B and I have always tried to impress upon our kids that YOU SHOULD NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR, SEE, READ, ETC. We feel that, as parents, it is our duty to make sure that our children question the validity of pretty much everything, especially in this day and age when you see crazy-ass shit on television and the Internet every day. So we tell them IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU SOMETHING, OR YOU READ SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN, THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT A FACT. FIND A REPUTABLE SOURCE AND LOOK THAT SHIT UP SO YOU DON'T REPEAT IT AND LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT (Mom, are you reading this? Are you retaining it? For the sake of all your Facebook friends, I sure as hell hope so.)
Back to the kids.
To impress this nugget of knowledge upon our children, I find it necessary to tell them things occasionally that are SHAMELESS, OUTRIGHT LIES just to see if they will believe me. I don't ENJOY lying to my kids, but I do it for their own good. (Yeah, right. Who are we kidding? It's strictly for my own entertainment and will likely lead to them eventually never believing a word I say AND needing extensive therapy, but at this point in their childhood I feel like they OWE ME A LITTLE FUN. So this is how their asses are paying up.) At nearly 12, Belly has caught on to the game. Unless something sounds totally feasible, she seems to usually have a pretty good idea when I'm fucking with her. Poor Sutt however, being a 9-year-old boy, and a very gullible one at that, has no idea. Which is why the following story is so damn funny.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a Low Country Boil for dinner. You take shrimp, mussels, corn on the cob, and smoked sausage (you are also supposed to add baby potatoes, but none of us really eat potatoes, so I left them out), put it all in a big pot, and boil it with Old Bay seasoning. Then you drain the water, spread newspapers on the table, and dump the pot out onto the newspapers. Everybody eats with their hands and dips everything in melted butter and cocktail sauce and has a big time. The kids love it. They have also eaten it a few times, and were enthusiastically chowing down when Sutt suddenly asked, "What ARE mussels anyway?" while holding the little black mussel shell up for inspection.
Without missing a beat, I answered "Shrimp vaginas."
Everybody froze. Belly looked at me like I had lost my mind.
Sutt said, "WHAT?"
B and I made carefully stealthy, parental eye-contact. This was gonna be good, and it was on.
I said, "Shrimp vaginas. It's like this." I held up a big shrimp by the tail and held the mussel beneath it (mind you that the mussel was still approximately a third the size of the shrimp), with the hinge pressed against the shrimp's legs. "Shrimp are all girls, you see. And they have giant black vaginas. They swim around the ocean floor with their vaginas opening and closing like this" -- I made the mussel shell open and close--"releasing little baby shrimps until they are old. That's when their vaginas fall off onto the ocean floor where the vaginas start to be called mussels. People catch the old shrimp with no vaginas in nets so we can eat them and then use other nets to collect the mussels to eat as well."
Blaker opened and closed a mussel shell, making a soft, wet, "pop pop" sound that allowed one to totally envision shrimps languidly floating through the sea, gently releasing streams of baby shrimps through the repeated opening of their hard, giant, black vaginas.
Belly buried her head in her hands. Though she WILL participate in this game when we are messing with Sutt, she also doesn't necessary support it, as she realizes that she, too, is occasionally on the receiving end. I could see her frustration building.
Sutt sat there, mulling all this over. Then he asked, "What's a vagina?"
Belly snapped. She was clearly not only aware that Mommy was making shit up, but also completely disgusted with her younger brother's lack of anatomical knowledge for his age. "It's GIRL PARTS, SUTT. LIKE YOUR YODA, but GIRL parts not BOY parts. AND YOU'RE EATING THEM. You should KNOW what a VAGINA is, SUTT. YOU'RE NINE!"
He went pale, those already-giant blue eyes went as round as saucers, and I saw him involuntary start to heave. IT WAS EPIC.
Unfortunately, it was SO epic, that finally, after a solid ten minutes of everyone at the table keeping a straight face, B, Belly and I all burst out laughing. We just couldn't keep up the act any longer. But those ten minutes? PRICELESS.
Endgame--Poor Sutt will never touch a mussel again, most likely, nor will he ever be able to think of a vagina without a subconscious correlation to shrimp and his mother. So from a birth control standpoint, it was probably a big win (until he's married to a lovely young lady of my choosing whose womb I will allow to be graced with my offspring's prodigy). But, you know, until then, IT WAS WORTH IT. And maybe Sutt finally learned that the world is a big wide place full of magical COMPLETELY FALSE SHIT that should be verified (preferably on a source with more credibility than Wikipedia, as I have expressed to Bell). But I doubt it. In the meantime, at least I'll be entertained.