Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Yer Buggin Me

During all of this wonderful quality time with my kids I have noticed that they have acquired a routine that Elliot and I have established that comes from being together for 15 years. I am sure many married couples do this, although per usual Broadfoot style, we tend to take it to the umpteenth degree. There are certain things I say that I just innately know are going to irritate Elliot or provoke some sort of a reaction out of him...try this, ladies, it's a really good way to test if he's actually listening to you. Of course, two can play that game, and Elliot is almost always ready and willing to play.

Why is it that in relationships we get to know each other and identify each others’ hot spots and then trigger them for no reason, or in our case, deliberately, for amusement? Elliot does this, I know I do this, and all of a sudden I have noticed that, oh yes, we have 3 more buggers in the house who have learned this soooo from their parents that they are perfecting it on each other.

Let it be known that my dear, sweet husband who I am sure everyone thinks is such a saint for putting up with me and all of my kookiness has quite the pesky streak. One might not suspect this because he generally appears to be, "All business." But some of this he does come by naturally (I once threatened to slip a "Places to go, People to annoy" bumper sticker on his car) but some of it he works at, and hard…. It is always great for him when he has an audience, like two weeks ago when we were on vacation in the mountains with his family. He pinpoints certain words known to bug me and then tries his darndest to slip them in casual conversation. "Has anyone seen the sun cream?" He would ask, and then minutes later at the lunch table asked me to pass him the "Salad cream…" now this was what salad dressing was called when we lived in England and it always undid me…why cream? Doesn’t this almost ruin salad for you?

So it’s not only certain words, but the smug sideways glance he gives when he uses them. On vacation I was sitting on the couch reading my book when I hear him in the kitchen asking his mother what was for dinner. She told him we were planning on having some leftovers and making a salad, you know, just whatever is in the fridge…, “So it’s just a catch as catch can…” he says, and I glance at him peering over at me from the kitchen to make sure I heard the expression he had used, knowing it would bug the crap out of me.Oh, and lest we not forget his talent for doing the robot, or when he pretends to be a birdwatcher and threatens to go buy a feathered bird suit and hide in the backyard to do some of his “Watching…” Oh yes, so these are the games we play, deliberately bugging for Elliot and me is just so darn fun. It’s not in a, “She’s annoying I have to get away from her” kind of a way, but more of a “I’m going to tease and see if I can get a laugh” type of bugging…The most fun of all is when Elliot and I are able to join forces and do this with (or should I say against) the girls. It’s not mean, it’s more a breaking in process, so they won’t be too wussy or the type of person who can dish it out but can’t take it….these really are lessons we are teaching them while having a little fun doing it. Marshall seems to be the easiest target for this, as she embarrasses easily and can sometimes have a low threshold for annoyance, so getting a reaction from her is simple.

And the girls now do this to each other. CeCe knew how much it annoyed her sisters the week she went to dance camp when she called it "Hip Hop Camp." This somehow to them made her seem older and it provoked them all week long. "CeCe, It's Camp Tutu..." They would shout every morning from the back of the car when she mused to herself, "I wonder if I'll do hip hop or jazz at camp today..."

And yes, I do it too, sometimes purposefully, sometimes forgetfully or out of habit. I can't help leaving the top to the peanut butter all lopsided when I half screw it back on after eating a spoonful. It's partly because I'm in a rush and partly because it has sort of become my calling card. Now I hate to be so cliche, but if I didn't describe this I wouldn't be completely honest: I can't use the remote to our television. It has become sort of a thing for us. You know, one of those things that bugs but sort of half-joking bugs...I realized this when I went to watch T.V. last week and found that Elliot had put a label on the remote.

Does this strike anyone else as a bit, um, unfriendly? A friend called later that day and asked if I had seen Oprah, "I'm not supposed to touch the remote," I answered...

So the label maker has become a vehicle for communication for several family members, it was also last week that Sumner had been bugged SO much by her family members that she stuck this doozy on her forehead. In case you don't have your reading glasses, the label says, "Can not talk to me." Geez, point taken, we get it...

But then I go in the laundry room to fold my 6 millionth load of clothes and on the shelf Elliot has put a label that says "Love." So I remember, while bugged, the reason why I do it all in the first place...

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