On Cactus and Koala, Sweaty Gym Guy and Importance of Being Unique

Oh yeah, the title is as “clickbait” as it gets. Guilty as charged. Reader Erik, this one is for you!

So, last week my kids had this interesting conversation. You see, our son is really attached to my husband and constantly complains that daddy should stay at home instead of going to work. He cries and throws a fit about it on a  daily basis.

I tried to explain that if daddy  doesn’t work, we don’t eat. It makes no difference. So, I decided to try something different. I told him that mommy will go to work instead of daddy and he won’t see me all day. To my surprise, he was OK with it. Say what?

So, my daughter decided to interfere. She comes up to her little brother and says: “Listen. It’s like  cactus and koala. Cactus isn’t going to do well in tropical climate and koala will not adapt to dessert.

It’s the same way with mommy and daddy. Daddy will not do well staying at home. He will nap all the time. He won’t do mommy’s chores (My notes: yes, she said that) and he can’t write on her website. Mommy is the “talkster of paragraphs” (My notes: aka blogger) and she  definitely can not fix computers (My notes: amen to that). ”

The crazy thing is, my daughter came up with the illustration on the fly. She is so quick and I have a hard time arguing with her because she is ridiculously clever. Too clever, if you ask me. Sassy, too. Not surprisingly, she is doing very well as school and usually cleans up all the top awards in the class. The problem is, she is a bit odd like me and other kids have a hard time relating to her.

It definitely takes me back to my childhood, when I was  a nerdy awkward kid. Ahh, why pretend, not much has changed. The other day, my daughter came home from school  crying. I asked her what’s wrong, and she said she doesn’t have any friends because kids think she is weird.

Me: You are not weird, you are unique.

Her: I want to be less unique!

Me: No, no, no. You don’t. Kids always thought mommy was weird, and they still do. I’ve embraced who I am. Remember, koala can not be  a cactus.

Her: Actually, you are the cactus in the illustration. You are sharp and prickly. And daddy is the koala because he is cuddly and has a hairy chest.

Me: OK, that’s cool (later she said she meant I was a sharp dresser. Nice try!)

The other day, I finally got the courage to join free dance class at the gym. Boy, did I look ridiculous and out-of-step! But I wasn’t the only one. There was this guy wearing a shirt with cutouts who was in his own world doing latin dance. He was moving all over the place like nobody’s business, and clearly enjoying himself.

I was having a hard time concentrating because I couldn’t take my eyes off of him (sort of like a train wreck). On the one hand, I was thinking he looks totally nuts, not to mention gross from all the sweat. But the other part of me was like: Right on, dude!  Clearly, he has embraced his inner “koala.” Oh yeah, he was pretty hairy too.

I hope I can help my daughter embrace her inner “cactus.” I’m still working on embracing mine.


P.S. I’ll be out of town for the weekend and may not respond to comments or emails till Monday evening. Sorry!

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Image courtesy of Maggie Smith at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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