Balancing Act

Younger had to entertain himself last night at the restaurant. So he begged a penny off of me and confiscated both of our forks.

Balancing Forks 2

He then trapped the penny between the tines of the two forks, pointing in opposite directions, then balanced his creation on the lip of his soda mug.

Balancing Forks 1

He was impressed with himself.

I asked him, “Do you know how many hands have touched that penny? And now that penny is wedged into my fork?”

“Well,” he drawled, “after a while, the number of hands is immaterial.”

He’s not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.

Well, he might be as clever as he thinks he is.

But he’s not as funny as he thinks he is.

I better not die laughing, anyway.

Wake Me Up

Since  Elder started kindergarten, I have always worked my schedule so that I was with the boys before and after school, except for the two years I worked part-time at the local army installation. But, now, for the next few months, I am again working part-time at the local army installation.

And, Monday, I had four hours of training and would leave with my husband long before the boys were awake for the day.

So, Sunday night, I told the boys, “I won’t be here when you wake up in the morning.”

“Okay, Mom,” they responded, their eyes never leaving their Smash tournament taking place on the television screen.

I finished some laundry then wandered back into the living room, halting behind the sofa. “Okay, well, good night, I guess.” I paused, folding my arms tight against my chest. “I won’t be here when you wake up in the morning.”

“Yeah, okay, Mom.” Neither one glanced in my direction, buttons clicking beneath their busy fingers as their Nintendo characters engaged in an apparently fierce battle. “Good night.”

I sighed. “Night. Love you.”

“Love you, Mom.”

And I retreated to my bedroom. “I worked hard to be here every morning their whole lives,” I told my husband, grumpily. “And they can’t even act sad about tomorrow.”

My husband offered that tolerant smile he has when he thinks I am being less than reasonable. “They’re eighteen and twenty-one,” he reminded me, gently.

“But I was supposed to get something out of it, too,” I wailed.

I guess he didn’t think that was any more reasonable, judging by his patting of my head.

Men.

They understand nothing.

Nothing.

And I am surrounded by them.

Recommended Ages

Yesterday was Younger’s eighteenth birthday, so today I thought I would share this story from 2004. For the record, Younger can still out talk the best of them . . .

My youngest nephew loves balls, so I thought I might buy him one as a little extra present at Christmas.  And I found one that resembled an octopus with a thousand legs, and uncharacteristically, I did not check the recommended ages.  I just bought it on a whim.  But, apparently, the hundreds of tentacles that actually attracted me to the ball is a danger to children under three.

My nephew is one.

Younger, however, is six.

“Mom,” he said, pulling the ball from the depths of the paper bag from the toy store.  “Owen is not over the age of three.  He cannot have this ball.”  Then he cast me a glance from the corner of his eye.  “You need to find someone who is over the age of three.  Like me.  I’m six.  I am over the age of three.  I could have this ball.  Can I have the ball, Mom?”

I believe that the children under the age of three simply cannot  out talk the children over the age of three, which is why they are not allowed to have the ball with the thousand tentacles.

And that is what they mean by recommended ages.

Love All Your Pieces

Elder turned twenty-one yesterday, so today I thought I would share one of my favorite moments with him when he was only five years old and I could still ignore the fact he would soon grow into a man . . .

Last night as I readied Elder for bed, I gave him a hug and a kiss.  Then I told him, “I love you.”  Without responding, he turned towards the bedroom, so I caught his arm and repeated, “I love you, Elder.”

“Mom,” he said, looking up at me with sincere blue eyes.  “I love you like a balloon that gets too full and pops.”

“Oh,” I murmured, both touched and impressed by his metaphor, not to mention the arms that he had spread wide to indicate the size of the balloon.

“And then,” he continued, dropping his arms and walking away, “I love all your pieces.”

. . . And for twenty-one years my love for him has filled and popped many, many balloons.

And I love all his pieces.

 

 

In the Dark

Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2001 when Elder was four years old and only managed sarcasm by accident . . .

The other day, I was playing Nintendo with Elder.  More specifically, we were playing Mickey’s Road Rage – actually, their name for the sport is a little tamer but mine is much more descriptive, I think.  Anyway, when players race in certain cities, a layer of blue permeates the entire screen, giving the illusion of nighttime.  Seattle is one such city.

So, Elder and I were racing in Seattle, when I fell off a ramp – my character, not me.  I was actually sitting on the sofa.  Anyway, instead of landing on the road beside the ramp, I landed some ways back on the course, someplace deep in the shadowed night, and was promptly lost.  So, while Elder was speeding away, I was basically doing three-sixties and bouncing off walls, while one of Donald’s nephews repeated, “You’re going the wrong way” every few seconds or so.

Frustrated because I was losing to my four-year-old – again, I muttered, “I don’t even know where I am.”

To which, Elder offered, “In the dark?”

Yep.  Pretty much completely.

And always.

 

A Night in the Life

I cannot connect my laptop to the Internet today, so I am writing this post on my phone. That’s my excuse for the errors. I usually have no excuse to offer, but today I do.

Tonight I will give you a peek at a usual night in the Grown Up household . . .

My husband is stressed from his day at work and has decided to complete a puzzle to “release his frustration.” And raising mine as the sorted piles consume every corner of my table. 

Elder’s best friend told him he couldn’t write a poem on nature. So, now, he is researching poetry. He doesn’t like poetry. He likes losing a challenge even less apparently.

Younger is using his Jedi mind tricks to convince me I do not want my portion of the bread with dinner. Even Obi-Wan Kanobi was not that talented. This is the bread that I want with my dinner.

And I am listening to all the chaos with quiet contentment.

I am blessed.

Betrayal

Living somewhere in the back of beyond, we have few options for internet. For the last eighteen months, we have settled on tethering to our phones. But we only have twenty gig of data.

So, let’s do some math.

Twenty gig of data divided by two young men equals . . . no data in about five minutes.

Since I need internet for my employment, we have warned the boys that we will shut them down at six gig.

And so we have.

Every. Single. Month.

This month they almost lasted three weeks. But on Tuesday, Younger’s birthday, I checked the current usage.

“You’re over your limit,” I told Younger.

“No, I’m not,” he stated, staring into my eyes like he had access to the Jedi mind trick. “I’m not over my limit.”

I rolled my eyes, and due to the day being his seventeenth birthday, I allowed him to continue to have access.

His dad was not so gifting. Or perhaps he is immune to the Jedi.

“Will be late. Had to stop to turn off the boys’ data,” he texted me while I was in class.

“The betrayal,” Younger howled as soon as I stepped into the house. “The treachery.”

“You know the limits, Younger,” I responded.

“How can you so betray me? Your only teenage son?”

I raised an eyebrow. “Where do you want to go for your birthday?”

“Wherever they have internet.”

“You are spending time with your family, not your phone.”

“Oh, the betrayal!”

Ah, that he has to deal with such perfidy. And on his birthday, even.

Life . . . without internet . . . apparently, it ain’t for the sissies.

I really don’t know how are forefathers survived.