Are there times when it feels like your kids are being a bit too nosy? My stepdaughters seem to have a penchant for this, and it annoys me to no end. Mind you, we're not talking about their innocent and sincere curiosity to interpret the bigger world through inquiries as to the intent behind my actions. I'm perfectly willing to explain things such as how I managed to fix their broken Barbie party helicopter, or why I flipped the guy off at Wal Mart who failed to heed the stop sign as we attempted to negotiate the rigors of the crosswalk.
No. Instead it's the questions loaded with the insinuation of, you have something better/more fun/tastier than I, and I should have it too. Add to this the manner in which the girls will question me, and the needle on my agitation gauge is bouncing frantically beyond the red letters marked "Danger." They know full well those are cookies I'm holding, but they still ask what's in my hand, feigning ignorance in a tone that already has indicted me of a crime before I ever reply. It's much like appearing before a Senate hearing and being unfairly painted into a corner by the leading nature of the questioning. "Oh, so those are cookies in your possession, Stepfather. And what, you thought you'd just keep them for yourself without informing members of Congress?"
These inquisitions are so regular that I've formulated a standard response in the same stonewalling vein of pleading the Fifth.
Allie: Hey, whatcha eating?
Me (jamming another spoonful of ice cream into my face): Nun-Ya.
Me: Yeah, nun-ya. As in nun-ya business.
Avery: So whadda doing?
Me (clicking away at the game controller in my hand): Nun-Ya.
Me: Yup. Nun-ya business.
Allie: Where ya going?
Me: To get a extra large box of Nun-ya. We're just ran out.
Avery: What are you drinking?
Me: An ice-cold glass of Diet Nun-Ya.
Allie: Whatcha watching?
Me: The Chronicles of Nun-Ya.
My sarcasm hasn't cut down on the frequency of their self-serving questioning; however, watching them roll their eyes as they leave me to my few moments of indulgent solitude causes that agitation needle float back to "Safe."
So, the other day while watching the girls get off the bus, I noticed Avery bent awkwardly forward as she walked--gimped actually--towards me. It was obvious that her bulging backpack was forcing her to compensate for its weighty contents giving her the appearance of a pint-sized Hunchback of Notre Dame. Certain that Avery hadn't been afflicted by the same encumbered gait when she left for school, I couldn't help but wonder what she had since stuffed into the backpack. A discarded set of Encyclopedia Britannicas? Fifty pounds of quality Columbian flake? An illegal alien maybe (after all this is Houston people)?
Squinting my eyes, I asked, "Whadda you hauling in that big ol' backpack, girl?"
Turning her head but only slightly enough so as to not throw off her balance, Avery looked up at me and grinned. "Nun-ya."
...smart ass kids.