By today's standards, my mom started young. She was twenty-six when I was born, and twenty-eight when she had my brother. Or maybe it just sounds young to me because I can't imagine having a nine and seven year-old right now. That just seems unfathomable. I barely have the means to keep myself afloat, let alone two kids - and my collection of ex-boyfriends has done just as much damage to my credit score as it has they have to my… psyche, so they wouldn't have been much help in the child care payment department. But I digress.
I think my mother's youth contributed largely to her parenting style - particularly when it came to pet names. "Big Girl Parts" and "Big Boy Parts" were the appropriate identifiers for our genitals, "Bottom Burp" was our label for farting, and I assume because LA is close to the border and my parents were big on instilling culture in my brother and me at a young age, we used the Spanish word "moco" for boogers. Not so terrible, until it came to dirty diapers, whereupon my mom or dad would look at us and ask if we had "snacks" in our pants.
That's right - Snacks.
What the fuck does that even mean!? A snack is a tasty morsel of food to tie you over until dinner, or enjoy at the movies, or to help pass the time at work while you're chained to your desk wondering what to blog about - NOT something you shit out in your pants. Who wants to eat that? Sure, maybe some cultures do. Hell, in some cultures it may even be considered a delicacy, but certainly not in developed countries.
I needed to teach my parents a lesson. They needed to realize the error of their ways. I may have only been a toddler, but I knew when something was gauche.
We were at the bank. It was another sunny day in Los Angeles - a scorcher. The air was ripe with sweat and musk. Security Pacific's air conditioner couldn't keep up with the steadily rising mercury of the thermometer, and the natives were getting restless. Mom stood patiently in line waiting for the next teller, but I was pretty squirmy. Looking back, my fidgeting probably had less to do with the heat and more to do with the dump I needed to take. So mom set me down and allowed me to wander around.
Finally! A moment to myself, free of the constriction of my mother's arms, to take care of business. I got really quiet - too quiet. By the time mom registered what was happening, it was too late; my hands were already down the back of my pants, and when I pulled them out, I proudly held them up to my mother and proclaimed, "Snacks!"
She promptly ditched her place in line to grab me and - mortified - ran out of the bank.
Serves her right, I say. Let this be a lesson to all you parents out there: think twice about the cutesy names you assign to anatomical and biological matters, lest they backfire. Kids have an uncanny knack for throwing grown-ups under the bus.