful minutes angst-ridden son turns to disheveled dad and shouts "YOU, OK!?! I learned it from watching YOU!" At which point he storms from the room while disheveled dad stands in the doorway and adds "deflated" and "dejected" to his appearance.
Then the voice-over begins: Parents who use drugs have kids who use drugs.......
And there's a reason I bring this up...........
We have a Pumpkin Carving Party every year -- typically the weekend before Halloween -- and we usually get a small keg of good beer. (or 2). Our shin-dig is made up mostly of work colleagues and their families, but it tends to be a pretty large and diverse bash due to the sizes of the facilities that both Mike and I work in.
Everyone brings their own pumpkins -- we provide all the carving tools, tea-lights, food, beverages, etc... And at the end of the night we pass out prizes to the top 3 carvers, determined through a very democratic voting process -- except for the year that I legitimately won, but had to take a ribbing all night long because everyone thought for sure I'd rigged it somehow, since it was at my house and all..... (If you want to know more, you'll just have to come sometime....Which I highly recommend because it's really fun.)
But I tell you all of this because awarded with the prizes are specialty bottles of beer that Mike has carefully selected. They always have some sort of Halloween theme, and are usually the types of beers that you can only get at good liquor stores. You won't find them at your typical grocery.....
Landis, who is five, was helping Mike make the tags that were to go over the necks of those 3 specialty bottles, and when he was done coloring the areas of the tags that had been assigned to him, he came over to me and made a suggestion for our party. "I think we should have a beer race."
I don't know about you, but in my mind a "beer race" translates to a chugging contest, so I asked him exactly how he pictured this event taking place.
"Well...." he started, "First you invite a lot of adults over, and each one gets 2 bottles of beer. Then they take the tops off, and they drink 'em REALLY fast. And the person who finishes their beers first, WINS!" And then he grinned at me like a little jack-o-lantern who'd just come up with the best idea ever.
I turned to Mike and said "Uhhhhhhhhhh............ I think Landis just suggested a chug-off."
Mike, chuckling under his breath said "I heard."
I mean, Mike and I aren't hard-core, but we do, in fact, drink. We stock up the cooler pretty well when we go on vacation, or when we get together with extended family....
We sometimes have wine with dinner, and on occasion I come home with a bottle of decent red after an unusually hard day. And I'm not sure what this means for his future, or for studies in DNA, but I swear this 5 year-old kid has just come up with the idea for a chug-off fully on his own.
But before I could fully process the fact that my 5 year old was dreaming up the rules for drinking games in his spare time, Gibson turned around on the couch and said "Well you'd have to be careful Landis, because you could get DRUNK that way!" And since I can't remember ever having a conversation with Gibson that revolved around the word "drunk" in any way, shape or form, I'll go ahead and admit that I was more than a little taken aback. But I quickly gathered my wits, shook off the shock, and told him that he was right. And then and I asked him if he knew what the word "drunk" meant. "It means you're dumb." he explained. And then I laughed out loud because, let's be frank here, in all it's simplicity that's completely accurate.
By now I was completely intrigued because not only did he actually know the word.... he could pretty accurately define it. So I asked another question. "And where did you learn that?".
And in that exact moment, when the last syllable of the last word rolled off my tongue, I inexplicably and instantly had a flash back to that PSA that I haven't seen - or even thought about - in the past 15 years. And in that moment, I had a minor panic attack about my parenting skills - because in my experience, my kids speak the obvious, eye-opening, how-could-you-not-know-that-about-yourself?-truth. And even though in my heart-of-hearts I knew it was highly unlikely, I had this mili-second of a moment where I thought he was going to turn to me and shout "YOU, OK!?!?! I learned it from watching YOU!!"
But instead he shrugged all nonchalantly and announced that he learned it watching COPS. And also that his teacher told him. Which actually makes a lot of sense, because the last time we watched COPS, the drunks they were arresting were REALLY stupid. And apparently that was obvious, even to a 7 year old. And just for good measure here, I'll include the other life-lesson he's apparently learned from watching COPS: "Bad guys don't wear shirts."
I suppose it's a pretty good thing he didn't know us in college.
Surprising no one
2 years ago