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Well, we’ve had some recent concerns about our oldest son. Due to a few behavioral observations, we decided to have some testing done and, as it turns out, our worst fears were confirmed.

Our son is part-cow.

There, I said it. It feels so good not to have to hide it any longer! I mean, it’s been tough living in a bi-mammal home. All the mooing was really starting to affect our family dynamic. And then PETA began sending us letters, which got really uncomfortable. Even our local farmer, bless his heart, offered to take him off our hands. But how could we send our own son out to pasture? He’s not resourceful enough and would never make it on his own. He struggles to make friends as it is, and the other cows would just shun him because he looks different… So, we’ve decided to try our hardest and love him, despite his obvious cowness.

Now, if you read that and think that I’m the nutty one, you should hear my son cry. Each and every time this child gets corrected, he moos himself into a tizzy! Quite literally, this kid will moo until he makes himself throw up. It’s been going on for years, but as all parents are aware, Christmas break is really freaking long. It was several weeks of continuous bovine noises and, well, we just cannot stand it for another second! I mean, if we had a barn, I’m pretty sure he’d be banished there every time he starts up. Instead of sending him to his room, I could send him to his stall (which would really cut down on the headaches for the rest of us).

Last night was no different. Cameron was once again being sent to bed early for touching things that were not his. This habit of his falls somewhere on the Normal Boy – RAD Boy Spectrum. When told not to touch something, he waits for unsuspecting victims to leave the room, or tired grandparents to fall asleep, and then he touches the very thing he was told not to touch (this is also usually followed by an elaborate, yet insufficient, cover-up of some sort).

Exhibit A- The mysteriously broken blood-pressure cuff at my parents’ house this Christmas break. The very room where Cameron was sleeping was the very room the cuff laid hidden away…. UNTIL, that is, Cameron found it and ripped it apart.

Exhibit B- At the same house during the same break, Cameron turned my mother’s oven on to self-cleaning mode while she was attempting to bake her pumpkin pie.

Exhibit C- At our home this break, Cameron used his Dad’s drill bits. For what? We don’t know. Where they’re at now? No one will ever find out. Nor will we find his work gloves that Cameron insists on using and then not putting back, no matter how many times we tell him to stop.

And finally, that brings us to Exhibit D. The grand finale, if you will. My husband’s mother was watching Cameron at her house for us this weekend and, the poor woman fell asleep for 20 minutes. (Twenty. Minutes.) During this time, Cameron turned the temperature in her refrigerator all the way down. AGAIN. (This is the 4th occurrence!) A fridge full of food, once crisp and fresh, now lies sour and warm.

As you could well imagine, this was the breaking point. He was given 10 minutes to get ready for bed and was told that lights would be out and sleep would be occurring or he would be in trouble.

And then the mooing began.

“Cameron,” my husband warned sternly. “Enough. There will be no mooing tonight. Do whatever you have to do to keep yourself under control. Hold your pillow over your mouth, take deep breaths, get a drink of water, whatever. But under no circumstances will we listen to you moo for the next 3 hours until you make yourself puke. Do you understand?”

My cow-child inhaled sharply and then mooed again.

“CAMERON. Stop immediately.” My husband, to his credit, was trying to keep himself under control as best as he could… but this mooing thing, it really is the proverbial straw that breaks the cow’s back.

Cameron continued to moo and my husband glared at him with dark, menacing eyes. It was a look that let Cameron know that one more moo could very possibly get him put down – sent to that final farm up in the sky.

Cameron choked on some more sobs and made some more weird, guttural noises as he stared back, unsure of what to do (well, I’m not sure why he was unsure… he was told to get ready for bed no less than 25 times, but I didn’t interject. I just watched, wishing I had a tub of popcorn and a snuggie to take in the show).

Finally, Cameron gave just enough attitude to test the waters, but not enough to get him grounded for the next century.

“What! What are you staring at?” Followed by a half-moo-sob-combo.

And then we were done.

“YOU, CAMERON!!! I’M STARING AT YOU! DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY I’M STARING AT YOU, SON? IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE MOOING LIKE A FARM ANIMAL!!!! YOU DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO STARE AT YOU? THEN START ACTING LIKE A HUMAN BEING! I’M NOT MOOING AND NO ONE IS STARING AT ME!!!!” This was said with such flourish that I was positive my husband’s arm gestures would knock over a chair at the very least!

Cameron immediately mooed ridiculously and ran from the room, up the steps, and finally into his bedroom. My husband’s face was red and he stood there looking like a bull ready to charge. I, on the other hand, was so close to hysteria that it was palpable. But I needed to keep myself composed until all children were out of earshot. I chewed on my cheek and took a few deep breaths.

Once I was certain we were alone, in my best mocking voice I mimicked, “I’m not mooing and no one is staring at me!” And then I collapsed into a heap of giggles. Because, honestly, it was the weirdest statement I can ever remember hearing a parent make. And because who in the world has to tell their son to stop mooing? I mean, seriously! My husband was displaying equal amusement and joined me in my laughter, as our cow uttered muffled moos in the background. (PS, if you just got the pun in there, you are truly my people.)

I gave The Hubs a high-five. “Best parenting moment ever, right there! And by the way, I’m sooo gonna blog about this.”

So, there you have it. We are a dysfunctional family on most days. We raise children, dogs, and apparently cows and bulls. We are often loud and usually require time-outs. But as long as we can laugh, I think it’s going to all turn out OK in the end.

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