Early yesterday morning, the boy asked me if Enzo could hop on over to our house for a sleepover. I, in turn, asked him HOW BADLY he wanted Enzo to come over, and I think we all know the answer to that one.
About as badly as he wants the over-priced, Queen Anne’s Revenge Pirates of the Caribbean Lego set.
Which is badly. Indeed.
And this, my friends, is where I kicked back, dropped a little umbrella in my drink and said, “Oh, THIS is gonna be good, Cinderella! I just wish we had a couple of stepbrothers to work alongside of you.”
I made up a list of chores for the boy to accomplish before Mission Sleepover got underway, which is to say, I handwrote a list that looked exactly like this:
1. Clean the closet in your bedroom before Mama has a stroke and votes someone off the island.
2. Read for half an hour.
3. Vacuum the family room.
Being the parent of a male child, I’ve come to realize that lists need to be short, simple, and easy to read. Also, they’re handled better if they have Eat a Pudding Cup While You Watch Mindless TV written somewhere on them. This is the exact same way I write lists for Hubs, too.
Being the mother of a male child also makes me understand that those three listed items will take no less than five hours to accomplish, because the male child will first take the vacuum cleaner apart to see what makes the brush spin, right before he reassembles it, plugs it in, and chases the cat with it. And then he will discover all manner of forgotten treasures in his closet (which is VERY easy to do, since the last tsunami rolled in and left fourteen NEW LAYERS of treasures to be worked through). He will also discover a box of food coloring in his closet, and then he will spend some time filling the bathroom sink and various cups up with water, and mixing blue and red to form purple.
And tiny bottles of food coloring in his CLOSET?! I have no words. I can offer no explanation as to why a MAJOR STAINING FACTOR was tucked in with the school clothes.
I’m not sure HOW the wicked stepmother kept Cinderella from all the distractions, but she must have done it SOMEHOW, for the girl made it to the ball before the ball had been wrapped up and finished for two full weeks.
Which is when MY BOY would arrive.
“You’re here for the ball, you say? Well that, my boy, ended FOURTEEN DAYS AGO, precisely at midnight! And, if memory serves me well, we ended it with quite a spectacle, too, as some coach exploded in a pop of brilliant fireworks and left a pumpkin sitting in the courtyard!”
Believe me, the boy would have been disappointed to have missed such a grand finale.
Five hours after giving the boy his list of chores, they were complete, and they had even passed Mama’s inspection. Enzo was phoned, and he arrived, bag in hand, fifteen minutes later.
Because my mom was out of town for a work-related conference, Hubs and I had invited my dad over for dinner so that he could dine on something more than cold cereal, and Grilled Steaks were on the list. We had the fillets and the ribeyes out, and Hubs was busy wrapping the ribeyes in bacon, because he said that it certainly wasn’t fair at all that I was getting bacon-wrapped meat in the form of a fillet, when he was being deprived of the excess pork fat, simply because he’d chosen a lesser cut of meat. Of course my dad looked at all the raw meat spread out like an offering on our kitchen counter, and he sided with Hubs.
When the boy walked in and saw the dinner options, he moaned and said, “Grilled meat AGAIN?! Can’t Enzo and I just have a cheese pizza?!”
Hubs looked at me, as if to say, “I have fathered this child, but I know him not.”
And since the children participating in the sleepover dictate what will be served from the kitchen, cheese pizza it was. We didn’t want Enzo to go home and say, “Oh, Mom, the sleepover was going along just swimmingly — there were video games and Legos and some time spent on the trampoline — and then Hubs and Mama wrapped bacon around steaks and grilled them up and completely RUINED EVERYTHING! Can you even BELIEVE THAT?! What kind of slumber party fare IS THAT?!”
While the pizza was baking in our oven, Hubs was finishing up his sixteenth layer of bacon around his steak. I simply looked at the ribeyes wearing coats of hogback and said, “Your bacon will never cook that way.”
I can claim no expertise in the kitchen, because the Jedi Manor considers a can of tuna fish dumped into a pot of cooked Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to be FINE AND INEXPENSIVE DINING, but I KNOW when something isn’t going to cook up right. Hubs assured me that I had no idea what I was talking about, and that I should leave the grilling to the experts.
I only laughed a little bit when the steaks were DONE! DONE! DONE! and Hubs and my dad scootched all the bacon layers to the sides of their plates because of RAW! RAW! RAW!
And then, because of my mosquito bite that is the size of a ping pong ball and itches with the fire of a hundred thousand poison ivy plants, I took a Benadryl to preserve my life, told the boys to SHUT THE TV OFF BECAUSE IT WAS APPROACHING MIDNIGHT, and I went to bed.
And y’all know how a good Benadryl tablet treats me.
When I groggily came awake at just after 3:30 this morning, imagine my utter surprise when I noticed a poltergeist-like, blue glow coming from the downstairs family room. Oh, people. Guess who had NOT heeded my motherly bedtime proclamation? And guess who was still up playing video games with the sound shut completely off of the television set?
I simply stood at the top of the stairs and, in the words of my beloved Beth Moore, firmly called out a Spank Offering, which was declined in immediate haste. I’m pretty sure that both boys were asleep by 4:00 this morning, but in my Benadryl coma, I can’t be completely certain of that. But I do know for a cold, hard fact that they were up at 7 AM, all bright-eyed and chipper and completely happy, just like they were living it up on a college campus somewhere.
Except, if that were the case, they’d have slept in until noon and skipped their Biology lab.
By 6:45 this evening, our boy had given the day all he had to give, and he was spent. He crashed, and he crashed hard, and I expect he’ll sleep for many consecutive hours, just like his Mama does when she has self-medicated for an enormous mosquito bite with Benadryl.
Hubs is working late on a computer system in Smaller Town, USA (formerly known as Gymnastics Land) tonight. Being married to Hubs is exactly like being married to an on-call physician, except he says things like, “Holy snot, that mosquito bite on your arm is HUGE! Does it itch?” So…other than THAT…it’s exactly like being married to an on-call physician, because I imagine a real doctor would just put two and two together and come up with a solid four.
Bite the size of a beach ball. Arm swelling with feverish skin. Yep. That sucker ITCHES LIKE THE DEVIL.
I was heading out to a little dinner party with some fun girls tonight, but I just made the phone call and said, “Hubs is stuck with a computer system that isn’t going well, and the boy is out cold. I’m home for the evening; carry on without me.” And now, with nothing else to do, I’m putting a DVD in, and I’m going to kick back with a cup of decaf coffee (so as not to wipe out the precious side effects of the bite-kicking Benadryl) loaded with extra Coffee Mate.
And I think I’m going to watch Footloose tonight. As in, the original. It’s a little prep work for when Footloose, the New Generation is released in October.
Provided that I haven’t passed on before then of an out-of-control insect bite, I’m there.