Nothing Will Take the Romance out of Valentine’s Day Like the Words, “I’m Gonna Puke”


The DVR is not working, which caused Hubs’ tail feathers to become seriously ruffled, snarled and twisted last night, as he spoke (for the third time in as many days) with the tech support man who only knows Mandarin Chinese about how the Avalanche games are not being recorded and how the DVR is about to come through the cable company’s front door.

Without opening the front door, I might add.  Hubs has such a way of speaking with the tech support people, especially when he needs a book to translate, “If I miss one more hockey game because of this DVR, you and I are going for a little drive on a lonely country road, and then I’m driving home alone, and it’ll be days before anyone finds you,” from English into Mandarin Chinese.  When I’m forced to call tech support, I simply break down and sob on the phone because I just want the issue resolved, and I don’t understand all the complicated terminology of every tech-support-giver’s key phrase, Have You Tried Rebooting It?

Because of the DVR’s inability to do its job, Hubs and I didn’t have a late night date with Inception last night, because the Avalanche were losing, and losing badly, and Hubs felt that he really needed to be there to yell at them, letting all the boys on skates know that they should give up hockey entirely and join the Ice Capades or the Glee cast, where he felt their talents were better suited.

After hearing that the boys on ice fell by a score of 1 to 9 (which is more like a basketball score, people!), I suggested that Hubs should just Get a Real Team.  To this he responded, “I love the Avalanche, and I’m not a bandwagon fan.  I stick with them through the good times and the ugly times.”

If by sticking with them Hubs means that he treats the Avs like family and lets them know that they’re no good low-lifes who can’t skate and chew gum at the same time, let alone skate and handle a hockey stick, and that maybe they should give it up all together and try ballet or singing with Finn and Rachel and Puck, then yes.  He’s sticking with them.

Because really?  If you can’t insult your family while they’re ice skating, then what good does it do to even get out of bed in the mornings?

So, when the Avalanche boys had beaten a hasty retreat to the locker room to lick their battle wounds and (hopefully) get a verbal reprimand from their coach, a very growly Hubs and I watched Glee on the laptop (because we are that family who only wishes now that we had a TV in the bedroom), and I sort of giggled out loud when I tried to picture Peter Forsberg or Matt Duchene singing Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put a  Ring On It) while they shot hockey pucks at nets during practice.  After all, if it worked for the football team at William McKinley High School, it might just work for the Colorado Avalanche.

And that, people, was how Valentine’s Day panned out for the Jedi Manor, but all was well because Hubs took me to a really sweet submarine sandwich shop for dinner, where we ran into one of the other 4th grade teachers from the boy’s school, who was there with his wife and kids, and we had a genuine belly laugh together about the level of classiness we all achieved for Restaurant Choices on the most romantic day of the year.

It should also be noted that the other 4th grade teacher and his family, along with Hubs and the boy and I, were the ONLY guests even IN the submarine sandwich shop, because apparently everyone else knows that Valentine’s Day calls for king crab legs and key lime martinis, which are only served SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Thankfully, Hubs and I had gone on our REAL Valentine’s Day date on Sunday night, which was a smashing success and So Much Fun, even if I did fail to understand the lovability of Casablanca.  Apparently I wasn’t alone with the paddles in that boat, either, because Jodi kept leaning over to whisper, “What am I missing here, and why don’t I understand this?”, and Mika kept asking, “Is there a war going on?  Where are they at?  What is everyone at this club actually doing?”

Amen and Amen. I had no idea either, and I was desperately trying to immerse myself in the best American classic of all time so that I could UNDERSTAND IT, PEOPLE, when Gabe leaned over and said, “So.  The Daytona 500 is next Sunday; do you guys want to come over for a good NASCAR party?”

Rest assured, I understand NASCAR about as well as I understood Casablanca.  The end.

And, “Here’s looking at you, Kid.”

The boy’s Valentine’s Day was a ton of fun, because HELLO, FREE HOMEWORK PASS and MUCH CHOCOLATE FROM GRANDMOTHERS AND AUNTS!

Hubs and I ventured up to the boy’s school yesterday afternoon, so that we could drop off the labor-intensive chocolate truffles and catch the big party.

I think it goes without saying that the truffles were a hit, and that the children devoured them.

The boy summed up his love affair for the truffles by asking, “Mom, can you just make truffles for dinner some night?  Like, without adding a salad to them or anything?”  Because really?  Why should we ruin a good dinner by adding a vegetable (or a PILE of vegetables) to the plate?

The class party involved the usual line-up of suspects, too.

I love these boys — each and every single one of them.  When the boy was a tiny mite of a baby, I started talking to Jesus diligently and quite regularly about surrounding him with good friends.  I’m overwhelmed to say that Jesus listened and responded, and Jesus plopped a handful of buddies down for the boy who are nothing short of stellar, lovable and wonderful.  I’ve packed them all around in my Suburban; they’ve all slept on my family room floor; I have fed them all breakfast numerous times over; I’ve given them the stink eye when the situation called for it; I’ve put Band-Aids on most of them; the boy has crashed at all of their houses.  Of course, there are a couple of fellows missing from this batch above, who are in other 4th grade classes, and I have to include them in the list of Good Friends, too.  Sweet mercy, but does the boy ever have some solid, fantastic buddies.

It should also be noted that these two pictures represent the four corners of Mrs. G’s classroom.  Carter sits in one corner.  Kellen sits in a second corner.  The boy has been demoted to the third corner.  And poor Quinn took up the fourth corner of their classroom.  Apparently Mrs. G has STRATEGICALLY PLANNED her seating arrangement, to maximize instruction time and minimize the times when she shouts out, “Boy!  Kellen!  Carter!  Quinn!  QUIT TALKING BEFORE I PULL YOUR EARS OFF!!”

And then there’s Bek there, looking incredibly handsome in his red sweater.  Bek’s manners are worthy of being royalty, and he knows not to stand up at his desk and holler out, “LOOK AT THIS CALVIN AND HOBBES CARTOON!” during math.

Because Calvin and Hobbes is not heavily involved in the math curriculum, I’m afraid, but I’m also afraid that reading Calvin and Hobbes during math class has actually happened.  More than once.

This was Round One for the boy at the Valentine’s Day party.  An ice cream sundae and three truffles.

(As a side note, I have to tell you that when Carter bit into his first truffle, he shouted out across the classroom [exactly like this pack of boys does!], “Oh my gosh, Boy!  You brought SNOWMAN POOP!  I totally love Snowman Poop; it’s my favorite!”  Hubs and I laughed so hard, I ended up with a stitch in my side, until Carter said, “What? That’s what we call these things at OUR house; they’re Snowman Poop!”  And thus, I doubt the boy will ever refer to them as chocolate truffles again.)

Naturally, when the boy realized that there were cookies the size of a 4th grade child’s head on the snack buffet, he helped himself to one or four.  And then he added  more truffles to his plate.

I think, by party’s end, all five of them were hopped up on enough sugar to power a full-size generator for eighteen hours.

And so I doubt that any of you will find it a surprise when I tell you this.  At 11:00 last night, the boy came into our room and whispered, “Mom, my stomach feels awful.  I think I’m going to throw up.  I think it was all the truffles and sugar cookies I ate!  Mom, please!  I feel so sick, and I need you!”

And thus began our first Puke Watch of 2011, which, I am thankful to declare, ended with all of the sugary treats remaining INSIDE the boy’s belly, where they were properly digested and during which his brain admitted,  “There’s enough sugar here for a diabetic coma!”  Of course, I was up and down for half of the night, rubbing the boy’s back and giving him little nuggets of wisdom, like, “Honey, this is what happens when a ten-year-old boy eats 22,000 calories worth of sugar in one day.”

He’ll take that tidbit of wisdom to college with him, I’m sure.

This morning, at breakfast, the boy said, “Mom, I’m only going to eat half of my oatmeal this morning, because I don’t ever want to feel like I did last night again!  I ate WAY TOO MUCH yesterday!”

And then, as if the party and the forgotten reading book at the school, which constituted a grandmother running the boy BACK to his classroom to retrieve his book while I finished up working at the church office, wasn’t ENOUGH FOR THE DAY, we also had FLOOR HOCKEY.

And our little team played exactly like the Colorado Avalanche last night.

Which is to say, We lost. Rather badly.  But it wasn’t from lack of trying, and none of the little boys were ready to join the Glee cast quite yet.

This boy needs a haircut.  And he needs to tie his shoes.  But dang!  I think he’s pretty cute.

This is the boy and his good buddy, Eli, during one of the game’s intermissions.  Eli is a genuine pumpkin.  I’ve fed him breakfast a time or two, as well.  And I’ve stuck Band-Aids on him, too, because he decided to run into the corner of my house and split his head open one afternoon during an enthusiastic game of tag.  And we plum love him.

And that, people, is how Valentine’s Day ’11 happened for us.

Exactly like that.

And this is what was at our house this afternoon:

These three, plus the cute neighbor boy, who didn’t make it into the snapshot for some reason, hung out with us all afternoon.  The temperature was a balmy 66 degrees.  The snow was melting, and the four boys managed to find every square inch of mud on our property.  And they rolled in it.  And they threw it. And I hope that all of their mamas own a big jug of Tide and another bigger jug of Clorox bleach, because SWEET HOLY MOSES!  There were some seriously muddy clothes when all was said and done.

And I probably could have shortened things by simply saying, “Our DVR is broken and Hubs can’t record his Avalanche games any longer, so he stood me up on Valentine’s Day to watch them lose, after he’d watched the boy’s floor hockey team lose, even though we yelled and cheered like a couple of insane parents for some really sweet saves the boy had.  And Hubs took me to get a sub sandwich for dinner, because of ROMANTIC.  And the boy ate way too much junk at his class party, and he paid for it with a night of tossing and turning while his gut threatened to dislodge everything into the 5-gallon, bright-orange Home Depot bucket beside his bed, because, when it comes to Puke Threats, we don’t mess around.  We get the biggest bucket we own.  And BOYS, BOYS, BOYS, and then MUD, MUD, MUD!  Everywhere; just everywhere!”

The end.

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