"I have an announcement, people," our fourteen-year-old said as we sat down at the dinner table.
"You're a FATTY?!" replied her older brother. I know. Don't get me started. I don't get it either. For some reason this is a word of choice for him. We've learned to tune it out.
"No." (See. Didn't faze her.) "Bobbi and I made an important scientific discovery today."
My husband's eyebrows said, "Now what?"
"You're a FATTY?!"
"No." She is unflappable. "You know the aliens in cartoons?"
"How are cartoons science?" Her younger brother exchanged the look with the other two kids. Let the games begin.
"Wait, just hear me out." Here we go. Her hands have assumed their debating positions. Everyone scoot back a titch.
"You believe in aliens?!"
"Hey, Mrs. C. said they could be out there, just like us, wondering how we're surviving, but you're missing the point."
"IS there a point?"
"Yes. We made an important discovery. I'm trying to tell you. You know how aliens in cartoons have high voices?"
"So you think cartoons are REAL?"
She can hardly stay in her seat. It's just too easy to get her going.
"No, stop. Just listen. Okay. . . "
"How do you even know there is such a thing as aliens?" Even the youngest couldn't resist some action.
"They could be. How would a third-grader know? Anyway, if you'd just let me finish. . ."
"How long is this story going take?"
"Let me tell you!"
Time for mercy. "Okay, what important scientific discovery did you make today?"
"We figured out why aliens in cartoons have high voices."
We gotta give. "Why?"
"It's because when stars explode they emit helium."
Oh, brother. Do you think we need to take them out more?