26 June 2008

Mouths of Babes

Wow. I totally feel like I need to stop complaining about things. Especially weird things. I'm starting to sound neurotic. (I may, in fact, be neurotic, but I don't necessarily want to sound it!)

For a change of pace, I'll tell you the funniest thing that I have heard anyone say in a long time.

It goes like this:

One of the highlights of my trip home was a day at the Kah-Nee-Ta resort, which is on the Warm Springs Reservation, just on the other side of Mt. Hood from Portland. Summer days at Kah-Nee-Ta are a family tradition--my grandmother used to take us when we were kids, and now my mom and I take the kids of the next generation. We go early-ish in the morning with a giant packed lunch, and spend the entire day at the pool--which is huge and warm (from the springs) and in a natural basin, so that when you are in the pool itself, you are surrounded by high desert mountains on all sides. It is sunny there like 300 days a year, which is impressive in Oregon.

The pool complex is made up of three connected pools--the first is only about 3 feet deep, so that you can hang out in it with pretty young kids. The second is about 4/5 feet deep. There are two large water slides that feed into this part of the pool. It's a good place for just sort of hanging out, since most adults can touch the bottom, but are mostly covered by water. This is where there is a lot of teenage action--kids playing ball, and teen couples making out. (I mention this because it is almost pornographic. At one time I counted 7 different couples glued together. It was sort of disturbing.) The last pool is deep--11 feet, I think--and houses the serious swimmers.

We took my niece, the lovely lady E, and my cousin's three kids, (known to some as the M-clones). My cousin also came with us. Because there were so many of us, we were forced to take 2 cars. My mom drove Heath and his oldest boy. Since I already had the carseat in my car, I took E. and the youngest M (because they mostly just wanted to ride together. Those kids have a total mutual admiration society). I also took Miss M (the middle and only girl child), who I think wanted to hang out with me. Which is actually pretty flattering, since she is one of the coolest kids I know.

So, she was the one who made the HILARIOUS comment. We were driving, and she was telling me about a boy that she sort of likes (enough said, I don't want to give too much of her personal life away here. I'm exploiting her for the sake of the blog, but I don't want to exploit her.) Anyway, as we discussed her elementary school love life, she mentioned that she thought this boy liked her as well. I told her that this was not surprising to me, since she is a particularly beautiful and smart girl. Here was her response:

"Well, I am the second smartest girl in the class. K______ is the smartest. But she is like a genius."

I replied that I had a hard time believing that anyone outsmarted Miss M, but she quickly assured me that she was correct,

"No, really Kristin, she's the smartest." And then there was a pause. At which time Miss M added, without irony, "Of course, she did pee her pants in class a couple of times this year. But she is still a genius."

When I was done laughing, I told Miss M that I thought that peeing your pants in class automatically took you out of running for the smartest kid in the class, no matter what reading group you were in.

I also realized that I am now so old that I can't even remember the days when anyone peed accidentally in public, and where everyone knew about it. I vaguely remember someone throwing up on their desk in 3rd grade, and that being a big deal all year, but I don't even remember who it was. Only the sympathy I felt for the poor bastard.

As Miss M turned around to try to start some kind of game with the younger kids, I found myself thinking about how simple life is in elementary school. I felt a longing for that simplicity (not surprising, given the number of adult concerns that I'm struggling with right now).

And then I gave myself a mental slap. As miserable as job hunting, dating, real estate, moving, health concerns and everything else that goes along with being an adult may be, worrying about public wetting of oneself, or of others wetting themselves in public, is definitely worse. It's symbolic of the lack of control--real or perceived--you have as a kid. And as much as I hate making decisions on my own (and trust me friends, I DO hate that), I'd much rather have options than have to ask for a bathroom pass.

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