Once when Christian and Erik and I were watching a movie from the 1930’s on the idiot box, we weren’t even aware of the change taking place in Erik. The phraseology form the movie was seeping into his impressionable young brain, but didn’t make it’s way out of his mouth until that evening.
3 hours after the movie was over, Christian and I were treated to Erik, strutting down the hall toward the bathroom, squawking, “He’s off his nut about a mile and a half”, in the twangy, rapid-fire way you would expect that line to be delivered.
I realized recently that this is what we encourage in our children. The weirdness that comes out of them, and when it happens, it is rewarded handsomely with laughter and sometimes photos and me writing down phrases they have uttered. I unearthed a page last week from a journal I was keeping of lots of funny, odd things that members of our family said or did, and found this gem:
I definitely need to get one of those going again, because looking back on that shit is priceless. You need to do this, too. That shit is priceless.
I gave Becket a much-needed time out the other afternoon, as he is going through a terrible scream-whine phase and it turns him into the devil and breaks all of our eardrums. (I’m sure there have been several studies regarding the inhumanity of time-outs for your kids, but I haven’t boned up on my punishment tips lately, and I figure this is still a better alternative to whacking them.)
So after a few minutes wee little Beckett has calmed down and I go to fetch him back to be part of our family once more and I find him doing push ups with his scrawny little 5 year old body- in his underwear. He sees me and jumps up, performs a few spastic jumping jacks and runs in a small circle.
It was one of those moments where you are pleasantly shocked to have a child who just thought of doing something like that on their own and laughs about it with you when they see you laughing. Pow. Magical time out.
It’s fun to see the quirks that seep out of our children and it’s fun to see them not giving a crap about looking weird. It’s fun to encourage this weirdness and to see where else it takes them. I think this can’t help but foster creative thinking, and you do know that the world is trending in that direction, right?
I think there are people in this world who understand and appreciate the quirk, and those who don’t and I find myself feeling sorry for the people who don’t get it, because it’s really most of the important things. That weirdness- that sense of enjoying something just because it’s poetically “off”, and recognizing the brilliance in it.
This post started off going on a totally different track, but I was inspired by Andrea from About 100% and her post on the subject of weirdness.