We stayed longer at the school on Friday afternoon to celebrate Tornado A’s birthday. As the kids played in the only stretch of lush grass on campus, the sprinklers turned on. Kids being kids, they romped, screaming through the cold water.
The mothers and I shrugged and continued our conversation, stopping to shag the stray soccer ball.
I looked over to see Tornado E strip his shirt and swing it around and around his head as he galloped around his friends. Not to be out done, K took off her shirt. Her mother was horrified using all three K’s names and demanded K put on her shirt this very instant.
I was about to remark that such a thing was natural and ok and –
Tornado E: Boobies! Boobies! Boobies!
Me (In The Voice): Tornado E C L, you be quiet and come here NOW!
My instincts roared for me to either strangle him or lecture him within an inch of his life.
Me: Tornado E, that was not appropriate. We do not chant boobies. We do not make fun of people when they take off their clothes. We do not talk that way about girls’ bodies. Now apologize to K and Mrs. E RIGHT. NOW.
K had her shirt on and looked ashamed. Tornado E apologized. I walked over to K’s mom.
Me: She was just copying Tornado E. She was just being a kid.
K’s Mom: I know. But if her father saw. She’s already kissing boys, and now she’s stripping. We talked about this. (sigh)
Me: Well, contrary to the scene just now, I am trying to raise a gentleman and not some white trash frat boy. (sigh)
Kids. As my grandma says, “They’ll make a liar out of you every time.”