You can learn a lot from driving a carpool. For instance, I've learned that a car full of kids may cause permanent hearing loss in a mere five minutes. Especially if they are yelling, "Do you like chili-ghetti?!?" at random strangers as we drive past, in a sort of non-scientific public opinion poll. You can also glean valuable information regarding which girls the boys "like" and who said something funny in class. This insider knowledge can then be used as leverage to get your boys to do their chores or be nice to one another!
My friends and I joke that our boys are the "goody-goody" type. (Hey, there are definitely worse things!) We call them "the squares" because they are so studious and conscientious and supportive of all the boys in their group. Sometimes they surprise me with their focus on school even in the midst of other activities. Case in point: On one return trip from lacrosse, I had three sweaty players packed into my car. You'd think after a strenuous practice they'd be discussing something testosterone-y. Nope. I hear, "Dude, dude..." (because boys start every sentence like this). "Hey, what's your lexile score?" Uh huh. They want to know who is reading at or above grade level.
So maybe that one time was a fluke. Certainly they are back there gossiping and swearing and plotting diabolical pranks, wouldn't you think?
My friend told me that her husband came home shaking his head at the conversation he heard on the way to another practice. Our two boys were discussing the time they met at Cub Scout Camp as younger siblings and how they immediately knew they'd be great friends. But there was worry because, "I didn't know if I'd ever get to see you again!" (Never mind that they went to the same school and were in the same grade...) They refer to this meeting as their friendship anniversary. How cute is that?
Last week I was treated to a critique on music.
"Dude! Dude! Do you like this new Eminem song? Personally, I like his solo stuff more than the duets.
"Yeah, there's a lot more swearing in his old stuff."
They moved on to a discussion of other musical likes and dislikes and I predicted that in true "square" fashion they'd end with a Kumbaya-type pronouncement that it's all good. I was totally shocked when the conversation switched and took on a different tone:
"Dude, I hate stuff by Katy Perry or Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift."
"Yeah, they suck." (Cue high-pitched imitation of current pop hits).
"I'd like to stab them in the back."
"Yeah dude! Hey, write a song about this: 'I'm dead because I got stabbed in the back but my music still sucks!'" (Cue scary maniacal laughter from the back seat).
Dude. That's when I readjusted my rearview mirror to keep a closer eye on those sweet, innocent, lovable boys.
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