In Jan. 29 IssueBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
I often say my kids are "paying me back" for my childhood as a sullen, shy, spoiled only child.
They actually behave fine, it's just that they have, oh, how do you put it, some "oddities" that only an offspring of mind could have.
At times they are humble-especially involving the issue of gifts.
They will shrug and resist at first, until even slightly nudged.
Then, they will spew forth an elongated list of wants and needs, or simply spout a single, almost unobtainable item.
Myles, 19, expresses interest in a $200 pair of sunglasses, or a titanium, gold-plated, turbo-powered, dual-core "performance" chip for his vehicle.
Evan, 17, will be indecisive, then suggest a vintage, Gibson Firebird (non-reverse body, of course), with optional factory tremelo. (Custom color would be cool, but sunburst finish is acceptable.)
Kate, four, wants every Barbie in the world, but she wants them to be like Hello Kitty.
Izzy, two, wants whatever any of the other children want, and wants it NOW!!!
And then there's Drake...
Drake, six, can be sweet, loving, and brutally philosophical.
The other night, as we were all preparing for bed, the lights were turned off, and Drake began talking.
"Mom...Dad?" he asked through the darkness."You know what I would like to have for my birthday?
Renee' and I nudged each other because we had no idea why he was mentioning something for his birthday (which is still months away), or what he would say.
"No, what would you like for your birthday?" I asked.
"Well," he said, (and I could tell he had sat up to launch into conversation) "I would very much like to have one of those new mattresses."
"OK," Drake began, "the reason I would like one of those mattresses is because you can get up out of bed, and not disturb your partner."
Those were his exact words, like he was reading a script.
"Aaaaannnnnnnnnd," he continued, "they help you get a good night's sleep."
We asked Drake how he knew about such a thing.
"Oh, you see them on TV!" he proclaimed.
He went on to explain you can set a glass of milk, juice, or maybe something with caffeine on the mattress, (which is never a good idea, IMHO), and "jump up and down" on the mattress, and the drink won't spill.
"And you know what?" he asked. "The foam molds to your body! It's like it remembers you!"
We patronized Drake until he went to sleep, thinking/hoping he'd forget such a silly thing the next day.
A couple of days later, when I was complaining of back and neck pains after sleeping on a futon (long story...), Drake walked up to me.
He stood there, not speaking, with a raised eyebrow and pained look.
"What?!" I said.
He raised his eyebrow even higher, still not speaking, and began making motions with his hands.
"WHAT?!" I pleaded.
Then I figured it out.
He was making motions to illustrate a flat surface...wait...a flat, thick surface...that can be pressed down...oh...A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS!
"Alright, Drake," I conceded, "I get the point."
On into the week, Renee' and I were playing a game of Scrabble on our bed (Oh, stop it!), when Izzy came bouncing along and knocked all the pieces off the board.
"Oh, man!" Renee' screamed, "Our game is ruined! I wish we'd put the game on something more stable!"
Drake suddenly appeared from nowhere, and without speaking, glared at us with a raised eyebrow.
He pointed at our bed, then the Scrabble board, and shook his head.
"What?" we asked him.
He made a "flat" motion with his hands, and tilted his head toward the mattress.
It was like he was condemning our bed...and trying to tell us...our game could have been saved...if only...we had...A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS!
Just the other night, I was lying on the F.O.D. (Futon of Death), and Drake wanted to lay there too because his sisters were keeping his awake.
I cautioned Drake to stay near the F.O.D.'s edge because when it's in the reclining position, the center sags to the floor.
It sags a lot. A whole lot. A lot to the point of being almost "bowl-shaped."
All I could see was hands and feet, wrapped in blankets, sticking up from the abyss which was slowly swallowing him.
I pulled him from the dark, deep soul of the F.O.D., and he rolled onto the floor.
Jumping up, he pointed at the F.O.D., shook his head, and did the whole, "non-speaking, raised eyebrow, hand-motioning thing.
"OK, OK, Drake, I get it, I get."
"So, you're going to get one of those mattresses?!" he excitedly asked?
"No, I mean, I 'get' what you're trying to tell me," I explained.
Drake, angrily crossed his arms across his chest and stomped out of the room.
"I'm going to go sleep with Mommy!" he huffed.
I just hope he never sees the Flowbee commerical...