02 December 2016
I was lounging in the family room watching the telly when in come me three boyos. I wasn't paying much attention, they had toys they were each involved in and it seemed a typical evening. We had finished dinner, they had gone to do homework while Tonya and Mam cleaned up the dinner things and I made a few phone calls I hadn't got to during the day. It was the usual way we go about the after dinner routine. Until, I hear all this giggling and look up and at the end of the couch is me youngest, the three year old, mooning me, his head almost between his legs looking back at me, his eyes dancing with mischief.
I was speechless!
"What are you doing young man?" I finally asked him as he pulled up his pants and ran off, the other two tearing by after him.
Tonya happened in and I told her what HER youngest had done and she looked very much like she was trying not to laugh.
"Hum," she said sitting next to me. "The other day when I left the sugar out of the cookie recipe," she began, "was because as I was mixing things, O'Hare had come in and said, "Hey Mom, look at me!" and when I did, he was in the hallway mooning me. I told him to straighten up and he left laughing thinking it was very funny. I was shocked and forgot the sugar and that's the reason there were no cookies that night."
I looked at her like I didn't understand, which I did not and she continued.
"Ok, I got a call two days before the cookie disaster that Guido was mooning his teachers at school. It seems he and O'Hare watched some movie on TV where the young guys were mooning girls from their car." She stopped and sighed as if this was just too much. "Anyway, the two of them thought that was very funny, only Guido put it into practise at a public place. Don't look that way, the principal was amused by it, but we nipped it in the bud. Seems your middle son told your eldest that mooning was "prohibited in public places," but was perfectly all right at home, thus . . . "
"Did you tell O'Hare that wasn't true after the cookie incident?"
"I told him it was funny once but it wouldn't be funny twice."
"Ok, and somehow the wee one picked this new art form up?"
"Must have if he just did it." She giggled to herself as if she thought me being mooned was funny stuff.
"Oi!" I said rolling my eyes. "You need to talk with YOUR youngest and straighten this out before he does it in front of company."
It was then she called all three boyos in, clicked off the TV and had them sit on the floor in a row. She told them their mooning days were over which got a chorus of "aw mom" from them with the youngest intoning a second later just to be part of the crowd.
"I want to know what TV programs you watch from now on. You need an adults permission on what you watch."
Another chorus of "aw mom" with the youngest getting the hang of it and chiming in at the right time.
"Why do we hafta check wit ya?" Guido said looking puzzled.
"Because you got this mooning idea from the TV." Tonya said as the two older kiddos exchanged confused looks.
"No we dint." Guido said shaking his head.
"No you didn't?" Tonya said her eyebrows raised in surprise. "Then where did you get the idea from?"
"From Grandma." The two eldest sung out.
It was our turn to exchange looks.
"Grandma?" Tonya asked in disbelief.
"Yup she wuz tellin' us bout when grandpa wuz young an he'd moon da neighbours outta da window." Guido said smuggly and he and O'Hare started chuckling at the thought.
Tonya's lips were pressed together in a line, her eyes narrow as she looked at me. She didn't have to say a word.
I called Mam and she came in. We laid before her what was going on and she shrugged and looking at the row of lads she said, "Ya big Judases'. Ooo-key I wuz tellin' dem sum fomlee stories frum da paa-st an wuz joe-ken wit em aboot yer fahder an I'm a-freed dey got corried awey. Quite a bit corried awey."
Well, this was not expected but there it was. Mam was the culprit. I'd expect such from Tonya's mother but not me own. I didn't know what to say but Tonya did.
"Mom, you are grounded from Irish story telling for a week."
Mam's head snapped in her direction her face an astounded question mark. Tonya wagged a finger at her and she said nothing but bit her lip as she thought about this. It didn't take long before she opened her gob. "Tween't IRISH story tellin' it was English. Da ole man wuz in England at da time of da moonin' incidents of which dere were many. So wot ya mean iz no ENGLISH story tellin'."
We sat there looking at her like WHAT?
The kiddos all voiced yeah no English story telling, the Irish ones were on the table.
In the few days that have passed the "big Judases' as she calls them have come forth with many a tale about their Irish grandda. And each time Mam is taken to task for filling the young ones with stories she says, she told them when she was "allowed ta tell da bhyos da English stories." Me Mam and Da lived in England for a total of one month when they first got married. They went there because he worked in Chelsea for a short time before moving back to the emerald isle. I had not heard the mooning stories but I do believe they were true. Me father, Mam told me, knew he was leaving England and had no love for his English neighbours and took a certain delight in mooning them as they walked by. Seems they lived right by the street, they had no small green space so how delightful was that instead of a small garden for his neighbours? I tell ya! Me Da didn't moon during the day, but with a street light at the curb directly across from their front window, he did it at night.
"It weren't clear wot dey would be lookin' at as dey paa-set by, da street lamp weren't dat bright and many a tyme a gent or ladee would move toward da window squintin' dere eyes only to see his behind in da air at dere faces. Ooh da shock when dey realised jus' wot dey were peerin' at." She peeled off in uncontrollable laughter at that memory and it was infectious, I couldn't help myself. We both got a disapproving looking from Tonya.
I have been grounded from asking me mam to relate any "English" stories and have been put in me place by a disapproving American wife. Sigh.
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