I was going to title this post, "My Kid is Weirder than Your Kid," but then I realized that would be akin to stripping naked except for a strategically placed jaunty red scarf, and then traipsing happily through the streets of Pamplona on a certain sunny July afternoon in Spain. Because The Weirdness afflicts the under-12 age group in such numbers that I'm not even sure the term "weird" makes any sense when applied to kids. Right? Because if they are all little weirdos, then doesn't that just make "weirdo" the new norm?
I've read lots of theories on why pregnant women get all those strange cravings during pregnancy (carrots dipped in nutella, anyone?), but I remain convinced that it is nature's way of easing us into the Carnival of Weirdness that's shortly to begin in earnest. I mean, once you've found yourself crying in the middle of Schnuck's because you can't find your favorite brand of olives, and you really want a bowl of Cap'n Crunch that tastes exactly like you remember it tasting 20 years ago (and not at all like the stuff that poser "Cap'n" is pushing nowadays), you are slowly on the road to being able to continue a phone conversation in a normal tone of voice while watching your own beloved alien child cavort in front of you with underwear on head, socks on hands, and magic marker covering the rest of her lotion-scented body.
So here's Annika's thing recently: when I vacuum, Annika likes to follow me around the house, in her underwear*, and sit cross-legged in the jet stream of warm, allergen-laden air that shoots out the back of the canister. It's like her own little kid-meditation time, with her eyes closed listening to the white noise of the vacuum's jet-engine-like drone, and scooting along on her bottom as I move from room to room. Stinky, hot air blasting your face? "Ooooommmmmm," murmurs Anni.
But, Wednesday is for Weirdos! Bring it on! Let me hear your best Tales of the Weird. (And, no, this isn't just about your kids. I'd love to hear about the guy on the subway next to you last Monday!)
* Most stories of weirdness include the phrase "in his/her underwear" at some point, but this phrase is not technically required for a winning entry.