I’m starting a new recurring post called “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” to document the funny, wise, wacky, and– in today’s case– completely misguided and infuriating things that my kids say. They will be quick ones, with the goal of starting a conversation.
This installment is about Eli. Last night after dinner, I promised the boys if they showered quickly we could watch an episode of our favorite comedy, The Goldbergs before bed.
Eli– who’s usually in turtle mode when it comes to showering and getting ready for bed– miraculously was TV ready within 12 minutes. I was still cleaning up from dinner and keeping Wilson company while he ate.
With dripping wet hair and mismatched pajamas, Eli began to nag:
Eli: “MOM! You said we could watch after I showered!”
Me (slaving over dirty pots and dishes in the sink): “You’re right but I never dreamed you would be so fast and I still have to finish cleaning up.”
Eli: “Please mom, c’mon! Let’s GO!!! I wanna waaaaaaatch!”
Me (dripping with unnecessary sarcasm): “It must be nice to have dinner made for you and all you have to do is eat and then relax and do what you want. I have to shop for food, cook dinner and then clean up. I don’t get to relax until I finish.”
Eli: “I know. That’s why I’m so glad I’m not…..”
What do you think he’s going to say next? I thought “an adult” would finish that smug sentence. But it was much worse.
Eli (sincere): “That’s why I’m so glad I’m not…..a girl.”
Oh my. What have I done wrong here?!!
I was so flabbergasted I started sputtering.
Me: “A GIRL?! A girl?! Have I taught you nothing?? Do you think girls are the only ones who cook and clean while men work and then sit and relax?? I made daddy dinner tonight because I got home first but there are plenty of nights Daddy makes dinner and cleans up!”
Wilson (looking terrified at me, and darting his eyes at Eli while telepathically saying “dude what are you thinking?”): “I clean up lots of nights…. and I do laundry. And I barbecue– that’s cooking!”
Me (still sputtering and in shock): “Yeah! Daddy barbecues!!!”
Eli: Oh. OK.
Me (calmer now but trying to choose words carefully): If I teach you boys one thing it’s that men and women are equal. Girls can do anything boys can do and not all mommies stay home and cook and clean and not all daddies go to work in an office.
Wilson (defending himself on behalf of all men): We share the jobs in this house!
The poor kid just wanted to watch The Goldbergs. But he got a lesson in the dangers of gender stereotypes…and messing with mom.
What did a kid say to you lately that got you all riled up? Tell me in the comments.