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Monday, December 17, 2007


We've been known to call the X-Man, our six year old, "The Moaner." He moans, or maybe it's more of a groan. It's a drawn out, guttural unnnhhhhh sound. We first noticed it on family walks; he would lag behind, shoulders slumped and mouth hanging open and moan as he dragged his tired feet. And that was just in the first block. He spent a lot of time on my husband's shoulders. Lucky for my husband, the X-Man is a light weight.

He'll moan in response to anything.

"Honey, you need to clean your room."


"Bath time!"


"Are you dressed yet?" (yelled up the stairs for the fifth time in twenty minutes.)


Sometimes, he moans in response to his mental anticipation of a difficult, perhaps insurmountable, task. He got in the car last week and before he sat down, moaned.


"What is it? Did you have a tough day?"

"I need my birth certificate and I know I don't have it! Unnhh!"

Of course I asked why. I was pretty sure it wasn't as urgent as he imagined. Last I checked, six year olds don't usually have to submit their own paperwork for anything.

"I need to know my date of birth!"

He was surprised to learn that this was in fact the same as his birthday, which he knows. But he wasn't quite ready to let go of a good moan.

"Oh...ohnnhhh. Well I still don't know the year!"

Which I told him. It was the least I could do. When he pointed out that he would "never be able to remember" this, I assured him I would remind him until he had a chance to write it down. That kid is really smart in some ways, but sometimes I wonder...

Anyhow, I always accused my husband of passing on the moaning gene. He's half French and half Serbian, so he's genetically predisposed on both sides to being easily dissatisfied and vocal about it. The combination of the two is greater than the sum of its parts. My husband likes to say, slightly altering something he heard on the Sopranos, "Nobody suffers like the French Serbs." Whining is absolutely not sexy, but self-deprecation takes the edge off, so he comes out ahead, lucky for me. I recently had to acknowledge, however, that the X-Man may have picked up the moaning habit from someone else.

My husband and I were in the backseat of my brother and sister-in-law's car; we were all going to a party in Lexington. Lexington is about a million miles from where I live, although people who live there will swear that it's just a twenty minute drive from downtown. Lies, lies, lies. It is so far, forty five minutes at least, really more like an hour. And people insist on inviting you out there anyway. The upside is that they feel obligated to make the parties really fun, probably to reward you for your trouble, and I've never had less than a rocking good time out there. But I digress.

At some point during the drive, I heard,

"UNHHHH! This is taking forever!"

I looked around, thinking the X-Man had somehow eluded the babysitter and hidden in the car. I didn't see him, so I glared at my husband, surely the culprit. Slowly, it dawned on me.

It was me! I was the moaner! And I sounded exactly like my over-dramatic boy. Wait, did I say over-dramatic? I meant outspoken. And assertive. Yeah. Unnnhhhh! I hate it when I realize I'm not perfect!

Namasté, y'all!

1 comment:

Tracee said...

Don't you love that? Hehe. I would've held up my right hand in court and swore that I am not the person from whom my kids have heard "stupid" "dumb" and "hate," 'Till one day I was telling some Mom's Night Out friends how much I HATE those words and before I could finish, they were all naming times I, in the past 45 minutes mind you, had used ALL 3 words. Never mind not perfect, but whining and complaining that I think my kids got those words from other playgroup kids, hahahah!