Let’s Have a Party

With two dogs, the fight against dog hair is constant. So, last week, I shoved the vacuum into Younger’s hands and pointed him towards his bathroom. When I was assured he had the chore under control, I turned to my own task, only to catch, from the corner of my eye, him performing some kind of rock star move, thrusting the hose at an angle triumphantly above his head.

Curious, I started to twist back towards him when I heard, “I caught a fly! Hey, I caught a fly!” Laughing, he hurried over to thump my arm. “I caught a fly!” Then he rushed back to search for the fly in the clear plastic canister of the vacuum. “Huh, I caught a fly.”

I don’t know, but I think if he has that much fun with a vacuum cleaner, he can have an absolute party with a washing machine.

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Read My Face

Last week, I shared an old story about Elder. Today, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of Younger at the age of four…

The other day, Younger had pushed every button I had to push, jumped on every nerve I had on which for him to jump. So, I started threatening him with his life. Actually, it was probably Nintendo. I can’t actually remember my exact words. But I remember I threatened him and expected immediate obedience. But instead…

“Say that again,” Younger, who had been standing behind me during my tirade, demanded.

Jaw locking, I glared down at him as he rounded me, his little blonde head tilted backwards so that he looked up at me. “Why?”

“Because I need to see which face you used.”

Apparently, the my-brain-is-going-to-explode-any-second-and-wrath-will-rain-upon-your-head expression meant something to him and he scampered to his room.

I think, for the next eighteen years or so, the most recognizable arrangement of my features will express one desperate plea.

Help me.

Little M&M’s

Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2001 when Elder was not quite five and Younger not quite two…

Monday night, Uncle Farmer Boy had everyone over to his house for watermelon. But, unfortunately, my husband, since he was involved in shingling the roof of our garage, could not attend the gathering. So, as the boys and I were leaving, Uncle Farmer Boy told the boys to grab a Pepsi for their dad. After an embarrassing length of time, the boys and I finally managed to wrestle the cooler open, both Elder and Younger grabbing a cold soda.

Elder, I believe, truly intended to give his soda to his dad. Younger, however, considers possession nine-tenths of the law.

Unfortunately, as we started to cross the cattle guard to our car, Elder decided he needed both hands to maneuver the broken expanse, and, before I could divine his intent, he sent the aluminum can sailing towards the other side. Shoulders slumping, I watched as the can, hitting a rock, sprang a leak, spewing soda across the driveway.

Later, in the car, Elder still appalled by the unexpected shower, asked, “Why did that soda do that?”

“Well, Elder,” I responded. “It’s only made out of aluminum.”

Shocked, he questioned, “Why is it made out of little M&M’s?”

Now there’s a marketing idea. The can that will melt in your mouth, not in your hands.

An Every Day Emergency

Younger started wrestling practices the week after the last football game. He tolerates wrestling, so that he can use the skills to improve as a lineman in football. But although he has learned to somewhat enjoy the practices, he despises wrestling meets. So, last Tuesday, the day of his first meet, he was looking for snow.

It didn’t snow.

But I did get a call from the school nurse a little after the lunch hour.

“Uhm, I have, uh, Younger here,” she told me, her words coming slowly with a lot of extra “uhms” and “uhs” thrown in, indicating her uncertainty in presenting the current problem. “And, uhm, it seems,” she continued, “that he, uh, managed to stick, uh, a pencil in his, uhm, eye.”

I greeted her with silence, because, really, my mind couldn’t settle on whether to ask how badly he was hurt — which given the lack of panic in her tone didn’t strike me as being an immediate concern — or to ask how he had actually “managed to stick, uh, a pencil in his, uhm, eye.”

And then I wondered just exactly how far Younger would go to avoid a wrestling meet.

And the first thing he said, when I, rushed and harried, arrived at the school, was, “I didn’t do it on purpose, Mom. This isn’t preschool where I poked myself in the eye with my finger to keep from having to go.”

Which he did do, by the way. Poked himself right in the eye with his finger in an attempt to convince me the preschool teachers were mean.

“I’m sure you didn’t,” I agreed. “But how about you tell me exactly how you did manage to stick a pencil in your eye?”

“Well, I was sharpening a pencil, and this pencil always breaks, so I was checking to see how sharp it was when someone bumped me from behind.” He glanced at me again as we stalked towards the truck. “I don’t hate wrestling bad enough to poke myself in the eye with a pencil.”

“Well, that’s good to know. I mean it’s a real relief that you at least like wrestling better than a pencil to the eye.”

“I do, Mom,” he told me fervently. “I really do. And I think I may be going blind. Everything is fuzzy.”

“You aren’t wearing your contact,” I reminded him, pointing to the small container holding his left contact, which he and the nurse had searched for any tell-tale holes from pencil lead.

“Oh. Well, I guess that makes it hard to say then.”

Fortunately, his contact had protected him from any real damage. He escaped with just a minor scratch, and the whole episode goes down in history as an emergency that wasn’t, not one of any consequence, anyway, just another one of those every day emergencies.

Younger even attended his next meet without any mishaps.

Fortunately, he meets other clumsy teenage boys on the mat.

Not the terror of a ballpoint pen.