The other day, Younger and my husband joined me in the cleaning of the house. Because Younger wanted a video game and the only way I agreed to take him to buy a video game was in a trade — his effort for my driver’s license.
His dad, on the other hand, is just an easy mark.
But as I rushed down the stairs in one of my many trips between floors, I stumbled to an awkward halt on the bottom stop.
My husband, one hand automatically and rhythmically and blindly pushing a mop over the hardwood floor, glanced up from the video he was watching on the phone in his other hand. “What?” As I blinked at him, trying to find my words, he added, a bit defensively, “I’m mopping.”
“Yes, you are,” I agreed, nodding my head. “You are mopping. Yes, you are.”
And I turned into the hallway without finding any additional words. Because help is, well, help, even if it is cheap help.
And I guess I can’t say he wasn’t worth the money.
Well, I could say it.
But I won’t.
The other day, my husband could not find his cell phone. Mine was upstairs, so hearing Younger turn off the shower in the bathroom, he hollered, “Hey, Younger, you got your phone in there?”
A pause. “Yeah?”
“Can you call my phone so I can find it?”
Another pause. “You mind if I dry off first?”
“No,” I told him, rolling my eyes. “We actually need you to run around the house stark naked and wet while calling the phone.”
An even longer pause. “Ooooh-kaaa-aaay. If you insist.”
Today, I thought I would share a story from around 2005 when Younger would have been in kindergarten . . .
Apparently, for some unknown reason, the school personnel asked the children if their fathers were in the military, which did not appear to faze Younger in the slightest. Apparently, his dad passed Younger’s test for Army material. But then the school asked about their mothers.
“And, Mom,” Younger told me, shaking his head and snickering. “I just couldn’t quite even imagine it.”
My husband thinks Younger’s a real riot.
“Hey, Younger,” I chirped, when he joined my husband and me in the kitchen as I finished cleaning after dinner. “Have you seen the video with the squirrel outwitted by a slinky? You should google it.”
So, he did.
But instead of us all having a good laugh at the expense of the poor squirrel . . .
Younger claimed that the spring could pull the squirrel up with the stored energy in the spring after the squirrel stretched it. But my husband said he was wrong because the squirrel was the force that was extending the spring.
Then they used letters in a way that seems blasphemous to me.
Something about force is “F = -kx” and where “F” is the force, “k” is the spring coefficient and “x” is the distance of the spring stretched.
The spring, therefore, could not launch the squirrel. Not enough force.
With a huff, I stole my phone back from Younger in the middle of their argument, announcing in a cross tone, “It was just a cute video until you all started with the math.”
Then I disappeared into my room for the night.
So if “x” is the distance my patience is stretched and “k” is my temperament coefficient, will I have enough “F” to launch Younger and my husband?
Because one of these days . . .
Today, I thought I would share a story from 2001 when Elder would have been five years old . . .
The other day, I wasn’t feeling particularly well. So, I camped out on the sofa with a blanket, a book and the TV remote. Now, I never watch real television. Usually, I concede to the boys when they want to watch cartoons or to my husband when he wants to channel surf. So, even as ill as I was, I had to stamp out the little insurrection that erupted when I turned the channel to Law and Order, otherwise titled “Mommy’s Show.”
I overruled Elder and Scooby Doo with relative ease. Then Steve sank onto the sofa beside me and mentioned with a woebegone look, “I wanted to watch S-I-M-P-S-O-N-S.”
My mouth tightening with frustration, I told him, “You’re as bad as Elder.”
Elder, who had been sitting between us, heard our exchange, his head popping up. “I am not either as bad as my Daddy.”
After a moment’s thought, I conceded the point to Elder. After all, it had been quite an insult to my five-year-old.
The other day, upon reaching the top stair, I realized that my husband, who had been climbing the stairs behind me, had stopped before the landing.
“Need something?” I asked, glancing back over the railing at him.
“Because you climbed halfway up the stairs and stopped,” I explained the unnecessary.
“Technically, I am not halfway up the stairs,” he corrected me, which one might argue was also unnecessary. “I’m five-fourteenths up the stairs.”
I just looked at him.
“Which is just a little over a third,” he added.
I continued to simply look at him.
Then a second voice drifted from the far corner of the living room, “He is technically correct.”
Technically, the antics of my husband and his minion, Younger, have not yet driven me to complete insanity.
But the fraction is growing.
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.