A Fine Example

The other day, Younger was explaining why he chose to spend the day with his grandparents rather than with video games.

“I won’t remember playing the video game in even a few weeks,” he told me. “But I will remember the day with Grandma and Grandpa.”

My heart expanding with motherly pride, I smiled softly at him. “That is a very mature decision-making process.”

“It’s how I look at doughnuts, too,” he continued. “If I don’t think I will remember eating the doughnut in a week, I don’t eat it.”

“Well,” I replied, “that’s why I eat six doughnuts if I eat one. I won’t likely forget that.”

Apparently, his maturity wasn’t learned through example.



Y Chromosomes

Yesterday, as I was working diligently in the kitchen, I requested Younger help brown the hamburger.

“Are you asking because you need help? Or because you want me to learn?” he asked suspiciously.

Rolling my eyes, I latched the can opener onto another can. “I would appreciate the help, and you should appreciate the learning.”

“We are listening to my comedians,” he told me, as he reluctantly straightened from his slouch on the sofa and onto his feet.

“Why do you and your father believe you need either incentives or rewards for participating in the cooking of your own dinner?”

“I don’t know,” he shrugged then offered, “Y chromosome?”

“I don’t know why chromosomes, either,” I replied, dryly.

“See, Mom,” he responded, shuffling into the room. “We all have two chromosomes –”

“I understand about the Y and X chromosome, Younger,” I interrupted, now with an edge.  Then I pointed over my shoulder at the pan on the stove behind me. “Brown the hamburger.”

“Well, Mom, some of the kids at school don’t know about chromosomes, and they just learned about it. It would have been a long time ago for you.”

So, Younger was the only one of my three males who didn’t feel it necessary to explain everything to me.

And, apparently, I’m old.

It was a rough day.



Suspect Behavior

Younger has been waiting for one particular book for about two years. For the last six months or so, the author has released three chapters each Tuesday. This Tuesday, the entire book (with at least one thousand pages) was released.

Somehow, Younger got strep throat on Monday.

He couldn’t return to school for twenty-four hours, long enough for the antibiotic to work.

So, yes, that’s right, he was home on Tuesday to read a thousand-page book he has been waiting on for two years.

I suspect foul play.

I can’t prove it.

But I suspect it.

High Standards

My days at the museum are usually fairly quiet. In the mornings, around 8:00, I walk up a hill to a collection of World War II buildings and unlock several for visitors to peruse. Then, for most of the day, I sit behind the counter, answering various questions from the visitors. And, in the afternoon, around 3:30, I retrace my morning’s steps and close the World War II buildings for the night.

Across from my desk sits the Engineer Regimental Room where different units will have graduations, so a lot of questions are from parents asking with rather wild eyes if they have finally found the right building. And I smile and assure them they have reached their destination with two hours to spare and let them know families are generally not allowed in the room until about fifteen minutes before the ceremony starts. And then they rush to the two sets of double doors and peer through the tiny rectangle windows for a glance of their child. Eventually,  the entryway in front of my desk becomes crowded with anxious parents and bored children.

And it was on just such a day that I heard, “Excuse me, ma’am.”

I looked up to find a soldier who had escaped the graduation practice standing at the desk. “Yes?” I responded with a smile.

“Do you have some extra trash bags and maybe an extra trash can? We have a sick one.”

So, I blinked at him, because I think if you have a “sick one,” you bus that poor soul back to the barracks. Maybe even let his momma follow. But I disappeared into the closet behind me and found two trash bags and a cardboard box. And the young soldier accepted the offerings and before I could assure him that I did not need any of those items returned to me, he was gone and a civilian had taken his place.

“Do you have a first aid kit?” she asked. And as my eyes widened to the size of dollar coins and I tried to remember my emergency training, she clarified, “I need a band-aid.”

And I blinked at her because, personally, I would have just asked for the band-aid.  But then I disappeared back into my closet and eventually provided the requested bandage.

And then I started watching the clock, needing to leave to close the buildings on the hill before anyone returned with any of the borrowed items.

And that was a good day.

Because no one actually needed my non-existent emergency skills.

And because no one brought me a bag of vomit.

I have high standards.



This Pain

So, Younger has been working furiously on finding scholarships. Over the weekend, he had to quickly write an essay for an application due on November 1. Apparently, frustrated by both the topic and the time limit, he titled the essay “This Pain.”

Monday night, I asked him to email me the essay, so that I could review his research and writing. But he had typed the essay as an online document in Google Docs, so he had to “share” the link with me.

And this is the notification I received telling me had done so:

This Pain

Sometimes, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

So, you know, I just do both.

And then I share “this pain” with you.

Not Even Close

For the last year or so, Younger has been serious in his search for scholarships. Today, as we were driving to school, he told me, “I found one, Mom.” He flashed his phone in my direction. “It has a 1500 to 2500 word essay. The topic — what should you do in a disaster?”

I glanced at him, raising my eyebrows in question.

He looked back at me, shrugging his shoulders in answer.

“I don’t know . . . Stand sideways and reduce your surface area?” he mused. “Probably should bend your knees a little.”

For those of you who are wondering . . .

That’s not even close to 1500 words.


Hurt to Death

Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2001 when Elder would have been not quite five years old and Younger would have been not quite three . . .

Friday night, Elder, while eating pizza, suddenly exclaimed, “Ow!  Mom that red stuff just bounced off my pizza and onto my lip and it was hot.”

“Haaaa?” Younger repeated, meaning, “hot,” and looked dubiously at the slice in front of him.

Busy at the computer, I did not glance at either boy, as I had taken the pizza from the oven at least fifteen minutes before.  “You’re okay, Elder.”

“No, I’m not,” he argued.  “It hurt me to death.”

I laughed.  “Now, Elder, I think you’re still living.”

“Well,” he replied, sullenly.  “It hurt me to death.”

But don’t be too concerned.  Dead people don’t tend to exaggerate.