Last night, before I crawled into bed, I mentally declared that Wednesday would be the day that I took the bull by the horns, showed him who’s boss, and organized my house.
And by organized, I don’t mean the entire house, but just the parts of the house that show when people stop by.
Mainly, I wanted to organize my kitchen by getting rid of the dirty dishes in the sink.
And I wanted to organize my dining room by clearing two weeks’ worth of mail off of the table.
And I wanted to organize my bathroom by scrubbing the toothpaste splatters off of the faucets.
I had myself some goals, people.
When I woke up this morning, the boy was already busy packing a suitcase, because he was invited to move in at the ranch in Small Ranching Community with his friend, Ben. He was facing a packing crisis, when he came up to me and announced, “I need some help deciding what to take.”
This happens to me all the time when I travel. It’s always a question of DO I PACK THE HOT ROLLERS? OR THE CURLING IRON? Because what inevitably happens is that I always want the one that I didn’t pack when I arrive at my destination.
The boy’s concerns over what to put in his suitcase weren’t quite as life-threatening as mine usually are, because he never considers the potential for a Hair Crisis of Volcanic Magnitude when he’s away from home. Instead, he said (and I quote), “I know you want me to take OLD clothes to the ranch, but I don’t know what pants to pack. I would say that jeans that have holes in them are old, but then you hollered at me for wearing my Abercrombie jeans with the holes in them out in the mud, because you said you paid good money for those holes. And then you were upset when I blew the knee out of my Under Armour windpants and made a hole. I really don’t know which holes mean OLD CLOTHES and which holes mean EXPENSIVE CLOTHES.”
I have no idea where I failed as a mother, but the boy needs a fashion intervention.
(I think I may have handled that intervention this afternoon, though, as I spent an hour on Ralph Lauren’s website, armed with a 50% off coupon. Fourteen emails of WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS ONE? and seven texts to Carrie later, and we had us some school clothes being shipped.)
(Nothing has a hole in it.)
(If something DOES have a hole in it, then Ralph and I are going to have to talk about quality assurance.)
After the suitcase was filled for four full days of dressing at the ranch, the boy declared, “Now I need to go to Walmart to buy batteries.”
People, that driver’s license cannot come soon enough!
The boy filled a backpack with every manner of Big Foot tracking equipment he owns. He packed his night vision goggles, his motion-activated game camera, his regular camera, his video camera, and his bionic ear that lets him hear conversations between aliens on Jupiter.
Unfortunately, the power supplies to all of these things were running on the dead side, so off we went. Before we left, I told the boy that he’d have to buy his own batteries, with his own money. He was prepared to do this. I asked him if he had enough to cover his expenses. He said, “I have a twenty dollar bill… and another twenty dollar bill… and a five dollar bill in my wallet, Mom. I can definitely afford batteries.”
His bill at Walmart came to $18.97. He quietly paid the cashier, took four steps away from the cash register, and yelled, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT BATTERIES COST THESE DAYS??!! I HAD TO USE A WHOLE TWENTY DOLLAR BILL TO PAY FOR THEM!!”
As we got into the Suburban, he was still grumbling and said, “I can’t believe Walmart charges so much for batteries! Can’t they see I’m just a kid who needs them?”
I’m pretty sure the boy learned a lifelong lesson today.
Nothing is cheap, Son, and America doesn’t care if you’re twelve or seventy-nine; there’s a flat charge for double-A batteries in the economy packs for everyone.
(But I would like to say, “Can’t Starbucks see that I’m just a tired mom, and I need a chai latte?”)
By 10:00 this morning, the boy had left with Ben, and they had every intention of sleeping in a tent in a field at the ranch and capturing Big Foot alive. Ben just smiled at me and said, “You’re a skeptic now, but you won’t be when the boy and I bag the beast in the next couple of days.”
Actually, I’m secretly hoping the boys DO catch him and bring in some cold, hard cash. Mama spent her tax return on intravenous
drugs antibiotics, when she had every intention of paying a landscaper with that check to put some grass out back, where all the weeds and hayfield are.
After the boy left to go hunting and live off the land for the next four days, I went to the chiropractor.
And then Thing 2 took a three hour nap, which was ample time for me to organize my house.
Except I got busy reading a book, and I rationalized that by saying, “I NEVER get to read. I’m growing in knowledge.”
When Thing 2 woke up, he wanted to jump and bounce and climb and make his mama pull her hair out by the roots, so we went to the indoor playland at the local rec center. Thing 2 ran the equivalent of two marathons through all the tubes and tunnels and slides, and he burned six-point-nine million calories.
It’s why Hubs fed him a Popsicle for dinner.
And now, here it is bedtime, and my house is still unorganized. But… when the big boys hit pay dirt in the morning, with a giant, hairy monkey hanging upside down by his leg that’s caught in a rope trap, I plan to just go on ahead and hire a little someone to clean things up around here.
And then I want someone else to bring in some grass and sprinklers for the backyard.
Happy Wednesday, y’all.