Is that all that’s left of me? My ultra light Birkenstocks and emoji filled text messages tucked underneath the Ice Plant growing over the sand? I must have died a bodysurfing drowning. I’m a ghost. And not the good type of Ghost, but the Whoopi-less kind. Floating around the house with no sexy pottery to be had. Kingston and Quinn are oblivious to my calls. “Guys! Hey!?”, I bellow to no avail. Lost in what looks like a game of slap-your-neck-tag. The two of them are deafer than an atheist’s tombstone. “Helllooo!”.
Enter Chapter 88: Mos Deaf
Look at their confused little faces. It’s the first time our kids have heard us speak a different language. We’ll say, “Don’t let your mouth write checks your ass can’t cash.”. And not only that, but “You lookin’ for water under the outhouse.”. To their innocent ears, it’s as foreign as “Balki” teaching English to a room full of Martians; perfect strangers. But said with the right conviction, these types of parental idioms can shock a kid straight into an alertness. An alertness that says, “Holy wet poop! These old people (parents) actually know stuff! Listen to them!”. Consequently, our authoritative attention will return to our parenting ways. Allowing us (although, we might not know what these idioms mean.) to control our children’s decisions as we see fit. So, because “Fish rots from the head down”, and because “If you have cheese, you have choice.” will forever be a part of our backward parental slang….long live parental idioms!
“Kingston…AND…Quinn!”. The sound of mischievous scampering echoes across the hard wood floor. Their beds are still unmade. And their trash can is overflowing. “Guys! I said ‘do your chores.'”. They’ve been ignoring me all week, especially Quinn. I know she heard me because she’s giving me her “whatcha’ gunna do about it” blinkless stare. Kingston, on the other hand…wise to my wrath…frantically pretends to act busy as the sound of my voice nears. His hands are full with a pile of books that I had already put away.
“Guys! (I cornered them.) This is the last time I say this, ‘Make your beds and take out the trash!'”. Their final warning, “There better be two clean rooms!”. I’m tired of raising my voice, and feeling disrespected. I head back downstairs to wash a few dishes, and listen to what sounds like two busy kids doing what I had asked. “Finally. I’m being heard.”, I thought. Maybe I’m not a ghost after all. Some minutes pass, and it was time to check on their progress. Surely, my darling little angels are righteous enough to stop the monkey business and help me clean. But as I reached the top of the stairs, “OH! HELL! NO!”. Kingston and Quinn ignored me again. Their beds STILL unmade. The trash STILL overflowing. And they are STILL horsing around. I was angry. No, livid! No, Enraged! Sooo infuriated…a two headed rabid pit bull could’ve torn out of my chest. But instead, out of my mouth, in the worst Jamaican-patois-accent, “If yuh(you) cyaah (can’t) hear, yuh (you) muss (must) feel!”. And with that…KICK!…SMASH! Barbie’s ambulance goes crashing into the wall. Rrrip! Tearrr! A stack of Pokémon card gets torn into two. I’m Incredible Hulking these little fools. Immediate tears and “Nooo! Daaad!” ensues. They were feeling the devastation. “If yuh cyaah hear, yuh muss feel.”. The two of them are scared stiff into attention now. They’ve become my soldiers of chores; ready to take orders. “Make both beds, Kingston.”. I watched him tidy up lickity split. He was cartoon fast. “Quinn! Get the trash now.”. She sprinted to empty it. Sobbing the entire way. The following morning, the house was organized and almost meditative. “If they only listened….”, I thought. Peace be unto us.