Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Loose lips

I think I may have just made the biggest mistake of my life. You know, the kind that comes back to haunt you over and over and over and over .............. again. Me and my big mouth.

It went like this:

We were on the way home from violin lessons, which for the uninformed, or for those who can't keep track, means that Andrew, Mariana, Eden, and I were in the car together. On they radio they asked listeners to call in with examples of "family secret code." These were explained as those little sayings between family members that mean something to them but wouldn't mean anything to anyone else.

We talked about our own family secret codes (which are fairly numerous, actually).

Well, let me back up. In my family of origin there's one word that says it all, "Tim." Now, I'm not going to go into detail here because it's way too difficult to explain in writing and I assure you, you wouldn't get it, but if my mom, brother, or I should happen to say the name, it would elicit hours of tear- and pee-inducing laughter.

Okay, so in my current family, Mariana mentioned the first secret code: 8:53. This little time announcement is not used to announce the time but instead means, "I'm really tired of being asked when we are going to do such-and-such so for the time being I'm just going to say 8:53, no matter how many times you ask, so don't bother asking again." It can also be translated as, "Do you really need to know exactly what we are doing at exactly what time? Believe me, we won't leave you behind. You'll find out on a need-to-know basis and you'll have plenty of time to get ready." Or, if you're lucky, it means, "I've already told this to at least 5 other siblings so if you really want the right answer, go ask one of your siblings." This comes from the Disney Cruise when I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the time the 6th child asked me when the evening entertainment would begin. I shouted out (okay, maybe it wasn't exactly my nicest mom voice) "8:53," and from that day to this 8:53 is the start time for many King family activities.

"Get off the escalator." This is a new one and all credit goes to Jesse's homeroom teacher (I think) or some other highly gifted educator at Mechanicsburg Middle School who, at the beginning of the school year, told the kids a story about a boy on an escalator going up. When the escalator suddenly stopped for some unexplained reason, the boy just stood there, waiting for it to move once again. The moral of the story is quite easy to figure out and I think it's brilliant. You probably don't want to hear me tell you to get off the escalator.

We were in the middle of reminiscing about another King family secret code when a caller to the radio station announced that whenever she or her husband yells "1-4-3" across the room to the other, it's their code for "I love you." The caller was announcing this for the first time publicly and admitted that her children were with her as she was calling and were learning this for the first time.

For some reason this woman's surprise revelation (sounds like one of those confessions that could end up on Oprah or Dr. Phil) loosened my lips and I spilled forth a secret family code that the childrens' dear father and I used while dating (and probably for a few bliss-filled years following). He would gently tap out the following pattern: Tap. Pause. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Pause. Tap. Tap. Tap. Or, sitting next to me in class, he would lean over and in my notes, romantically write l llll lll. I would know immediately that he was telling me that he loved me. I fell for it. Hook. Line. And sinker.

Insert: Ahhhhhhh, that's so romantic.


(He is, after all, a King)















Or if you're more like my children: Why????????? That's so cheesy. Or corny. Why didn't you just say it?

I honestly don't know. I don't know how it started. I don't know why it continued. And I really don't know why I told my children. Especially this particular grouping.

(We managed to graduate even while writing patterns of endearment to each other in class. One of us with honors.)


Now Andrew goes around tapping me on the shoulder. Only he doesn't do it right. John's tapping was very gentle and most definitely said, "I love you." Andrew's is more like a nail gun and says something like, "I really like you guys and you're great parents but this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of and I'm never going to let you forget it."

Oh dear. Now if friends start tapping me when they pass, in much the same way they clucked at me after reading that particular post, I'll know I'm in trouble.


(Engaged! But love me, love my dog. See last post if you don't get it.)

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