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Friday, October 28, 2011

Labels Stick.

I know, you are not suppose to label your children, but as much as parents claim that they don't, they do. In our family, Parker is our social one. Finegan is the smart one, Jack is the artist, and Oscar is a biter.  Unfortunately for Oscar, he has been labeled this and it will probably stick, we also call him a Parana.
Labels are considered a good thing in everything else. I label all my files at work, I have spices labeled.  Early on I was labeled as funny. My sister was labeled as organized and socially retarded and my brother was labeled as talented and perfect. Turns out all of those were true, at least from my parents perspective. And please don't be offended by the word retarded, I mean it in the true sense of the word..
verb |riˈtärd| [ trans. ]
delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment : his progress was retarded by his limp.

My mom blamed this ( and many other things) on her frequent ear infections as a baby.
Anyway, my label was given when at 2 years old I stood up at a family function and told a joke that I had made up, and everyone laughed, not a courtesy laugh, a real laugh. To this day, I still find it pretty darn funny.
Why did the cow cross the road? To mooooooon all the people!  I had come up with this after my brother went on a mooning rampage.  Mooning was much more popular in the 80's.
My sister got her label because she started collecting bugs for her bug collection when she was in 6th grade even though her bug collection wasn't due until 8th grade. Come to think of it, it is probably the same reason she got diagnosed with social retardation too. My dad built her a wooden case with blue felt and she labeled each hexapoda (with her Dymo label maker) and preserved each insect to have it perfectly displayed. Thank goodness, because nine years later I broke into her bug collection that was mounted on a shelf and I used it for my own project. Unfortunately my teacher noticed that the carcass's were a little deteriorated... and knew my sister.
My brother was good looking and talented and got away with anything and everything, even doing flash moonings. This is where a butt shows up where you least expect it, like a laundry hamper or car window and scares the crap out of you. Now as part of his profession he is half naked swinging to and fro on stages around the world. My sister is a successful business woman and I'm...well, entertaining audiences, even if they are forced to listen because they work with me, or they live with me.
So I guess labels stick. I don't want you to think that I tattoo each boy with their life long label, it just inside knowledge that my husband and I are certain of. It doesn't mean that Jack can't bite, or that Oscar can't draw. It just means that each one of them is the best (at least in our family) at one thing.
Yesterday out of the blue, Finegan asked me why we are baptized.  I explained that when you are baptized you become a child of God. (It was the best I could come up with at the time.) Within two seconds, he said, "so when we were born we weren't children of God?"
"Well yes, but..."
"Didn't you say Daddy wasn't baptized until Parker was born? So was he a devil baby?"
"No, why are we talking about this?"
His brain just works differently, analytically and he knows numbers like rain man.
Parker spends his recess playing tag with girls. He knows his third grade drama like a soap opera. These are the days of our lives.... and always wants to be in the center of it.
Jack draws on everything and I have a welt on the back of my arm where the Parana bit me.
In our little circle, the boys have also acknowledged that their brothers are talented. Soicalboy asks Smartypants for the answers to his math work, Smartypants asks socialboy about recess etiquette. It all works out in the end.  Maybe artist boy will paint another Sistine Chapel and Parana will open the cans of paint.  As long as you work your label I don't think they are half bad and although they may not know what their exact label is, they know it is a strength that their brothers can look to them to for expert advice and makes their blood fraternity all that more diverse.

Label on..

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