I’ve recently discovered something that could pretty much blow your mind. Well, if you watch Sherlock and/or The Big Bang Theory anyway. If you don’t, maybe you’ll enjoy this post anyway. I don’t know. You do you.
Here’s my discovery: I live with Sheldon Cooper AND Sherlock Holmes.
Right now, I’m pretty much John Watson and Leonard Hofstadter rolled into one. And you know what? These are not easy roles to fill. John and Leonard are often perplexed, and flummoxed, and under-appreciated. They’re smart, funny guys, but their roommates give them little credit. They should have their own lives and dreams and goals, but more often than not, they spend their days embroiled in the eccentric and egomaniacal shenanigans of Sheldon and Sherlock.
My children (even though there are three of them – just go with it) are Sheldon and Sherlock. And I, their bewitched, bothered, and bewildered mother, am John and Leonard, dragged along for the ride.
Here’s what I mean:
1. Like Sheldon, three-year-olds do not understand sarcasm. Or metaphors. Or figurative language of almost any kind. So listening to song lyrics, which are pretty much entirely comprised of figurative language, with a three-year-old, is a little like having all the fun sucked out of the music. I know this because I made myself a playlist on our music system. This way, whenever a window of opportunity to listen to NOT FROZEN or NOT DORA opened up, I’d have some music that I actually liked all ready to go. I chose upbeat songs with lyrics that would be fine when the kids were hanging around. (Sorry Ben Folds, you’ve been relegated to my rare solo car trips.) One of my favorites on my playlist is “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys. I like to belt it out while I load the dishwasher and refill the dogs’ bowls because, damn, this girl-in-a-frizzy-ponytail-wearing-yesterday’s-shirt-to-do-gross-and-mundane-housework is ON FIRE! Obviously.
I’ve got “Girl on Fire” cranked as I’m working in the kitchen one day when The Enforcer comes up to the baby gate to watch me. She listens for a second and says, “Why that girl has fire on her? It’s not good to be on fire. Fire burns you!”
Me: “Yes, fire does burn you, but she doesn’t really mean that she’s on fire. She just means that she’s doing great and she’s really going places. Sometimes people say they’re on fire to mean they’re feeling good.”
Enforcer: “It is not good to have fire on you.”
Me: “Yeah, I know. It’s not. But she’s not really on fire.”
Enforcer: “Fire burns you!”
Me: (sighs) “Yup. Sure does. Let’s just skip this song, I guess. I didn’t really need to listen to my favorite song anyway.” (Which was sarcasm. Which was totally lost on The Enforcer.)
2. Sheldon and Sherlock are both very good at letting others know when they are wrong, or stupid, or just plain uninteresting. So are my twins. Just see this post or this post for some excellent examples.
3. John Watson chronicles his adventures with Sherlock on a blog. He even posts pictures of his charge making a serious face while wearing a silly hat:
Just like this mommy blogger does:
4. Sheldon relies on Leonard to drive him around everywhere, adheres to a regimented pooping schedule, insists on sitting in a very specific spot on the sofa, likes tummy rubs and soft singing when he’s sick, acts like a lunatic in a ball pit…these are pretty self-explanatory.
5. Sherlock goes about his life fully confident that someone else will clean up after him, cook food for him, and remind him when it’s time to do things like eat and sleep. This leaves him free to solve crimes, do mysterious things involving foreign prisons and networks of homeless people, and play the violin at all hours of the night. It leaves my children free to dramatically re-enact movie scenes, set up elaborate systems of tents and tunnels all over the house, and run around the yard with no clothes on as they please. It’s a fabulous way to live.
As challenging as it may be for John and Leonard and me to keep up with our respective “roommates,” it’s also pretty damn rewarding. What sorts of adventures would I have without them? What would I write about? And most importantly, who would tell me about the dangers of being on fire?