In almost 200 posts, I have only reposted once before. But in honor of Breast Awareness Month, I am once again sharing my son's first mammaries--outside my own, that is. He was 6 and excited about his first homework assignment in Kindergarten.
Spouse was sitting at the dining room table helping him. He was to cut out six pictures of things that begin with the letter "M" and glue them on a piece of paper.
"Let your child find the pictures himself," the instructions read. "Your role is to guide him."
Spouse had a pile of Newsweeks on the table.
"Here's an M-picture," he said excitedly. "M-M-Marilyn Monroe."
"Great, Dad, I'll cut it out."
"Ahem," I said from the kitchen where I was doing the dishes. "What is Marilyn wearing?"
"Something M-M-Marvelous," said Spouse.
"Nix that one," I said. "Remember these are kindergartners, after all."
"Mom! What's wrong with Marilyn?"
"Yeah, Mom," said Spouse. "What's wrong with Marilyn?"
"I don't think 'Mistress' is on the kindergarten vocabulary list yet, guys."
They turned the page. "Here's a man," Spouse pointed.
"All right, Dad!"
"Ahem. Kindergartner’s supposed to find the pictures," I reminded them.
"OK," said Spouse. "He can find the next one."
"Hey, here's a map," Spouse shouted.
"Ahem. Let Kindergartner find the M pictures."
"OK. OK. Next time."
"Look, here's another map," Spouse whispered.
"You can't have two maps. Try to find some other picture," I called from the doorway.
"Micromanager. That starts with M," he called back.
I vowed to keep my M shut. Men and women have different approaches to things. That's supposed to be good, right? And then I heard:
"Hey, look at these pictures. They're famous. See that man? That's President Kennedy. And he was riding in that limo with the top down and some guy shot him. And see, this is his wife. She's reaching for a chunk of his head."
“Spouse!" My vow went down the drain.
"Well, Murder starts with M," he declared.
And so does Mistake. “Nix it," I ordered. They turned the page.
"Hey, Kid, look, here's a machine gun."
I was out-voted. Thankfully, Kindergartner’s motor skills were uneven. He cut the gun in half and they decided to nix it.
"Here's a monkey," Spouse announced.
"Great, Dad. Thanks for finding it. I like doing homework with you."
I should have been minding my Ms & Qs, but I snuck a peek.
It was a monkey, all right. And a bald man next to him. Charles Darwin. "I hope the kindergarten teacher, Mrs. O'Reily, Mrs. O'Reily from St John's parish, you know, the former nun, doesn't think this is some sort of hidden message," I said.
M's the word.
By then, they have a man, two maps, and Darwin and his ape. And it only took 45 minutes.
But next: "Where have all the Ms gone, Dad?” Kindergartner asked.
"Oh, here's one, honey. Mammary gland."
It took me a minute to process this. Then I rushed into the dining room and saw my son had just cut out an illustrated picture of a breast.
"You can't use that." I ripped it out of his hand.
"I can, too."
"He can, too."
"He can not."
"Mom," my son began to cry. “That's my M, that's my M."
"This M is rated X," I said. "Sorry."
I decided it was time for the big M herself to take over the project. Spouse was just as happy. Now he could find his own Ms on the nightly news--murder, mayhem, and mammary glands.
I flipped through some pages determined to find some benign Ms. But the M-hunt was harder that I thought.
We found another man, another map, another machine gun, and more mammaries —this time belonging to the mistress M-M-M-onica.
Where were all those people with the milk mustaches when you needed them?
Kindergartner was quickly losing interest. Finally we hit a gold mine. "Look! Here's a monster, and a moon, and wow, Mickey Mouse."
"Hey, I thought I was supposed to find..."
"Just cut," I said, handing him the scissors.
Five minutes later, we were finished. I sent Kindergartner to bed and continued the M-Hunt myself. The M&M Hunt, that is.
I thought I deserved a reward for making it through Kindergartner’s first homework assignment!