A brief glimpse into the daily happenings of a 6-year-old, his new baby brother and his family.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Busted by the Thought Police

Remember reading "1984" by George Orwell? Come on, you do. Senior year? Novels in the "dystopia" genre? I know I'm a literature nerd, but surely you do..... it's the one with Big Brother (and I don't mean the reality show). It's also the one with the Thought Police who will swoop in and arrest you if you even thought about challenging the ruling authority. I wrote an awesome paper comparing 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and The Handmaid's Tale. Seriously.. the paper was so good I kinda want to dig it out and read it to Ben as a bedtime story. My lit professor was so impressed. She only wrote compliments in the margins and had nothing critical to say at all. She said it was a "graduate level thesis." But I digress.

Having read the novels, extensively researched each one, read tons of literary criticism related to them, and (most importantly) dutifully viewed all movies related to dystopias, I can easily recognize that I am now LIVING in one. And, the Thought Police in my house are every bit as thorough and all-knowing as those in 1984. Just think about saying "hate" or "shut up" or "kill" in my house... just think it. You'll be swooped down on faster than those guys in that horrible Minority Report movie starring "He Who Shall Not EVER AGAIN be Named because He is Dead to Me" **(BTW: gee, wonder where they got the idea for that movie..).

Here are a few excerpts from my own "Handmaid's Brave New 19-451" (subtitled: Mommy Report)

H: Aww.. I hate it when it is so hot that you sweat walking from the front door to the car.
B: MOMMY! We do NOT say 'hate.' (stern look)

H: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to.
B: Why you say that, Mommy. What can you say instead?
H: I wasn't thinking. I'll try not to say it. I should have said, "I don't like it when it's so hot outside."

B: (icy glare)

While on the phone, the person I'm talking to says something amazing (like "Did you know you can buy bags of Doritos now that have 2 flavors in one bag?")
H: Shut up!
B: MOMMY! What you just said? You said, 'shut up'? (stern look...again)

H: (thinking: aw, crap) Oops. I made a mistake.
B: We don't say those things, Mommy. It's not nice. (icy glare...again)

And, just like those novels, sometimes the accused is innocent and unjustly punished...
H: He didn't really barf. It was more of a 'spit up'
B: (from across the room) Oh, Mommy. We don't say "SHUT UP." That's a time out. Go to the carpet.
H: (rolling eyes) Ben, I didn't say 'shut up'. I said, 'spit up.' You know, like barf. SPIT up.
B: Mommy. I'm not listening. You go to time out and stay there. We don't say those words.
H: Sorry.

For the record, I sat in time out until he came over and said, "Remember. We don't say those words."

**Tom Cruise is "He Who Shall Not EVER AGAIN Be Named Because He is Dead to Me". Re: Brooke Shields/Postpartum comments, Matt Lauer interview, and his general freakshow-ness.

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