We Won’t Be Laughing When He Has His Own Cooking Show and Makes French Pastries on National Television

On Friday morning, the boy had to be at school before 7:15, because he was going on an all-day field trip to Two-Hours-Away Town.  The entire 4th grade class was headed there to visit a museum, and Hubs and I did not sign up to chaperon the excursion, because Hubs boldly announced that he couldn’t even fathom a world in which he was trapped for two hours, one way, on a hot school bus with a mass of ten-year-old children and all the iPods that would be loaded with Michael Jackson tunes.

I think that the list of reasons Hubs gave for skipping out on helping the boy’s teacher wrangle all the kids on Friday were the exact same reasons that Hubs’ parents spouted off when they were asked to ride the bus and chaperon high school wrestling trips in 1987.  The only difference was that Michael Jackson would have been playing on cassette tapes in walkmans back then.

Because we were dropping the boy off at school so early, I told Hubs, “Hey!  We could go to Starbucks together, and then you can just dump me off at work, as long as you promise to come back for me at the end of the day.”  Apparently Hubs was completely down with this idea, because he drove straight for the Land of Heavenly Beverages, and then he swung the Suburban into the drive-thru.

I casually said, “Oh, you’re hitting the drive-thru,” because I always like to state the obvious.  Hubs replied by asking, “What?  I thought you wanted to go to Starbucks?  Did you want to go INSIDE?”

And that, people, is how I came to be dropped off at work at 7:33 on Friday morning, exactly 27 minutes before I needed to be there, and how I learned that sometimes the Y chromosome simply does not understand the implied message that an actual date was supposed to have happened.  Y’all can bet I’ll be a little  more specific the next time I suggest an early-morning outing to Hubs.

(“Listen.  I’d like to drop the boy off at 7:15 this morning, and then I’d like you to drive me to Starbucks, where we will park the Suburban in the parking lot and get out of it.  We will then walk inside the building, order our beverages, pick out a comfy sofa to sit on, and have a meaningful conversation for twenty-five minutes, before we load ourselves back up into the Chevy and head to our respective places of employment.” Did I cover all the bases with that one?)

At 7:45, while I was sitting at my desk, in a completely empty church office, sipping coffee that was entirely too strong, my cell phone rang.  When I answered it, Hubs’ mother shouted, “Where are you?!  I JUST HIT THE MOTHER LODE!!”

I stood up so fast from the desk, I toppled my chair over, as adrenaline shot through my entire body like lightning, because I thought she had yelled, “I JUST HIT A MOTHER ON THE ROAD!”

It took us a couple of minutes of going back and forth with “Are you okay?” and “What are you talking about?” before I finally realized that Hubs’ mama had not plowed into a Honda minivan loaded with blonde-headed peanuts on their way to school.

The Mother Lode turned out to be the greatest garage sale in the history of garage sales, according to Hubs’ mama, and she had just discovered some amazing architectural pieces like vintage ceiling tiles and reclaimed barn wood.  Since I was at work (and not at Starbucks), Hubs’ mama shopped the Mother Lode without me, and I am apparently the proud owner of some amazing things, which I have yet to see.

However, Sister saw them, because Sister ran into Hubs’ mama on Friday, and Sister called me to say, “I am stealing your stuff!  It’s all fantastic!”

On Friday evening, after the boy had returned from his day-long field trip to Two-Hours-Away Town, which he announced was the best day of school he’s ever attended, we finally made it home around 5:00.  The boy marched into our kitchen and pulled a cookbook out of the bookcase and sat down to read it.  This struck me as odd simply because the boy NEVER READS, unless he is forced to do it; the only thing the boy willingly reads without a verbal lecture are Calvin and Hobbes books.  The cookbook most definitely was lacking in illustrations of a six-year-old boy with spiky hair and an ornery tiger.  I believe I expressed my awe to the boy by saying, “You’re reading?  A cookbook?”

The boy looked at me, as if he reads cookbooks every single day after school, and said, “I’ve decided to make some French pastries.  What, exactly, ARE French pastries, Mom?”

I encouraged the boy to skip the pastries and to study up on the art of the roasts and the homemade chicken soups, so that he could take over my culinary duties in the kitchen.  I think I heard a round of hallelujahs sung by an angelic choir led by Gabriel himself, as I envisioned evenings of sitting on the sofa, reading a book, while the boy diced onions and red peppers and sauteed chicken breasts.

Later on Friday night, Hubs and I discussed our options for the evening, as we were plunked like loaves of Wonder Bread on the sofa in front of the TV.  We had an entire Friday night open to us.  The weather was good.  We could go for a walk.  We could venture out to dinner.  We could take the boy to the park.  We could hit a movie at the cinema.  And then, as we were tossing out ideas and flipping through the channels, we landed on a cooking show, and the boy shouted, “STOP THE CHANNEL!  I LOVE THIS SHOW!”

Apparently, Chef Boyardee has been living here, completely unnoticed, for quite some time now.

And that, people, is how we came to the final decision to let the Food Network and a marathon of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives entertain us for the entire evening.

We are nothing but classy around here.

On Saturday morning, the French pastries were completely forgotten, because Hubs introduced the boy to the art of changing the brake pads in the Suburban, because my brakes have been squealing like twin piglets stuck under a split rail fence for the last two weeks now.  It’s been so bad, I have refused to roll my window down, regardless of the fact that the spring weather has been upon us and I’ve CRAVED having the windows open.  With the windows closed and the radio turned to a louder-than-normal level, I have avoided listening to my own brakes.  I’ve also avoided making eye contact with people stopped next to me at red lights, because I know they want to shout out, “Your brakes are squealing, lady!”  I would have been forced to yell back, “Oh, good!  The brakes, you say?  I thought the Reverse Thrust was going out of this thing!”

Hubs and the boy had quite a good time together in the driveway, but I’m not sure why the bike helmet was involved.  Apparently we were thinking of Safety First.

The other reason for the helmet could simply have been the obvious.  Every time Hubs ventured back into the garage to retrieve a different tool, the boy popped up and took a lap around the cul de sac on his bike.

Basically it was Aerobic Brake Pad Changing.  Those boys like to have their heart rates up at optimal levels.

Afterward, the three of us ran errands around town together, and we rolled all of our windows down, because of NO SQUEALING WHATSOEVER!  And every time we approached a stop sign, Hubs would smack the brakes and say, “Yay!  They still work!  I guess we did a good job!”

You can imagine how thrilled I was at this, when I was taking a big swig of my Coffee-Mate-Laced-With-Actual-Coffee in my cute, pink travel mug at the same time Hubs smashed the brakes and threw us all forward at a stop sign by the post office.  I ended up losing a substantial amount of my liquid gold Coffee Mate all over the front of my shirt, and then I realized that my seatbelt had locked me plum in place, and I was unable to move to even make an attempt at cleaning myself up.

This also meant that I was momentarily locked into place and couldn’t dish out the immediate smacking that Hubs genuinely needed.

Later on Saturday, Sister and her husband brought their pumpkins over to our house, so that they could venture out on a date together, without the company of small children.  (Apparently Food Network and the Starbucks drive-thru lane are not things they considered for a quality date, because they were actually gone for several consecutive hours.)  The boy had gone to Mam and Pa’s house for the afternoon, where Mam drilled him on words and definitions for his Advanced Vocabulary class, which was nothing short of a Fantastic Relief, because I didn’t have to do it!  Mam and Pa brought the boy home just as Sister was arriving with her kiddos, and our house was filled with noise.

Sister had brought over a frozen cheese pizza, which she said I could bake up for the kids, but Hubs already had steaks on the grill.

And, people!  Hubs may need a good kick from time to time for smashing the brakes while I’m about to take a sip of coffee, but the man can grill a steak!  We were just marveling the other night about how there is no restaurant in Small Town, USA that can deliver a steak capable of competing with Hubs’ grilled chunks of beef now.  Since we had enough steaks on the grill for all the kids, I put the frozen pizza into our freezer.

And that’s when L and K announced, “We want the pizza!”  This warmed my heart, because apparently Sister’s family is every bit as classy as we are!  Frozen pizza it was!  While Hubs and I ate steaks that made us groan with happiness and steamed asparagus that should have been featured on the Food Network, the kids sat at the kitchen counter and devoured an entire Red Baron Five-Cheese frozen pizza, and I put my dream of having the boy stand in as family chef away.

This morning, the boy woke me up at 6:00 and announced, “I’m awake, so I think I’ll play with my pirate ship in the bathtub.”  I’m sure you can imagine my joy at hearing this, and at being awakened in such a manner at 6:00 on a Sunday morning.  The good thing is that we were ready for church at an incredibly EARLY hour, but I didn’t even suggest a trip to Starbucks.

Pastor John delivered a great sermon this morning on how Pilate released Jesus to the Jews and said, “Here is your king.”  The Jews responded by saying, “We have no king but Caesar.”  Pastor John’s message was all about how we can deny the King in our lives and replace Him with a different king.  A king of money.  A king of bad relationships.  A king of pride.  A king of prestige.  A king of wanting to be in charge of everything.  A king of sin.  He challenged us to think about what king we’re claiming in our lives, instead of the Real One, and I’m still processing all of that message tonight.  It fits right in with a Bible study I’ve been doing with a group of friends entitled, “No Other Gods.”

After church this afternoon, Sister and Katie and I all decided to venture out for manicures, because, as the L’Oreal ad goes, “We’re worth it.”

And, because the theme of this blog post is exactly how classy we are, Sister and Katie and I picked a classy spa for our manicures.

At Wal-Mart!

Oh, people!  We had the very best time, and the three of us spent two entire hours getting our nails done and talking back and forth like a pack of hens in the chicken coop who haven’t seen one another for months!  Katie wanted to make sure that I snapped a picture with my phone of our spa experience, with all the Wal-Mart cash registers in the background, and I was, of course, happy to oblige her!

But really?  Our nails turned out fantastic.  Sometimes those little spas that are off the beaten path and right near the ATM machine, water fountain, and Wal-Mart Merchandise Return Section turn out to be the little gems in life.

And then, I took my freshly manicured nails and the boy and Hubs, in our NON-SQUEAKY SUBURBAN, and we hit the theater with Jodi and her kids, because Rio was playing.  It was cute and funny, and I won the Mother of the Year Award for 2011, because the boy asked me to hold his Twizzlers for a second, and I accidentally turned the package upside down in the dark and dropped every last Twizzler onto the floor.  And then I accidentally stepped on them while I was fumbling around, picking them up in the dark.  While Jodi’s children had their entire snacks laid out on their laps to enjoy, the boy’s snacks were squashed onto a dirty floor and thrown in the garbage can.

And that, people, is how our weekend panned out at the Jedi Manor.

Sadly, there were no French pastries at all.

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