Happy, Happy Meals

Today, I thought I would share a story from 2000 when Elder would have been four years old…

The other day Elder decided he wanted to eat at McDonald’s, telling me, “I want a Happy Meal.”  He paused in thought for a moment then added, “You know, we never get one of those sad meals.  We don’t want those sad meals.  We want the ones that are happy.”

I really don’t believe McDonald’s was considering the well-being of our lunch when they named their children’s meal.

But I have been wrong before.

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The Nose Knows

The other day, my niece and nephew visited at my house for an hour or so. And, at one point, when I ventured into the living room, Younger and my nephew were twisted into a wrestling knot, with one of Younger’s socked feet in the vicinity of my nephew’s nose.

“Is Younger making you smell his feet?” I asked. “I think that may be a bit of foul play.”

And I turned to leave them to burn their excessive energy through their tussling, except I heard my nephew crow, “Smell that!”

Glancing back over my shoulder, I saw he had wiggled until he could shove one sole against Younger’s face.

Still working to twist my nephew into his own particular design, Younger remained unbothered by the younger boy’s attempt to influence his behavior through smell. “No problem,” Younger assured him, his voice sufficiently bored. “I spend hours every day in a football locker room. Trust me, your foot right there is a meadow of rainbows and daisies.”

Well.

Nice to know I’m raising a connoisseur.

It’s Not Cold

Males, apparently, don’t feel the cold. My husband can fill the furnace dressed only in shorts and boots. Elder wears shorts the whole year round. Younger, a little more pliable at fifteen, at least wears jeans, but the mention of a coat earns me a blank look of innocence.

The other night, as my husband, Younger, and I were leaving the house, I noticed Younger wore only a T-shirt. “Grab a sweatshirt,” I immediately told him.

“My jacket is in the car,” he responded.

Jacket, by the way, not coat. But I did not argue. I simply said, “Put it on before you help your dad unload the wood in the truck.”

Younger presented his blank look. “It’s not cold.”

I have heard those words so many times. From all those of the male persuasion in my house. Five degrees outside, and I get, “It’s not cold.”

“Put the jacket on,” I repeated, firming my voice and adding a meaningful glance at my husband.

So, my husband and Younger hurried to start unloading wood while I finished readying the dogs for a few hours on their own. Then I followed the other two outside, curious of all of Younger’s snickering as I tracked the driveway to the car. Once I settled in my seat, I finally took a longer look at my son.

To find him wearing the jacket, as I had ordered.

But no T-shirt, his bare chest shining in the fresh moonlight.

And at the expression on my face, he burst into a round of insane laughter. My husband ignored the incredulous gaze I swung on him with stoicism. Younger laughed even more maniacally.

I don’t know how the mixing of the X and Y chromosomes creates such loons.

All I know is I am surrounded by them.

And, at some point on the thermometer, it does actually hit “cold.”

Crazy, bare-chested loons.

Let It Snow, Please

Before Thanksgiving, Younger had his first snow day. He thought he was hitting the jackpot of winters.

He’s not had a single snow day since. And he’s pretty sure that’s all kinds of wrong.

Then he saw snow in the forecast for yesterday.

He tried to remain a snow pessimist, but the school dismissed all after-school activities because a bit of freezing rain was falling. And he saw a glimmer of hope.

And when he burst through the back door, he had a grin stretching from cheek to cheek. “I know, I know,” he assured me. “I’ve told myself not to expect snow. I was telling myself, ‘Don’t expect snow.’ But when I started running down our driveway, I suddenly landed on my butt. And if our driveway is already slick, then…” He sobered for a moment. “That poor cat, though.”

I don’t know what happened to the cat in the moment Younger went airborne or the moment he was suddenly not airborne, most likely.

I was too amused by his butt being used as a weather consultant.

Which turned out not to have any more accuracy than the actual forecasters.

He did not have a smile when I woke him for school this morning.

I know that’s a rough day for all of us, that day when we first realize we can’t trust our butt…