Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Nature of the Beast(excerpt 'Raising Nick' re: Culture)


Kids say the darndest things. Everyone knows it but I swear this kiddo of mine tops the list.

His latest epiphany: little Viv is a beast.

Here's how he came to this conclusion:

As I sat there feeding Viv in her high chair (she's at the saying "mmm" every time you put food in her mouth stage), Nick comes out of his room to avoid cleaning it.

Nick: Remember when we had Chinese day in 1st grade?

Note: They learned about Chinese customs, ate Chinese food and were given one of those place mats displaying the Chinese zodiac.

The Chinese zodiac, much like the Western zodiac, features twelve signs. Yet, instead of a monthly cycle, each personality is based on a 12 yr cycle. The personality associated with each sign is supposed to be how people perceive you. There are also 4 groups, or Trines, consisting of three similar personalities or perfect balances.

Nick: What year were you born, mom?
Me: 19XX...Never ask a woman that question.

Nick: You are a Rabbit.


I am a rabbit. (haha) Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

Yup, sounds like me except for the whole I'm not Chinese and don't follow this bit.

Rabbits belong to the 4th Trine. The other two personalities in my Trine are the Sheep and the Pig. The quest for these three signs is the aesthetic and beautiful in life. Their calm nature gives them great leadership abilities. They are artistic, refined, intuitive, and well-mannered. These souls love the preliminaries in love, and are fine artists in their lovemaking. The Rabbit, Sheep and Pig have been bestowed with calmer natures than the other 9 signs. These three are compassionately aware, yet detached and resigned to their condition. They seek beauty and a sensitive lover. They are caring, unique, self-sacrificing, obliging, sensible, creative, empathic, tactful, and prudent. They can also be naive, pedantic, insecure, cunning, indecisive, and pessimistic.

Me: What are you?
Nick: I'm a Sheep.


Ah, the Sheep. Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.

Me: What is Dad?
Nick: What year was dad born?

Me: 19XX.

Nick: Whoa. Dad is also a sheep and you know what, the new baby will be a rabbit too! Isn't that cool?!?!


The irony here is that we all belong to the same Trine so in theory, we have the perfect balance for each of our personalities.

Nick: Oh Oh, Mom.
Me: What?

Nick: It says that Viv is a Tiger.


Tiger. Let's see, Tiger, Tiger- ah, TIGER. Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody.

Holy sh*t. I don't know which one I should be more concerned with- Nick being like Gus, this next baby like me, or Viv with this wild-child hat.

Nick: She's going to eat us alive! A rabbit and sheep are a tiger's prey.
Me: ::blink blink::


I love how his brain works.

Incidentally, curious about additional Chinese zodiac information, I checked up on it later. It turns out that the all-knowing place mat lists Viv's birth year as a Tiger however it's also based on birth dates so Viv is actually an Ox. Neither here nor there with me because I don't believe in any of this hocus pocus, just an interesting fact.

Oh, one last thing; In the Western Zodiac, I'm TOTALLY screwed. I'm a Libra. Gus is a Capricorn. Vivian is a Capricorn. (My mom is a Capricorn.) Nick is a Leo and odds are, this next daughter will be a Taurus. Yup, a conflict loathing Libra surrounded by the most hard-headed creatures: goats, a lion and a bull.

God help me. Wait- God + zodiacs... lol

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A wise friend once told me that the key to happiness was to 'Say what you mean and mean what you say'.