Guess what the boy and I did after school today?
Other than homework. The homework which the boy was not keen on doing. The homework which frustrated the boy, not because it was difficult, but because it simply required some time and energy, which the boy did not want to exert. If he was going to exert energy, he wanted to ride his bike. Or dig with a shovel in the back yard. He did not want to exert energy over writing definitions for vocabulary words. He made this clear, over and over, until I finally said, “Fine. Don’t do your vocabulary words!” The boy responded by saying, “Mom! I HAVE to do my vocabulary words!”
Oh, Reverse Psychology! Why didn’t I use you sooner tonight!
Other than the misery-inducing vocabulary homework, we hopped on over to our friend, Wendy’s, house. Wendy has some black things at her house, and Wendy has some apricot-colored things at her house.
And the things, which are officially two weeks old now, look a whole lot like this:
Our good friend, Missi, and her pack of darlings joined us at Wendy’s house, to hold the black and apricot-colored things. Missi and I had extensive talks with our children on the way to Wendy’s house. The talks went like this: “We are not bringing a puppy home, no matter how much y’all plead and beg. Your sad eyes will not work on us. Your negotiations will be shot down instantly with arrows laced with real fire. You have been advised.” After the talks with our kids, Missi decided that I might need to shoot her negotiations down, too. No puppies, Missi. No puppies for the kids; no puppies for you!
The boy loved this little black baby the best. This little black pumpkin sat in the boy’s lap the entire time that we were there, and he snoozed. And the boy loved him with a love that ran as deep as the oceans and as high as the mountains, and Mama almost whispered to the boy, “Let’s call Daddy and see what he says!” But then Mama remembered that all negotiations in regards to bringing a puppy home would be shot down with flaming arrows, so Mama didn’t speak such words of encouragement to the boy. Mama kept repeating the phrase, “We would have to scoop poo out of the back yard; we would have to scoop poo out of the back yard.” I think that phrase worked on Mama. The boy, however, was immune to that phrase. He insisted that scooping poo would be just fine. He insisted that he’d scoop the poo, three times a day, every single day, for the rest of his life, and it wouldn’t even bother him one bit. Mama thinks that the boy wasn’t really telling the truth on that one. But Mama had to admit, the boy looked powerfully cute holding that little black pumpkin.
Sweet mercy! The boy looked even cuter holding two little black pumpkins! Twins! The boy wanted to bring home the twin brothers!
Missi’s oldest darling, Meg, wanted to bring home the triplets!
Missi’s other little darling, Ella, wasn’t concerned with triplets or twins. She just wanted one of the little apricot-colored babies. Actually, Ella wanted all of the puppies. I whispered in Missi’s ear, “You’d have to scoop poo out of your back yard!” Missi, who already has a dog, whispered back, “We already do scoop poo. Would it really be that much harder to scoop double poo?” I reminded Missi that all negotiations for small puppies would be shot down with flaming arrows and bazookas.
And Missi’s little boy, Jack, didn’t really care about the puppies. Black or apricot, he was indifferent. Jack thought they were just stuffed animals, because they didn’t really squirm around enough to entertain Jack. Jack was more interested in Wendy’s African gray parrot.
We all ended up laughing until our sides split open, as Wendy regaled us with tales of that naughty parrot. Apparently, he repeats everything that Wendy has ever said. And because the door to the bathroom is a short stone’s throw away from his cage, he is continually announcing to anyone who cares to listen, “Go to the bathroom now! Shut the door! Shut the door!” Our pack of children were delighted to no end to hear this.
And no one came home with a puppy tonight.
At two weeks old, they’re too young to sneak away from their mama. You can call this strategic planning on my part. And Missi’s part.
And when we left, Missi leaned over to me and said, “I really wanted four of those puppies. I wanted to bring four of them to my house, and I wanted to watch TV all day long with a big blanket, and I wanted four puppies snuggled up with me.”
I have to admit, I was thinking pretty much the same thing.
But we’d have to scoop poo out of our back yard; we’d have to scoop poo out of our back yard.