We Graduated From College With Honors

The Suburban has made it home, after having been pointed in the direction of Gymnastics Land, USA. Our usual entourage was rather slim tonight, as we left the girls behind (they were off singing in some musical production tonight), so it was just the boy and Ryan seatbelted into the middle seat together.

For Christmas, the boy’s aunt gave him a book on tying knots, which came with a generous length of rope, and, while the daylight held, the boys tied knot after knot after knot while they rode along on the interstate.

Naturally, they were immediately drawn to the slip knot, and they had all sorts of discussions on the best way to use it to snare themselves a rabbit. Boys are like that. Why tie a simple bow tie, when you can tie a very useful slip knot and snag yourself some dinner?

After gymnastics was over, I made sure that the boys kept their distance from me. They’d worked out hard, and their faces were reddened, while their hair looked as though they’d both taken a dip in the local swimming pool. Girls (like Mama) are not attracted to sweat-soaked hair, and we prefer to keep sweat-soaked hair far, far away from us.

Naturally, the boys were starving. I have come to the conclusion that after they’ve spent two full hours practicing back handsprings and soaking their mop of hair good and proper, a boy will eat a cardboard box, if it’s offered to him. Because Small Town, USA was another 30 miles down the asphalt road, we zipped through the drive-thru of a local fast food chain. The boys ordered burgers, and Mama asked for a medium Coke.

At the window, I was given a cup of Coke that was basically the same size as the boy, who weighs fifty-five pounds. I looked at the girl in the fast food chain’s window and said, “Ohmylands! I just ordered a medium!”

She didn’t bat an eye at me, as she responded, “Yep! That’s a medium.”

“But I’m going to need two hands to hold this thing while I drink it, and I have to drive back to Small Town, USA tonight, so I need at least one hand for the steering wheel.” The little gal was gone from sight, off to throw some more fries into the vat of bubbling oil. Clearly, she didn’t care that she’d just handed me enough Coke to sustain all of the boy’s friends at a pizza party.

In comparison, Hubs rode over to Gymnastics Land with us tonight, and he ordered a large Coke. When two employees worked together to heave it out the window to Hubs, his eyes sparkled brightly, and he simply whispered, “Come to Papa!”

Having no girls in the Suburban tonight for the ride over to gymnastics meant that the boy and Ryan had full control over what car games they played. Usually, the girls (bless their hearts) dictate the evening’s gaming line up. Tonight, though, the boys decided to play the Animal Game, which is very simple. One of them would think of an animal, and the other one would ask questions that could be answered with either a yes or a no, until the animal was guessed.

And, without girls, you can imagine how the game went down. Every animal was a reptile. Every one. Without exception. Nine out of ten of those reptiles were poisonous. When we have girls in the Suburban, this game pans out differently, with cute, fuzzy mammals thrown into the line up all night long. The boy and Ryan were happy to give the mammals the axe tonight.

Hubs even found himself in the game, but he clearly doesn’t play by the rules. The reptile that he wanted the boys to guess by asking yes/no questions was the Great Mountain Cobra Headed Lizard from the Russian Desert in Siberia. After the boys had thrown in the towel and begged Hubs to reveal his animal to them, since they couldn’t guess it, he did, with great enthusiasm. The boys shrugged and said, “Wow. We’ve never even heard of that before. Is it cool looking?”

Hubs looked at me and whispered, “I just make this stuff up!”

Really? I wouldn’t have guessed, as Hubs was genuinely impressing me with the depths of his animal kingdom knowledge.

Eventually, the game died off, and the boy asked me, “Mom, is the green mamba in the viper family?”

Truly, people, I’d never given this subject matter any thought before, as I don’t enjoy thinking about green mambas. The only way I want to think about that snake is if I’m driving my Suburban and can run over him eighteen times. That’s what reverse is for. Squish him again!

The boys then decided to start classifying the snakes, and he and Ryan decided to quiz me. “What class is the rattlesnake in?”

“The Rattle Phylum.”

Throw out a big word; it gets them every time, especially since the boy replied, “Ooo-kay.”

And then Ryan asked me, “What about the bull snake?”

I didn’t even hesitate. “The Bovine Family.”

People, it’s wrong, but Hubs and I completely messed with the little boys’ minds tonight! They’re probably going to waltz into their classrooms tomorrow at school and announce to their teachers, “Did you know that the Great Mountain Cobra Headed Lizard lives in the Russian Desert that’s in Siberia?”

It’s just part of the joys of having small children!

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