Last Year’s Baseball Uniform

Our fourth grade son is about to begin another baseball season.

“You probably need new baseball pants, but your cup was too big last year. So….”

“I grew a lot.”

“That doesn’t mean your penis grew a lot.”

“Oh my god, Mom!” Big belly laugh. “I can’t believe you said that!”

Best laugh I got so far in 2018. Such a comedian.

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The Sit-In at our House

This Spring has been marked by protests and rallies across the country – youth against gun violence, teachers for education funding, and more. The spirit of such activism finally made it to our house last night – although not with the seriousness of issues in the outside world.

My husband has instituted a $20 charge for any boy who uses our main floor bathroom. The spray of pee, which they should have under control by now, is a potential embarrassment any time we have guests.

“Darn it! I want to use that bathroom!”

“I’m not the one who sprays! It’s him,” each has yelled, pointing at whichever brother stands nearby.

“Oh, for the love of God,” our oldest son yelled at one point last week before shutting the bathroom door, “take the $20!”

“What if I have to blow my nose in that bathroom,” asked our son, mid-allergy attack, “and I don’t spray my snot?”

My husband shook his head, and off the poor kid ran down to the basement bathroom.

It was his older brother who came up with the idea. “Then we’re having a sit-in, so you can’t use it either.”

He lay down in front of the door to the bathroom. His little brother brought a book.

 

What I Didn’t Know About the Boys’ Bathroom

A ski weekend in Vail is always great for people-watching.

“What’s people-watching?” my teenager had asked me earlier in the day as skiers in elaborate costumes – some drunk by noon and very entertaining – lined up for the gondola to celebrate the final day of the ski season.

Seriously? What’s people-watching?

Later, I returned to our restaurant table from the girls’ bathroom and repeated some of the humorous conversations the ladies were engaged in. Comparing shoes. Heels no heels and associated mishaps. Gossip about the wedding they were attending. Dancing in their 60s. The much too short dresses of the younger girls.

“Wait,” my eighth grader looked confused. “They were talking in the bathroom?!”

“Well, yes,” I answered equally confused. “Why do you think girls head to the restroom together?”

Blank stares around the table.

“To talk about stuff,” I added. “Especially boys.”

“While you go to the bathroom?” All three boys looked disgusted. My husband smiled at me.

Apparently, the boys’ bathroom is silent. No talking. All business. Even if it’s just you and your brother. It’s like a rule. You do not talk.

“That’s weird,” they agreed, looking at me sideways as if I had just revealed yet another reason why girls are so strange.

After 15 years of living in a house of all boys I am still learning. No people-watching. No chatting in the bathroom.

Boy Versus the Bathrooms of Harbour Island

We traveled this Spring Break with our friends, who have a three-year-old. He couldn’t be cuter. Blonde ringlets. Great smile. Playful. Independent. Wears polo shirts without whining about the collar.

So, on a small island, where celebrities hobnob and multimillion dollar yachts park for a few days, he managed to blend in… most of the time. He’s very polite. He just struggled with the fancy bathrooms.

In a lovely little restaurant that ends its children’s menu at 6:45, hoping to limit three-year-olds by then, he accidentally locked himself in the bathroom well after the witching hour.

“Somebody help me!” he yelled from within.

The wine sippers and lobster eaters closest to the bathroom paused. His Dad wandered over.

“Somebody help me!” he screeched again, the panic rising.

The restaurant owner ran for a screwdriver. “Poor thing,” she said, “he was traumatized.”

Not this guy. A little sheepish maybe, but nothing a virgin strawberry Daiquiri couldn’t fix.

How about lunch a day later at the dock where the yachtsmen watch the sunset sipping a Goombay Smash?

“Somebody help me!”

Uh-oh.

“I need help!” he screamed again as his Mom raced to play savior in the high-stakes tour of fancy island bathrooms. “Somebody help me wipe!”

 

What I Love About 10

Today is Pajama Day at school, and while our middle school son wore sweats and a favorite Falcons t-shirt, no different than any other day, our 10-year-old strutted into school proudly sporting his flannel Snoopy Christmas pajamas.

Bright green. Snoopy. Charlie Brown. Woodstock.

Not a care in the world. No thought of “cool” or “not cool”.

Just lovin’ his PJs.

Struttin’ into 4th grade.

The Collector

People collect stamps. Stickers. Thimbles. Seashells. Antiques. Rocks in the shape of a heart. Little porcelain animals. Art. Legos.

Our fifteen-year-old son collects boxes. Specifically, the boxes that package Apple products.

“They’re really nice boxes,” he explained when I noticed his collection – all white with the Apple insignia – in his room.

This is not, apparently, a passing fancy. He’s been collecting them for a few years. I only noticed because they are now stacked on his desk. MacBook Pro, iPad Air, iPhone, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s. Even the little box an iPhone Lightning Dock came in.

“One day, these are going to be really valuable.”

But they’re boxes?!

“Yes… Apple boxes!”

The Call from Ski Patrol

We are fortunate that the calls we’ve received from ski patrol over the years were not due to major injuries. A vomiting child. A fainting spell in line for the gondola. And now….

Last weekend, the call came just as we were about to order a late lunch. Apparently, our ten-year-old was being brought down the mountain in a toboggan after a ski school injury to his ankle.

Or somewhere on his foot?

Maybe his leg?

His ride from China Bowl to ski patrol led him to the opposite side of the mountain from our lunch spot. So, I raced to get him. A gondola ride down with a group of hilarious women who claimed to “apres ski all day” and complained of a daughter-in-law who doesn’t ski because “all she does is sit around eating hamburgers.” Then a jaunt from that base to the next, where ski patrol was holding him.

The ski patrol dudes were lovely and patient. He wouldn’t let them take his boot off. “I would bring him back to the condo, put his feet up, and if he is still in pain tomorrow, take him for an x-ray. You know kids though. They’re fast healers.”

He didn’t exactly wink at me, but I knew.

A bus ride back to the base where we parked with the little guy performing a dramatic limp that actually put more weight on the injured ankle than the healthy one.

“Was the ride down scary or fun?” I asked, distracting him as I slid off his red ski boots.

“Well,” he winced between words, “it would have been really fun if I wasn’t in pain.”

Sneakers on. A slow walk to get mom some food. As we passed the skating rink, he brightened up…

“Can I go skating?”

Ankle? Foot? Leg? Where’d that crazy limp go?

Such a fast healer.