After being a part of the kids’ lives for over 11 years, they are bound to pick up at least some of my habits, mannerisms, and ways of doing things. Sometimes it’s completely awesome (like Sunflower organizing her dresser drawers by color), and sometimes just hilarious, like the kids playing along with certain jokes, taking things 100% literally, hopping out of a room like a bunny rabbit when Gary asks them to hop out for a minute. (This is always followed by Gary’s deep, exasperated sigh and a dirty look shot in my general direction, while the kids and I laugh).
Sometimes I hear them talking in another room, and I catch a pet phrase and have to smile a little, because it’s like listening to them read straight from the Book of Smirking Cat. Occasionally it’s even delivered in the same tone of voice.
I feel happy and proud when they imitate me or repeat something I’ve said or retell a joke I’ve shared. I find myself doing the same, picking up on certain jokes or turns of phrase or specific gestures. It’s like we share pieces of each other, in some small way.
That makes me wonder how Crow feels when one of the kids tells a lie, or takes something that isn’t theirs, or shrugs their shoulders flippantly and demands a hand-out they didn’t earn yet still expect. I know these things happen, because they tell us about them, usually tattling on each other, and not surprisingly, they happen almost exclusively in Hickville, surrounded by the in-bred gaggle of sanity-challenged nitwits they are forced to live among there.
Is she one proud egg donor when one of the kids emulate her and lie straight to her wrinkled face? Does she burst with joy when she recognizes petty and selfish actions birthed from her own filth? Or does she get pissed off that the shitty behavior she has taught them over the years is getting turned around and used on her?
I’m guessing the last option. Crow believes that being an insufferable asshole is her exclusive right, no matter how unoriginal or trite her tactics may be.
I’ve always believed the kids are better than her. We most certainly teach them better than that. It’s hard to accept that it’s largely out of our hands, though. They are either going to open their eyes to what she really is, and decide that they want rise above that, or they are going keep their eyes squeezed tightly shut and blindly follow the same polluted path to being a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward. Just like her.