Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Cup

One hot and summery afternoon, my sons busily played in the living room.  New Socks, our Border Collie, lay on the kitchen floor with his eyes half closed.  Dreamily, he eyed the children as they raced across the linoleum with their little cars.

"Vrroomm!" The imaginary engine roared as Son #1 screeched across the floor.

"Rrrrrrr!"  Puttered the other imaginary engine as Son #2 raced to catch his brother.

The boys played for some time before they began to get thirsty.  Son #1 and Son #2 scampered to my room.  Son #1 shouted.  "I'm thirsty!  Can I get some water?"

"What do you say?"  I asked.

"Please???"  Son #1 replied.

Son #2 piped up.  "I want ba."  (Translation:  I would like my cup filled with milk please.)

I walked to the refrigerator with my ragamuffins in tow.  They jumped up and down excitedly awaiting their refreshing drink.  I handed Son #1 an ice cold water bottle.  He thanked me and ran to the couch.  Son #2 whined a bit as I filled his cup with vanilla soy milk.  Then, his face lit up as I handed him his cup.  He chattered.  "Tatu."  (Translation:  Thank you.)  Then, he pattered after his brother to the couch.

I went back to my room and the boys relaxed on the couch.  My two sons chattered on the couch happily.  Soon, they went their separate ways.  Then, I heard my husband yell.  "No, Son!  No!!!"
I jumped up and ran toward the commotion. 

When I arrived in the kitchen, my husband cried out.  "Son #2 just dumped out his cup of milk on the floor!"

Perplexed, I asked my husband.  "Why did he do that?"

My husband answered irritably.  "He was trying to give the dog a drink.  I caught him doing it and yelled for him to stop.  When he heard me, he began to jump around.  Then, he dumped his drink onto the ground."

Son #2 babbled with interest at the mess in front of the dog.  New Socks happily licked at the puddle of milk.  My husband mopped the spill in frustration.  I shook my head.

Son #2 has discovered the joy of feeding his food and drinks to the dog.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Unattended TV

This afternoon, I sat down on my bed and watched a sitcom while folding the laundry.  Son #1 and Son #2 were playing in their rooms with their trains.  My husband was outside watering the lawn.  Silence permeated every corner of the house.  The tranquility was unbelievable.  I diligently folded the clean clothes while laughing at the ridiculousness on TV. 

Once folded, I delivered the neat piles of clothing to each room.  I quietly tucked the stacks of shirts and shorts into their drawers.  Then, I tiptoed out of the rooms careful not to disturb their peaceful games.  When the clothes were put away, I wandered outside of the house and chatted with my husband.

Time passed while we breezily talked about the minor events of our day.  It was hot outside so I decided to go back in the house.  When I walked into the entry way, I saw Son #2 riding his tricycle through the living room.  He chattered and giggled joyfully as he rounded the corner to the kitchen.  I smiled at my youngest son and then looked around for Son #1. 

Where could he be hiding?

I checked in his room.  He wasn't there.

I checked in Son #2's room.  He wasn't there.

I checked in my husband's office.  He wasn't there either.

Then, I heard canned laughter emanating from my bedroom.  Could he be in there?  I strolled to my room and stood at the door.  Son #1 was sprawled on my bed watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

I asked.  "What are you doing in here?"

Son #1 turned away from the show and answered.  "I'm watching The Big Bang Theory."

I wrinkled my brow.  "Why?"

Son #1 responded.  "Well, this show has a lot of bad words and I'm watching it so I will know what I shouldn't say."

"Get out of my room!"  I said in mock irritation.

Of all the things I wanted my son to learn today, bad words from a TV show was not one of them.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Blue Jean Shorts

This last Saturday, my boys and I quietly entered the sanctuary of our church looking for a place to sit.  Son #1 quickly spied a friend and asked to sit with him.  After reviewing church etiquette, Son #1 settled into the pew beside his buddy.  Son #2 and I sat nearby in case there happened to be some monkey business.  I really should not have worried about Son #1.  However, Son #2 had a few surprises up his little preppy sleeve.

At first, Son #2 quietly looked at pictures on my phone.  This kept him amused through the announcements.  Then, he began to fuss and tossed my phone to the ground.  Fortunately, my phone is ridiculously old.  When the phone split apart into three pieces, I shrugged slightly and proceeded to collect the parts off the floor.  Then, I pulled up a demo game and handed it back to the little curmudgeon.  Son #2 fiddled with the buttons and gazed at the screen.  This little game bought me some time.

After the game was done, Son #2 tossed the phone into the aisle.  I tried to pick up the pieces but found it awkward holding my baby.  Son #2 took advantage of my clumsy grasp and wriggled down to the carpet.  He bounded to the pew in front of me and climbed up onto the cushion.  I swiped my baby off the pew as he struggled to get away.  I had a weak grip on him.  Son #2 pushed the pieces of the phone out of my hand to distract me.  Then, he weaseled his way out of my arms again.

This time he headed down the aisle.  I gave him my meanest stinky eye and motioned for him to return.  Son #2 just smiled and promptly removed his blue jean shorts.  My naughty rascal kicked his shorts off, picked them up, and threw them a little further down the aisle.  My eyes grew big with shock.  Did he just get NAKED inside our church?

I began to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.  However, I knew I needed to recover from the giggles quickly before Son #2 made a mad dash for the podium.  Once composed, I scrambled after my half naked toddler, lifted him into my arms, and recovered the blue jean shorts.  I rushed back to my seat and dressed the little nudist.  Then, I briefly lectured him on the virtues of staying dressed in church.  Son #2 looked at me with his wide innocent eyes.  When I had finished talking, he motioned for another game on my phone.  I made a sour face but found him a new game.

The new game entertained him for quite some time.  I was in the middle of enjoying a good sermon when my phone flew in an arc to the floor.  Son #2 wriggled from my arms, stripped off his shorts, and proceeded to search for the pieces of my phone down the aisle.


Could the earth just open up and swallow me whole?

Unfortunately, it did not.

I scurried after my exhibitionist and gathered him in my arms.  Then, I scooped up his shorts and my useless phone.  Quickly, I dressed him again.  Will the madness ever end???

Fortunately, the madness did end.  However, my mortification lives on in infamy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Overalls

One lovely morning, I began to dress Son #2 for church.  I dug through his drawers and selected a froggy overall with a matching shirt.  I sighed and gazed at the outfit.  He was going to look adorable.  Cheerfully, I brought the little outfit to my youngest son and presented it to him with pride.  "Look, baby."  I said.  "You're going to wear your froggy outfit today."

Son #2 peered at his clothes from behind his collection of toys.  A frown came over his once serene face.  Then, he bolted down the hallway to the kitchen.

What in the world!

I quickly snatched the clothes from the floor and chased after my naughty little baby.  Son #2 giggled hysterically as he dashed from room to room.  Finally, I caught him, stripped him of his pajamas, and slid him into his little outfit.  Son #2 tugged at the top of his overalls and protested.  Before he could wail in despair, I distracted him with a cool, new game.

While Son #2 was amusing himself, I continued to get myself and Son #1 ready.  From time to time, I would check on my little baby.  He seemed to be entertaining himself well as he played with his toys in his room.

All of a sudden, the house was silent.  I tiptoed from my room and peeked down the hallway.  Why was it so quiet?  What kind of nonsense had my sons created?  As I entered the hallway, Son #2 rounded the corner of his door frame NAKED.  He shrieked when he saw me and scampered to the living room.  I wanted to curse.  Frantically, I chased him through the house, caught him, and redressed him.  Then, I stomped to my room to finish getting ready.

Once I was dressed, I sat down at the table to eat my breakfast.  By that time, Son #1 was busily playing with his cars secure in the knowledge that he was dressed and ready to go.  As I ate, I noticed a tiny yet NAKED toddler strolling through the kitchen.

Not again!!

Quickly, I raced around the house picking up a trail of baby clothes.  Son #2 laughed as he ran to the front door to jiggle the knob.  I cornered him, slid him into his outfit again, and returned to my seat to finish breakfast.

Why won't this kid stay dressed???

Finally, my husband came out to the living room and announced.  "I'm ready.  How are you guys doing?"

I crossed my eyes and said.  "Son #1 is ready but Son #2 keeps stripping off his clothes.  I've dressed that rascal at least three times."

My husband laughed and asked.  "Do you think he's still dressed?"

"He better be dressed."  I replied in exasperation.

"Yeah."  My husband agreed.  "But I bet you five dollars he gets NAKED while we're at church."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sharing the Ice Cream

One of my favorite memories as a kid was going to get ice cream on a hot summer day.  The ice cream shop was not that far from where we lived so we would pile into the car whenever we heard its siren song.  Once there, my brother, parents, and I would order our single scoop cone.  Anything more was a luxury.  Then, we would sit around a table and savor our delicious treat. 

My brother and I were tiny little monkeys who could not eat those scoops of ice cream fast enough.  Inevitably, the ice cream would begin to drip down the sugar cone.  At first, the ice cream would drip slowly.  However as time went by, the drips would pick up speed.  My dad would motion for us to come to him as he said.  "Here.  Let me help you."  Then, he would proceed to eat half of our ice cream scoop.  We would cry out in protest.  "Hey!!!  You're eating it all!!!"  My dad would laugh and say.  "You need to eat your ice cream faster so I don't have to help you." 

Fast forward to the present.

My boys love to get ice cream from the ice cream truck that comes through our neighborhood.  They can hear the truck's songs long before it turns onto our street.  I try to have a pile of change ready just in case the truck's siren song beckons.

One afternoon, Son #1 sprinted out of the front door screaming.  "The ice cream man is here!  The ice cream man is here"  I shouted to Son #2.  "Hurry baby!  Let's get some ice cream!"  We ran out the open front door to the curb where my elder son was standing.  Son #1 was waving his arms frantically in order to flag down the ice cream man.  The truck reversed its course and carefully backed up toward our house. 

When the truck had stopped completely, the ice cream man poked his head out of the window and took our order.  He smiled and handed us our ice cream cones.  We cheerfully handed him the money.  Then, we waved good bye and took our treats inside the house. 

I ushered the children to the kitchen table and opened the wrappers.  Son #1 and Son #2 grabbed their cones like two greedy hyenas.  Then, a strange thing happened.  Instead of devouring their ice cream, they began to daintily lick their cones.  Time passed as the children savored their ice cream.  Soon, little drips began to run down the sides of their cones. 

The drips ran slowly at first but then picked up speed.  I chuckled to myself and then motioned for my children to come to me.  "Here.  Let me help you."  I offered.  They handed me their cones and I proceeded to eat about half of their ice cream."

"Hey!!!  You're eating it all!!!"  Son #1 cried out in protest.

"You need to eat your ice cream faster so I don't have to help you."  I replied with a laugh.

I left the boys in the kitchen to finish up their ice cream.  A little while later, I heard Son #2 cry out in protest.  This was strange.  I peered around the corner and saw Son #1 "helping" Son #2 lick the drippy ice cream off of the cone.  I disappeared behind the corner and broke out into laughter.  Apparently, my dad's ice cream swiping legacy lives on in me and my sons.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ears and the Nose

Son #1 was sniffling and clearing his throat this afternoon.  My husband asked.  "Are you getting sick?"

Son #1sniffed again and moved his jaw to clear the stuffiness out of his ears.  Then, he said.  "No, but my ear is jammed up."

I furrowed my brow and motioned for Son #1 to come to where I was sitting.  Son #1 obediently walked over to me and sniffed for the third time.  I peered at his nose and ears.  Then, I inquired.  "What's going on with your ear?"

Son #1 moved his jaw to pop his ear again.  He shrugged his shoulders and responded.  "I don't know.  My ear has a jam." 

"He's been complaining about his ear being stuffed for a couple of days."  My husband informed me.

"Hmm."  I pondered.  "Do you have allergies?"

"Maybe."  Son #1 replied.

"Do you have a cold?"  I asked.

"I don't know."  Son #1 said as he moved in closer to me.  "Feel my nose.  Does it feel cold?"

Does his nose feel cold???

Kids are funny.  They take things so literally.  However, I felt his nose.  It did not feel cold.

Fishing in the Creek

One sultry afternoon,  our little family and extended family members had a picnic in the local botanical garden.  A vast spread of vegetables, fruits, burritos, sandwiches, and random junk food covered our little picnic table.  The kids' greedy eyes were as wide as saucers.  They immediately began to beg for food.  I dished the delightful treats onto their plates.  My boys scarfed their food like ravenous little wolves and then wrangled their Tia (Aunt) away from her food to play with the ball. 

The afternoon passed lazily.  Son #1 and Son #2 were dripping in sweat when they finished their game.  Soon, they were fishing out cold water bottles from the ice chest.  While the adults talked, they ran up and down a little hill.  Then, they discovered the creek.  I had my eye on them as they disappeared behind the trees that shaded the little creek winding through the garden.  I got up from my chair and quickly followed them.  What were my little rascals going to do?

As soon as I rounded the grove of trees, I saw my boys gazing with wonder as the creek trickled across the small rocks.  The kids looked hot so I motioned them to follow me.  I sat down on a rock, took off my shoes, and stuck my feet into the cool water.  It felt so good.  The boys flashed me huge smiles and did the same thing.  At first, they stuck their toes into the water.  Then, they splashed about while poking at rocks with a stick.

All of a sudden, Son #1 decided he was going to pretend like he was fishing.  He grabbed a stick and sat on a rock waiting for the invisible fish.  Son #2 had to do what his brother was doing so he found a stick as well.  Then, he plopped himself down beside his brother and began to imitate his actions.  I chuckled to myself.  Sometimes, they really are a miniature version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.