Monday, October 13, 2008

The Last Number

I drove my son to work with me this morning. He was quite excited about it, as he loves coming to work. There are elevators, bagels and he gets to watch DVDs on my laptop.

In fact, today I set him up in his own cube. He had a spread of Spider-Man comic books (or as he calls them, "MaZagines"), a couple of action figures, his Kitty (dressed in a bow-tie for work) and an orange juice. He was ready to go!

I've noticed lately that he's been mock-parenting Kitty. I now understand why therapists have kids play with some sort of stuffed toy or doll and watch then re-enact everything their parents say to them.

"Kitty, I need a little PRIVACY," he announced, and placed the stuffed tabby in a corner, far-far-away.

"I'm the boss of Kitty and you're the boss of me," he told me. I thought he was being rather Machiavellian about this, though his language was undeniably mine. In my defense, the only time I ever tell him I need "privacy" is when I'm sitting on the toilet. So hold the calls to Child Protective Services.

A half hour later or so, he went and gingerly picked up Kitty and hugged him. 

"Thanks for using your patience!" he said to the cat.

That one is all me too.

"When am I turning five again?" he asked me.

"In January."

"Next weekend?" he cocked his head.

"No, in three months."


"No, in about 90 tomorrows from now."

"Remember when I turned four and we had a Superman party in the clubhouse?"

"Yes," I said, surprised he'd retained the vocabulary word "clubhouse" all these months later.

"Remember when I turned three?"


"Remember when I was a baby in your tummy?"


"When do I turn five again?"

"In January."

"And when do I get to the last number?"


Did my son just ask me about Death?

"Nobody knows," I say and hold my breath.

"It's a surprise?"

"Yes. You could say that."

"Okay," he said, and went back to his mazagine, unconcerned with the concept of a surprise death.

Which seems the right way to handle it. 


  1. we should all be that concerned.... but, I find that more difficult these days.

  2. Death and economic recessions — we can't control either thing. Why worry about it?

    I'm going to live my life.

    Thanks, Cracky!

  3. Gall-damn you are a good parent. I've heard you diffuse some pretty tough topics with some good answers. Mine would have been, "don't worry about it and grab me a beer."

    See? You're better than me.

  4. Genius.

    Cracky is a genius.

    And you handle it with such aplomb.

    Can you tell me which book you read to teach you?

  5. It's a suprise. Kinda like when you upbutton a new man's pants.


  6. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!



  7. For the longest time Cracky was my hero on my Myspace page. When I deleted and came back, I forgot to re add that. I will be fixing that right now.
    ess: Isn't it a holiday for you today?

  8. I had #32 yesterday.
    I remember my Ragady Anne birthday party, mom made a Ragady Anne cake too.
    You're such a good Mama.

  9. Cracky rocks.
    He's gonna be such a good man.
    Bravo, momma.

  10. Hi Mandy,

    Priceless...thanks for sharing.


  11. Ohh you dodged that one! Would have been like opening Pandora's box. Least it was with mine when he began to ask. He still worries himself about me leaving before he leaves.

  12. and that's what we call it, btw.

  13. Ah, that Cracky. He's good, Mama.

  14. I adore Cracky blog posts. He has an infinite wisdom, that one.

    So does Mom!

    Rock on, Mandy...

  15. What a beautiful thought! Thanks... and thanks to Cracky for the new perspective. :)

  16. Our greatest teachers...

    I love the kitty in a bow-tie!

  17. My three year old used to think that ten was the "last number", but now he has expanded his numerics to include all of the numbers up to seventeen, except for twelve. Twelve just does not exist in his world.

  18. Wow. You've got a cool kid on your hands. :)

    I used to love coming to work with my mom. All the guys at work would give me cool things and play with me. Best time of my life!

  19. Those little kiddies are smarter than all of us. They don't clutter their little brains with bullshit like we do.

    You did good.

  20. All the worrying comes later.

    Sex Mahoney for President

  21. Nice return on that backhand.... I would have stuttered and ummmed it.


  22. It's amazing the way they come up with these things isn't it? Cracky rocks.

  23. It's amazing to me that children come to understand death at a very young age. I can vividly remember sitting at my Grandfather's funeral at age 5, crying my eyes out because I knew that I would never see Grandpa again.

  24. Bright boy... not totally beside himself with the concept of death just yet. Of course, that's only secondary to the horror of taxes. Nobody sits well with that one at all.

  25. So hurry up and write a parenting manual already. Right now, the idea of having kids terrifies me. I want to grow little bodhisattvas, but something has me convinced that, one day, I'm going to look at them and go: "What the hell have I created?!"

  26. "Um yes hello, Mandy? This is book deal calling."

    Please get a move on so I have a reference library to turn to when I have kids.