The Muppets sat at the dinner table tonight munching on pizza and chatting about their days. The middle Muppet had enjoyed his swimming day in PE, the youngest had a new bruise forming on his knee to share and the oldest was explaining what he had to do for homework.
We started talking about some of the High School and Middle School teams competing in a tournament at the school. The oldest was telling us that his teachers husband coached the basket ball, and that our Associate Principals wife was the assistant coach. The middle Muppet pipped in “Mrs. D is good at sports she is a Tom Girl.” His comment caught me off guard since I had never really used that term before and I asked him why he thought she was a Tom Girl. He smiled at me “Well mum, she is really, really good at sports and stuff.” I thought for a moment “What else makes you a Tom Girl?” I asked “Would Mummy be considered a Tom Girl?” The middle guy burst in to giggles “No Mum, you are not at all a Tom Girl, you don’t like sports and not to be rude but you like to sit on the couch a lot!” The other two Muppets joined in the giggle fest “Also Tom Girls don’t like floofy things or pink stuff” the Middle guy added. “You know” began the oldest Muppet “Mum used to play cricket or base ball… or something… um Tee-Ball when she she was a kid, so she likes to play sports”
I smiled at the oldest guy, there was no point in trying to impress him at this point. “You know what Mummy’s favorite part about Tee-Ball was?” I asked. All three Muppets shrugged their shoulders. I told them that I liked the fact that our team was named the Flamingos and that our jerseys had pink on them. The middle Muppet laughed “So I was right!” he declared. “You are not a Tom Girl” I shook my head “Most defiantly not!”
I told them that I like things that are sparkly, fluffy and floofy, things that are pink and purple and smell nice. I am terrible at sports, completely uncoordinated and I don’t like getting dirty. All three Muppets were in a fit of giggles at this point, I told them that God had given me little boys so that I could learn to love sports, bugs, dinosaurs, mud and farts. Every day the Muppets surprise me with some strange fact about animals, bring me presents of bits of glass and rocks and amaze me with just how dirty they can get. Our lives are never dull and I wouldn’t trade my stinky hockey playing boys for all the tutus and tiara’s in the world.
This morning the Muppets were super giggly. It was a nice change from the grumbling I usually hear, and the whining about not wanting to go to school, how tired they are and how “sick” they are.
I sat at my computer sipping my coffee and scrolling through social media listening to the three of them banter back and forth. A few seconds later I heard the youngest calling for me. “Mum….” He yelled from somewhere in the house. “Can you come check my bum!?” I rolled my eyes as I reluctantly got up
from my seat. We have gotten to the point where the youngest muppet can handle his bathroom duties 95% of the time, the other 5%… well they fall on me. The older two giggled at me as I walked to the bathroom. I poked the oldest muppet and told him that maybe this should be his job, he laughed it off and said “Not a chance!”
After I had helped the youngest with his business I walked back out to the living room. I told the muppets that I could not wait until the three of them had kids then they would be the ones dealing with dirty bums. The oldest laughed at me, and said “No way I am doing that!” I asked him what he was going to do when he had a baby of his own. “My wife will take care of that part of things” he said confidently “I will be too busy playing hockey!” I launched in to a huge speech about how it is not always the mothers job and that he would have to be a supportive husband and help his wife whether he was a professional hockey player or not! After a few minutes of my ranting he grabbed my hand and said “Mum stop! I’m 9, I am sure we can talk about this another time… like when I actually have kids!” I laughed and gave him a hug, he was right. We had all the time in the world for that discussion.
I gave him a kiss on the head and whispered in his ear “You know there was one thing you could do for me” he looked at me suspiciously “You can encourage the youngest guy to exclude me from bathroom duties!” He gave me a thumbs up and told me he would work on that one for me.
It was the first day back at school yesterday after Eid break, you never know how these days are going to go but surprisingly for us everyone was happy and it was a good day. We arrived home after school and the kids unpacked their bags without protest. The oldest muppet took his place on the couch with his father to watch the latest hockey highlights and the middle and youngest grabbed their scooters and were off to roam the neighborhood in search of playmates. An hour or so later with homework done we sat as a family around the dinner table. I mentioned to the boys that it was Thanksgiving Day in Canada and we decided to go around the table and say what were are thankful for. Each of the muppets took their turns saying what they were thankful for, they were grateful for friends, the food on our table, their family, school and of course their toys.
The oldest muppet started telling us about his teachers Eid trip to Turkey and how there were also three other students that visited their. The middle muppet interrupted him he was excited to tell us where his teacher went, she had gone to Thailand and she had gotten married! The middle muppet told us all about the wedding and the pictures that he saw and then the youngest muppet piped up “I have a question” he said smiling “Where is her baby now?” I thought maybe he didn’t understand what the middle guy was talking about. I explained to him that the middle guys teacher got married in Thailand. “I know…” said the youngest guy, “so where is her baby?” I started to giggle. I asked him if he thought that when you got married that you automatically had a baby. He smiled at me and said “Of course, you get married you kiss and then bloooop you have a baby” When he said “blooooop” he gestured with his hands a baby growing in his belly. I laughed out loud at his assumption, he was so serious when he did it. I explained that babies don’t normally come that quickly and it takes a long time for a baby to come. I thanked my lucky stars that their were no questions about where babies come from and we continued on with dinner with very little excitement after that conversation.
Everyday the muppets make me laugh and question my sanity with their conversations, questions and little quarks. It is defiantly never dull in our household and I am sure there will be many more silly conversations at our dinner table.
All of our muppets are fond of reading, we have always tried to read as a family most nights before bed and sometimes we even make up our own stories. The youngest muppet loves to be read to, flip through books and to tell his own stories. Sometimes these stories are so close to the truth that people completely believe him and we are trying to figure out how we can still encourage his little imagination but also teach him about being honest and telling the truth. The youngest muppets kindergarten teacher is the sweetest woman, the middle guy also had her as a teacher and I absolutely adore her. Every morning she has some funny little story about the youngest guy. I always hold my breath waiting for her to tell me that he has been inappropriate or done something bad, but for the most part they are just silly things.
The other day in class they were talking about what kinds of pets each student had if any. When she asked if anyone had a rabbit he raised his hand, he also raised his hand to say that he had a dog,cat and turtle. She told me that she was trying to explain to him that he didn’t have all of these pets, but he completely disagreed with her and was convinced that he had all of these pets. When we sat down to talk about it he told me that we had a bunny at Nana’s house, Gracie and Charlie at Grandma’s, the kitties outside my office and of course Kung Fu Panda. These were all true, there was a rabbit that the boys fed outside my moms place and the muppets like to help look after the dogs at Grandma’s house. Every morning they all help me feed the cats that live outside my office window so the are sort of like pets. We talked about what having a pet really meant and he smiled and nodded but I am pretty sure it went in one ear and out the other.
Yesterday I was sitting in the lunch room chatting with the youngest guys teacher, we were talking about the upcoming Eid break and what plans we had made. She said the youngest guy seemed a bit off today and I explained that we were out late the night before because of the oldest guys hockey practice. We were stuck in the mall parking lot for 20 mins before we even got out on to the street so it took us a while to get home and in to bed. The youngest was tired and he didn’t want to play outside in the morning saying it was too hot. I explained to her that he was not really an outdoor kid and that unlike his older brothers preferred to be indoors more than out. I told her I thought maybe it was because he grew up here where we had to spend so much time indoors but mostly I figured it was just his personality. Then she asked me if he remembered much of his time growing up in Brazil. I corrected her, “You mean Canada right? We have never lived in Brazil” She had a look of shock on her face, the youngest guy had completely convinced her that he had been born in Brazil!! When they were talking in class the youngest had discovered he had two friends who were born in Brazil and their parents were Brazilian, the teacher had explained to the youngest that even though he was born there he was still Canadian and that had only lived in Brazil. We both started laughing, she could not believe that the youngest guy had totally convinced her of this and I told her that I was pretty sure that this wouldn’t be the last time that this happened.
When we came home in the afternoon I sat down on the couch with the youngest guy. I asked him why he told his teacher that he had been born in Brazil, he looked up to me with his big brown eyes and said “Because I was born in Brazil Mummy” I grabbed the ipad and pulled up Google Earth, I showed him where Brazil was and where Canada was. We zoomed in on Alberta and I pointed to the city where he was born, I explained to him that we had visited lost of different countries but we have only lived in Qatar and Canada. He was thoughtful for a minute and then said “I was confused mummy because I didn’t have the right water bottle that day” I giggled a little and asked him if he said that he was born in Brazil because he wanted to be like his friends. He nodded “Maybe Mummy and I really wanted to go to Brazil” I told him that maybe one day we would go there to visit, and explained that it was important that when the teacher is asking us real questions about ourselves that we need to be truthful and not make up stories. “Next time” he said “I will tell her that when I was in Canada we went on Papa’s boat and it is as big as a house” I rolled my eyes and we cuddled up and looked at places we wanted to visit on the map.
Living here we seem to always focus on how people are different from us. The muppets are exposed to different cultures, religions, foods and also different ways of dressing. I sometimes fear that growing up here the muppets will not have that feeling of being “from” somewhere. For us it is a fine balance between what we are giving up living here and what were are gaining. The muppets story is an original one, no one else will have it, and I am sure that every day expats around the world have the same fears that I do. The youngest muppet loves to tell stories and I know that one day when he figures out the difference between fiction and non-fiction he is going to be a great story teller, and one day when he is older perhaps he will have some amazing stories to share with the world.
The youngest muppet is a quirky little fellow, he is always up to something and never wants to be left out of anything. He is also the only muppet that seems to have a problem keeping clothing on his body. Maybe it is because he is the third child and I had very little time and patience to wrestle a squirming baby back in to a sleeper , so he spent a lot more time crawling around half dressed than they other two did. When he was two he used to answer the door with no clothes on, the older muppets friends were shocked by this at first but they started to get used to the seeing the youngest guy in the buff. The problem now is that the youngest muppet is almost six and I am still asking him to put on his shirt and shoes before he leaves the house and I think his behavior is starting to rub off on his friends.
On the weekend the muppets were out enjoying their day off playing with their friends. The youngest muppet came running in to the house and up the stairs to my bedroom asking if he and his friend could have a pop. I told him that if they sat and drank it on the front steps then they could each have one. A few minutes later I came down the stairs to find two t-shirts, two sets of shoes and two empty coke cans… the two boys were no where in sight. I assumed that they wouldn’t have gone too far since the pavement would burn their feet off, so I collected their clothes and went back inside the house. Soon it was lunch time and I needed to start looking for the youngest and his friend. I found that they had picked up an extra boy (who had also lost his shirt and shoes) and were playing across the street. I collected the three feral boys and our neighbor joked that the youngest muppets shirt must just melt off of him and that is why he never has one on. I am grateful that we live in such a warm climate because if we still lived in Canada the youngest muppet would be in for a rude awakening.
It is a joke among our family that the youngest guy will never get served anywhere and that his hopes of getting a job as anything other than a lifegaurd or a stripper are pretty slim. We love our little shirtless wonder and I will be sad when the day comes that I don’t have to remind him to put on a shirt before he leaves for school, but I really hope that day comes before he goes to college 😉