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What Was in the Kool Aid?

New Year's Eve went off without a hitch. The family and I and a close friend went to Amy Ruth's down in Harlem for some end of the year, soul food gluttony and then we retreated to my mother-in-law's where there was plenty of space for several of us to stretch out. It was nice and hot as hell there. Wednesday was a particularly cold day here in New York --- Chicago cold. My drafty little apartment wasn't up for the wind that began howling through New York that afternoon and kept on for the rest of the night. So all was well except...

Upon arriving at my mother-in-law's we unpacked my daughter's toys so that she could be entertained like the rest of us. My daughter, dressed in pigtails, polka dot tights, a dress and sweater was walking along when she saw her mother putting her new Leap Pad from Christmas together (Baby Girl had dismantled it the day before). As she passed the dining room table where we were sitting, she did a double take, looked over her shoulder at her mother and her Leap Pad and said, "Mommy, what tha f#&* are you doing to my Leap Pad?"

It wasn't clearly enunciated, but it was clear enough. My mouth fell open. My wife's eyes widened. Our close family friend screamed from behind the hallway bathroom door.

"What did you say?" asked my wife. I turned and began to burn a hole in my wife's head with my eyes. Baby Girl backed up a bit and let her mouth hang open a bit as if to say, "I know I'm wrong, but I'm not coppin' to it." At this point our friend fell out of the bathroom laughing hysterically. My daughter sort of copped to it by saying, "What the eff," when pressed again.

My wife insisted it wasn't her fault, but what my wife doesn't realize is that as a potty mouth (I am not) she's not aware of when she's cursing. So while she may be conscious of how she speaks in our daughter's presence, she's completely unaware of what she's saying when she's on the phone with friends.

We impressed upon this precious and very innocent looking child that she must not talk that way. I cracked open one of the bottles of Riesling I bought for the night and began drinking. My wife sat there, shellshocked, and rubbed her temples for a good ten minutes.

Fast forward twenty hours to yesterday. My wife, sister-in-law, and son went to visit one of her grandmother's who is currently in the hospital. When it was time to leave my wife told her not to throw any wild parties after they left.

My son, who is at that stage where he insists on being involved in grown folks business, jumped in and said he wanted to go to whatever party his great grandmother was throwing. To which she replied, no grandson of hers was coming to any party she threw (she's a classy woman who turned Harlem on it's ear back her heyday).

It was all fun and games...

Until, according to my wife, my son said: "I can wear a thong and come in a fireman's outfit. I'll knock on the door and say there's a fire in my pants." He then proceeded to thrust his hips, swing an imaginary fire hose and hum out techno music sounds.

Again, mouths fell open before he was dragged from his great grandmother's hospital room.

Is it too much sugar or too much Family Guy (a cartoon that makes me cringe)? I need to add a New Year's promise to my list. One that goes something like: put my kids in church.

Kids...gotta love 'em.

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