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August 2004 | Vol. III - No. 8




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I´ve Only Got Eyes for You, K-Line!


It looks like my eleven-year-old son has come down with the same affliction his older sister suffered from a few years ago--Rolling Eyeball Syndrome. The symptoms appear whenever his father or I open our mouths to speak. They also manifest whenever he´s exposed to something symbolic of childhood--Disney movies, Fisher-Price toys, or anything that might be construed as innocent, boyish or grotesquely "uncool." It´s really gotten quite serious.

Take the other day for example. Things got so bad I thought I might have to take him into the ER for an Ocularectomy, which I believe is Latin for "get over it kid or I´ll really give you something to roll your eyes about." Fortunately, the condition seemed to resolve itself. You see, we were cleaning out his closet…

Me: What about this felt board with the storybook characters? You used to play with that for hours. Do you really want to throw it out?

Son: (Hunched over his electronic handheld game. Eyes bounce heavenward like two helium balloons) Dude! Are you for real?

Me: Fine. We´ll give it to your cousin. Okay, so what about your green army guys and these remote control robots you had to have? Still interested in keeping them?

Son: (Deep sigh. Eyes bounce around several times like ping-pong balls) Dude? Whatever. I don´t care.

Me: I take it that means "no". Okay. Moving on. What about all these board games—Sorry, Scrabble, Clue--keep or give away?

Son: (Grimace. Sneer. Eyes begin spinning like a roulette wheel) Dude! C´mon!

Me: First, in case you haven´t noticed, I am NOT a dude! Second, if you don´t care about anything in here, why don´t I just call in a Hazmat team and have it hauled away?

Son: (Eyes rotate so fast they look like a slot machine--expect to see two cherries pop up instead of eyeballs when they stop.) Dude! Talk about overreacting!

Me: (Seeing that his condition is worsening and fearing that his eyes may just shoot out of his head like a pair of tomahawk missiles.) I´ll tell you what son. I´m just going to slowly back out of the room and let you figure out what you want to do with this stuff. I´ll check back in an hour or so. How does that sound, Sweetie?

And I got the heck out of Dodge.

Sixty minutes later, I moved cautiously toward my son´s room the way paparazzi might approach Sean Penn. I poked my head in.

There he sat, cross-legged on the floor before his old train set, the engine and cars clickety-clacking full speed, whistling and belching puffs of smoke as they circled the oval track.

Me: How´s it going?

Son: (Eyes stable and bright.) Great Mom!

And he smiled.

I closed the door softly behind me as I left.

Husband: How´s he doing?

Me: Dude! It´s a medical miracle! Thank goodness for K-Line Electric Trains.




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Kris DeckerWriter's Bio: She endures eternal Minnesota winters by writing freelance articles, essays and features. Her two kids (a rich source of poignant, humorous, and most happily, free material) are the inspiration for much of her work focusing on the topics of kids, parenting, families, individuality and creativity. Read more articles by this author

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