This is my mom.
She is an awesome, wise, funny lady. She dances in the rain with her grandchildren, gardens, teaches special needs kids to read, and finds seriously awesome bargains at garage sales. She can decorate fabulous cakes; she cries at sappy movies until she laughs; she taught me to sing alto just by standing next to me in church all those years; she lost a ton of weight several years ago and has kept it off ever since; and she paints the Little One’s toenails every time she sees her.
When Bubs was one month old, we received a package in the mail from my mom welcoming him to Grandma’s Book of the Month Club. Every month since then, my kids have received a new book that caught my mom’s eye. Some of the books have become family favorites, others have been forgotten quickly. One, however, has caused a great deal of crisis in our house of late.
Stinky’s June book from Grandma was about Father’s Day. It showed these kids taking their dad’s stuff so that they could make a Father’s Day present for him. When the dad went to look for his bucket and sponge to wash the car, he couldn’t find it, and so on. At the end of the book it shows the kids giving their dad all his stuff back with little tags that say things like “free car wash.”
This is the kind of book my children should not be allowed to read. Because it puts ideas into Bubs’ little blond head.
Early last week, as I was attempting to unearth the kitchen counters, I noticed that the boys were running up and down the stairs with great excitement.
“We’re making a present for Daddy!” Stinky explained gleefully.
“Sssshhh! Don’t tell!” Bubs interjected as he put the finishing touches on a sign that said “No Dads Allowed.”
Oh, how cute, I thought, having not yet actually read the book in question and therefore not realizing the implications of what they were up to.
I was clearing off the dining room table when I noticed Stinky coming inside lugging a half-empty bag of charcoal.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“This is for Daddy’s present!” he responded.
“You can’t use that.” I said flatly.
“But I need it for Daddy!”
“No. You may not take the charcoal. Go put it back where you found it.”
He looked at me for a moment in shock at my cruelty and then wailed to his brother “Mommy says no charcoal!!!!!”
“Mommy says no charcoal!!!”
At this dreadful announcement, Ryan came charging up from the basement to try to change my mind. I think the look on my face must have been pretty clear, though, because he didn’t even start his argument.
“It’s okay, we’ll just have to find something else to use!”
And they both disappeared downstairs, leaving me to my soapy water and pots and pans.
A couple days later, the boys and I embarked on a fascinating monthly adventure that I like to call “Finding the Floor of the Basement so Mommy Can Reach the Laundry Room.” In the process of sorting Legos, Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, army guys, blocks, Hot Wheels, and plastic hammers, I found my husband’s desk lamp sitting on the floor of the playroom.
“What is this doing here?” I asked Bubs.
“Oh, it’s part of Daddy’s present.” Sure enough, when I looked closely there was a tag on it that said “free light.”
As we continued cleaning, I also discovered his CD case, his hammer, and a key to goodness-knows-what (being that my husband works campus security, he has a lot of keys and very few of them belong in our basement jumbled up with puzzle pieces and labeled “free kee”).
“You boys can’t be taking Daddy’s stuff!” I said in exasperation. “He can’t find any of his stuff if you guys keep taking it!”
“But then how will we make Daddy’s presents?” asked poor confused Bubs.
“I don’t know. You’ll have to think of something else.”
Yesterday, we went to grill and my sweetie couldn’t find the tongs. In a moment of brilliance, I turned to our eldest and asked if he had taken them.
“Um, I think so. Are they a pointy fork thing?” Um, no. But we were quite happy to discover the sharp grilling fork in the basement labeled “free gril.” Apparently when I told the boys to stop taking Daddy’s stuff, I forgot to tell them to put the stuff that they had taken back. Oops.
I certainly hope they don’t decide to start hiding my stuff. There’s a sign on their bedroom door now that says No Moms Allowed. Well, actually, it was written by Stinky so it says “Mom allow one,” but you get the drift. If I don’t blog again for a week you can assume that a “free computer” is in my future.
Mom, can August’s book be about little boys who help their mommies do the dishes and scrub the toilets?
Just a thought.