Don’t Treat Me Like a Criminal

“You don’t have to treat me like a criminal,” is Gigi’s latest response to either parent if they dare to raise their voice in anger, frustration or exasperation.

“Did you learn that one from Charlie?” I ask -yell.

Charlie pipes in from the nether regions of the house, “I’m not responsible for her saying that!”

“I learned it from D.W., Arthur’s sister, from the books,” I hear Genevieve say from the other room.

“Um,” says Scott, “honey, did you hear? Gigi says I’m treating her like a criminal.”

“I heard the whole thing,” I say to Scott, “but I hardly think we were treating you like a criminal,” I yell out from my desk in our bedroom.

“You treat me like a criminal all the time!” Gigi yells back.

Another whipper-snapper kid like Charlie – quick at the mouth, confident and full of beans. Please, dear “Gods of Wit and Verbal Jousting,” keep me strong, sharp and just tart enough…to stay a few beats ahead of these two, my youngest born. Don’t let me give in to the overwhelming weariness that attempts to swallow me on busy days. Talk to them…all these kids…talk to them. Keep trying to engage these four children. Listen to their funny sayings and logic. Then, listen to their silences, especially from the older two…for signs of communication in the hush. Observe.  Always observe. Quick, record it. Write the moment…and do it well so the colors and the feelings are captured…forever. Try not to forget. Never stop.

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