What They’re REALLY Asking …
by Gina Valley
What’s on your head mom?
Sometimes it’s not what’s asked but rather who asks it that reveals the true query.
What’s on your head mom?
For example, yesterday a friend said someone asked him to describe himself in three words. He asked me which three words I’d pick. I didn’t know which three words to pick because I wasn’t sure who was asking. The three words I think of as his friend are a bit different than the three words I’d use to describe his business savvy to potential clients or his personality to a potential date. “Who’s asking?” makes all the difference. It defines the question.
What’s on your head mom?
What’s the real question? Depends who’s asking.
From Son#1 “What’s on your head, Mom?” means “Mom, I think your mind might have slipped a gear because you have a stripe across your forehead.”
From Son#2 “What’s on your head, Mom?” means “Did you paint that stripe on there because we’re going to a game? Who’s playing? How much were the tickets? Do we have good seats? When are we leaving? Ooo! I gotta go put a jersey on!”
From Son#3 “What’s on your head, Mom?” means “Are you having some sort of cool allergic reaction to something that I could figure out and talk about during science at school? I’m gonna go get a camera! This is gonna be another ‘A’ for sure!”
From Son#4 “What’s on your head, Mom?” means “Oh!! You were doing something, fun, weren’t you?!?! What totally cool thing were you doing when that happened? Can I do it, too? What were you eating when you did that? And, what’s for dinner ? Can I eat something now? Do we have popsicles?”
From Niece#1 “What’s on your head, Auntie G?” means “Auntie G, you’re not supposed to draw on your head. Miss Johanna told me we aren’t supposed to draw on our head or our neck or our arms or our legs or our friends. Kelley had to sit in time out because she drew on Williams head. William was crying ‘cause he thought it was blood, but I don’t know why ‘cause it was blue marker.”
From Niece#2 “What dat on your head, Auntie G?” means “WHY dat on your head? WHY dat red? WHY dat there? Why? Why? Why?”
From Daughter#3 “What’s on your head, Mom?” means “As I look at your head, Mom, I notice something that I’m pretty sure I can leverage into a discussion to put off doing my homework for another 20 minutes, maybe longer if I really work at it.”
From Daughter#2 “What’s on your head, Mom?” means “I’m doing my best N OT to giggle, because I refuse to admit to myself or to you that I find your antics amusing, despite the fact that my tiny dimples betray that I am doing everything I can to squelch a smile that is trying desperately to appear because I’m looking at that stripe and just know there is a funny reason it’s there.”
But, from Daughter#1, who is living deep in the jungles that are teenage-girl-hood and is the actual asker of the question, “What’s on your head, Mom?” can mean only one thing. It means “How could you have something like that on your head when you know how much it’s going to embarrass me?”
And, that question kinda makes me laugh. A lot.
Naturally, in an effort to ease her gently away from self-centered “teenagyness,” I told her that I had drawn it there with a Magic Marker for the sole and express purpose of embarrassing her. Then, having observed her reaction, I reminded her that many teens every year get their eyes stuck in the back of their heads when they roll them one too many times at their parents.
In case you’re wondering what exactly was on my head, it was a bright red, inch wide stripe of sunburn running across the top of my forehead.
It did not look good.
I had schmeared some aloe vera gel across it to speed healing (isn’t aloe amazing?!?!) so it had a sort of snot-like sheen going for it, too. It was VERY attractive. Even better, my nose was the only other part of my face exhibiting a coordinating crimson color. Apparently, I had forgotten where my face ended and that I have a nose when I applied sunscreen before sitting in the sun at a track meet all day. Did I mention how attractive I looked?
On this “What’s on your head, Mom?” day I was scheduled to meet an online friend face-to-face for the first time. It really was a perfect day for it. I told him, “Don’t worry, if it’s foggy you can find me by following the glow of my Rudolph-like nose until you see the snot schmeared, red stripe along the top of my forehead” (Not sure if it was courageousness or curiosity that drove him, but he was early for our meeting).
And, as if to prove my theory correct, Daughter#1 added as I got ready to go out the door, in what I can only assume was an attempt to make me giggle even more, “Do you want to borrow my cover stick to cover that up?” I had to laugh at that because what she really meant was “I will die if you go outside with that showing on your head, Mom.”
I went anyway.
Don’t worry. She survived!
Laugh Out Loud!
Do you remember your parents embarrassing you? Did you ever embarrass them? Do your kids pretend they don’t have parents? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.