Home Is . . .

When we took Younger to Rolla to register for classes, he had to participate in math placement testing and parents had to be entertained in the interim. So, current students performed skits for the waiting parents, one of which suggested we not make any big changes in the house the first semester or so. The students still needed the safety and security of home being the same when they returned.

Which had me thinking back on a recent conversation with Elder . . .

“Since you will be staying in Columbia this summer,” I approached my oldest child carefully, “I think we may move Younger into the bathroom upstairs. You would have to share it on the weekends you are home.”

And Elder, who only visited once every three weeks or so the last two semesters, looked at me and sincerely pledged, “I plan to be home a lot this summer, Mom.”

Yeah, don’t make any significant changes the first semester.

Or the first year.

Or second or third . . .

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Not Okay

I may have a few obsessive-compulsive traits.

Perhaps.

My husband installed several three-way switches in our house.  In theory, we could use the closest switch to turn a light on and off and avoid crossing dark rooms littered with our animals, all of whom are black.

But when all my lights are off, I need all the switches on one wall to be pointed in the same direction.

Yes, it is a need.

And, yes, I will use the farthest light switch to turn off a light and walk through a dark room just to keep all switches pointed in the same direction.

And, yes, I will lie in bed and silently seethe when my husband walks through the bedroom and actually uses the three-way switches for the correct purpose, leaving the little rectangles in all kinds of positions before sliding into bed oblivious to the fact that I hate, hate, hate him.

I also need my number of eggs to be even. Because you just cannot arrange a symmetrical pattern with an odd number of eggs.

You. Can. Not. Do. It.

So the other day, I needed three eggs for a recipe. And I was almost giddy because I remembered from my last use of the eggs that I had left an uneven number in the carton.

It was all lopsided and everything.

But then, as I was pulling the last egg out, I suddenly, for no apparent reason, became involved in some kind of juggling act.

And one single egg hit the floor with a tremendous splat, yolk and shell oozing across my wood floor.

“Noooooooooooooo.”

“Are you okay, Mom?” Younger asked gently.

“Noooooooooooooo.”

“We can clean it up.”

“Nooooooooooo.” I stared at the glob as my husband hurried to grab cleaning supplies. “But my eggs were going to be an even number.”

“Mom,” Younger said, his voice even more gentle. “Are you okay?”

No, I am not okay.

My light switches are pointed in whatever direction my husband felt was fit to leave them in and my eggs are in an asymmetrical pattern in their carton.

No, no, no.

I am not okay.

I. Am. Not. Okay.

Clearly.

 

I Am So Smart

Last night, my husband studied the two packages we had received in the mail, talking ostensibly to Younger but actually to himself. “This one is mine,” he announced. “Because I need to fix your mom’s dryer.”

As if the dryer only wicks moisture from my clothes.

But I rolled my eyes while maintaining my silence because I do appreciate that his mechanical abilities prevent us from paying a couple hundred dollars to have a twenty-dollar part replaced.

But then later, from the laundry room, I heard singing: “I am so smart, I am so smart . . .”

And, well, I maintained my silence then, too.

Because sometimes I simply have no words.

No good ones, anyway.

Define Normal

From the age of two, Elder has had the habit of sitting on his heels, crouched in the position of a baseball catcher waiting for a pitch. When playing video games, he perched on the carpet, sitting crouched on his heels. When eating at the kitchen island, he balanced on the high chairs, sitting crouched on his heels. When reading a book, he settled on the floor, sitting crouched on his heels.

As he has grown older and, more importantly, taller, the habit faded.

I thought, anyway.

The other day, after work and before joining his friends, Elder disappeared into his bathroom to shave his beard. A few minutes later, needing to run the Roomba and not wanting the little robot to jump the divider between the open area around the stairs into the bathroom, I reached to shut the door he had left open.

Only to pause in mid-stretch when I found Elder perched precariously on the counter over the bowl of the sink, sitting crouched on his heels.

“What?” he queried, meeting my eyes in the mirror, pausing with the electric razor hovering over one cheek.

“Nothing,” I blinked, shutting the door slowly. “Nothing. Just clean your mess.”

“Sure, Mom,” he agreed, easily.

Recently, apparently, (I discovered after discussing my experience) Younger wandered into the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning, startled to discover his older brother brushing his teeth, balanced on the sink counter, sitting crouched on his heels. And, also apparently, this imitation of a catcher is a more alarming sight when it greets a person suddenly and unexpectedly with the flick of a light at two o’clock in the morning.

And, again apparently, Younger has learned to control certain urges until dawn has broken the horizon.

“A gargoyle, Mom” Younger whispered. “I thought he was a gargoyle.”

I’m not sure what normal is, exactly.

But I’m pretty sure we aren’t the definition of it.