The Pied Piper and his Kazoo

There are times when being a parent is the hardest thing in the world. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was tell Fric and Frac their brother died. Then hold their hands as they grieved when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and die. I have to admit, it really sucked being a mommy then.

Then there are the times when your body is infected by some mutant plague, you can't breathe through your nostrils, your throat is on fire, you have an invisible piano strapped to your ass and you have small children who not only demand you feed them but shower them with attention.

Parenting can be brutal at times.

But then there are times when all the shit, early morning rising, sassy attitudes, unkempt bedrooms, teacher-parent conferences, vomiting, nightmare-inducing parental moments are rewarded.

I don't mean when your kid looks at you with their big eyes and tells you they love you. Although that is nice, who are we kidding? That is just a payment for the time we squeezed those little buggers out of our soft pink bits after harbouring a watermelon for almost ten months who liked to play "kick mommy's kidneys" as often as possible.

We've earned those 'I love you's', especially after giving birth and giving up all rights to rest and sanity for the next year or so.

What I'm referring to is the rare moments when your child surprises you by doing something cute or charming or completely out of character, thereby shocking you into remembering that yes, yes you do like being a parent and unpaid servant to small people.

Luckily for me, my middle child, Frac, supplied me with just such a moment Friday night. I have relived that particular moment over and over and each time I get all warm and fuzzy. It is a memory I will carry with me always and try to remember out when he is caught sneaking out of the house and trying to hot-wire the family station wagon.

I was standing at my new fabulous stove, which I hardly ever use because I don't want to wreck it, browning some fresh ground beef. Frac walked into the kitchen with something shiny and green in between his lips and he was blowing on it.

"Phfft, phfft," was what it sounded like. I thought it was a broken whistle and gave no more thought to it as I turned back to try and prevent myself from burning yet another family meal.

"Mom, could you fix this? It's broken and it won't work," Frac whined as he handed over the shiny, green object.

As I took the item in question I realized what the hell it was. Quickly I looked at Frac, but it was obvious he was clueless.

"Just what is this, Frac?" I asked innocently.

"It's a kazoo. Fric gave it to me. But I can't get it to work. It's brand new. I saw her take it out of the wrapper." He sounded very disappointed that he was cheated out of a working kazoo.

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Walking over so I could get a clear view of Fric's room, I could see her laughing her ass off, with her head buried in her pillow. When she looked up she had tears streaming down her face and she made the "shhh!" sign and motioned for me not to spill the beans.

Sigh. What to do when one child is so obviously tormenting another? Any responsible parent would break it up right then and there.

Screw it.

"Why don't you show me how to play it? Maybe you are using it wrong," I told Frac as I handed it back to him. I could hear my daughter trying to stifle her muffled howls in the background.

"Fric sure thinks the kazoo is a funny instrument," Frac muttered as he proceeded to try and make sweet kazoo music.

Phfft, phfft. Phfft..-

Interupting my son and his stellar kazoo skills, I took the item in question and told him I think I knew what the problem with the kazoo was.

"Fric! March your little ass in here!" She came in, holding her sides which I presume were killing her from laughing so hard and tried to stop her giggles.

"You see Frac, the problem here isn't how you are playing the kazoo. It seems to be the kazoo itself. Probably because it isn't a kazoo at all. It's a tampon applicator."

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Picture this, but plastic, green and more kazoo-like.

Fric howled with laughter at this point, unable to contain her delight.

Frac was mystified. Until he remembered what a tampon was. Then he was mortified. He hurled the "kazoo" down like it was toxic. "Thanks Frac," he indignantly replied.

"You're welcome," she responded.

Ah, such polite children I have I thought to myself as I picked up the kazoo and went to toss it into the garbage. I started to giggle at the thought of my son blowing a tampon applicator and soon I was howling. Turning around, I offered it to Frac and asked him if he'd like one more blow on the kazoo for old time sake.

He shot me a death glare and muttered something about exacting revenge when his father was home and he wasn't outnumbered by females and marched off to the sanctuary of his manly room.

Fric followed, probably to see if she could convince him a maxi-pad was a bandaid.

I love being a parent. It doesn't get much better than moments like those.

Even if it means burning the hamburger ... again.