Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Home-Grown Grumpies

The rain has inspired "The Grumpies" at my house. I can only be thankful we don't live somewhere in the North Eastern United States, or another country, where it rains more than it doesn't. Keith's Middle School hormones mixed in with "The Grumpies" has just about been my undoing.

This morning Amy managed to spill the cereal all over the kitchen. Now, I don't just mean a spot in the floor caught the brunt of a bag of cereal. I mean she dribbled little chocolate cereal balls from the bag of cereal all over the kitchen. She swears it was not on purpose. So one of my other alternatives is that she was too stupid to recognize the little "plink" that each ball made as it bounced and rolled around to its resting place.

Amy may be many things. But stupid is not one of them. Yet, I don't believe she purposefully poured cereal on my floor. She did not appear to enjoy it enough. I think she was so overcome with "The Grumpies" she simply did not notice.

Even level-headed Emma was up for picking a fight this morning. And with Keith, it never takes a lot of encouragement anyway. So the field was ripe for picking.

Emma said, "I think it will be fun to sing at graduation." That's it. That's all she said. It was a general comment made to no one in particular.

Somehow Keith decided this was some sort of personal attack.

"Yeah, well I'm a better artist than you are," he sneered. I was too stunned to even react.

Emma began to try and defend herself- why, I am not sure. But Keith charged on:

"Think about it. I'm older than you, which means I've been drawing longer than you have. I'm a better artist anyway. So since I'm better, and I've had more practice, I'm like a hundred times better than you," he reported.

Emma gave him a sideways glance. "I can draw," she said defensively.

"Yeah. But not as good as I can," he said.

Finally, good sense kicked back in and I was able to act.

"Keith, what on earth are you talking about? Emma is talking about singing. What does that have to do with drawing?" I asked, more out of amazement than anything else.

"Nothing. I'm just saying I'm a better artist than she is," he shrugged.

"Okay," I said slowly, still not completely clear on everything. "What do you have to wear to sing the Alma Mater at graduation?" I asked Amy and Emma.

"I don't know. I'll ask the teacher," Amy replied.

"You know everyone in the school gets picked to sing for graduation one time," Keith said.

"What?" I asked.

"Everyone gets to sing for graduation one time. They didn't get chosen because they are good singers. It's just their turn," Keith said.

"Okay. It's still an honor," I said.

"It's not like their art got chosen for an art show like mine did," he continued, oblivious to anything I had just said.

"Keith, what is with you?" I asked. "Why are you trying so hard to be 'right' and be the 'winner'?"

"Well, I am right," he replied, with that pre-teen smugness that made me want to jump up and down on his head.

Emma rolled her eyes. "Whatever, Keith," she said, effectively cutting him off at the knees.

"No, not 'whatever'," he pressed. "I'm right. I am a better artist. You all sound like awful singing Hannah Montanna and Taylor Swift."

"Keith, that is enough! I do not know what your problem is this morning, but you need to stop it now," I demanded.

"Whatever," he said, rolling his eyes at me.

Finally, the horn of my sister-in-law's car was heard honking to signal she was there to pick them up. I sighed, relieved to have a break from this ridiculous conversation.

We will undoubtedly have a conversation equally as annoying, crazy and angering on the way home from school when I pick them up. But by then I will have at least had some caffeine, and will be awake enough to try to manage it better.

We are expected to have more rain over the next several days. In my house, I can assume that means more "Grumpies." Hopefully, we will all live to see the sun sometime next week.

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