At Least I Know Where I Stand

I was helping my oldest child study for a test recently when I casually mentioned that I never had to learn the particular lesson he was studying. He looked at me and, in a tone that I believe can only be produced by incredibly pretentious nine years old snots, said, “Only the kids in the gifted and talented program learn this, so…”

Well,” I said. “I used to be in the gifted and talented program when I was in school and we didn’t go over this then.”

“What? You were in the GT program when you were in school?”

“Yup.”

“Huh? I didn’t know you were smart.” I think it was the complete sincerity in this comment that made me wish I was fabulously rich so I had a will that was worth writing him out of.

“Believe it or not some people still think I’m pretty intelligent.”

“Really?” More sincerity. “You don’t even have a job. What’s the point of being smart if you don’t use it for anything?”

That was the moment I decided that my oldest son would never be my favorite.

Never.

The Cupcake

“You really think it’s worth it for a cupcake?”

“Yes. Yes I do. It’s two dollar Tuesday. And this is my last chance to go.”

“Really? I mean ‘really you want to leave the house’ not about the last chance, two dollar thing. I don’t think he wants to go. And he can’t eat a cupcake because of the surgery this morning.”

“He feels better now and if he tears it into little pieces he can probably eat one. If that doesn’t work we can get him ice cream or a milkshake. And they’re really good cupcakes. The bakery won Cupcake Wars. We need to get out of the house anyway. A drive will do us good.”

“Whatever… I’ll go if you pick out their clothes.”

“Quit worrying. It’ll be fine.”

……………………

“What took so long?”

“He was freaking out, screaming and throwing himself to the floor because he didn’t want to go to the cupcake store. I told him he could try it and if it didn’t work we could get him ice cream and then he started freaking out about that.”

“So we’re not going now?”

“No, we’re going. He’s coming out the house. See?”

“You think this is a good idea?”

“It’ll be fine.”

……………………..

“I’m sorry you can’t eat your cupcake, but you have to stop screaming. It doesn’t help anything… No your brother shouldn’t stop eating his cupcake just because you… ”

“Well if we wanted to be fair…”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“No, we’ll save your cupcake until tomorrow and… STOP SCREAMING!! We’ll stop for ice cream. You’ll be able to eat that. You’ll see. It’ll be fine.”

………………………..

“I’m sorry it hurts to… Stop screaming please! I’m sorry it hurts to eat ice cream. Just put… Listen! Stop freaking out and LISTEN TO ME! Just try to put a little in your mouth at a time and let it melt…”

“I guess he doesn’t like that idea… Hey! Don’t be so dramatic and STOP SCREAMING! Do you want me to be so distracted that I wreak the car and we all die a horrible flaming death?!?!”

“Now who’s being dramatic?”

“Whatever. You wanted to ‘go and get two dollar cup cakes‘. This is all on you. You were… SHUSH! ALL OF YOU BACK THERE! I swear if you y’all don’t quiet down none of you will ever eat AGAIN!!!!”

“I wonder where he gets it.”

“…”

“Oh so you’re not talking to me now?”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“Fine, I’m sorry, it was a terrible idea. Ok?”

“Yep… Well I hope the cupcake was worth it.”

“…”

“So how was it? Was it worth all this?”

“… It was fine.”

It’s Finally Over

The end didn’t come easily.

My oldest cried from the time he woke-up to right before getting on the bus.

Demon Spawn cried because he didn’t want his momma to go back to work.

And my wife, in a lateness induced rage, kicked the baby in the face for getting in her way as she was trying to get out the door. (Okay, she didn’t actually kick him in the face as much as trip over him as he toddled in front of her while she had her hands full, but I am going to use the “kicked the baby in the face” later in a “Oh yeah? Well do you remember that time you …” moment.)

Like I said, it wasn’t easy, but Christmas “vacation” officially ended this morning.

The house is mine again.

No more people in my way… Well, there’s fewer people in my way.

No more horrible cacophony of multiple electronic toys and entertainment devices going off all at once.

No more weekday mornings filled with the screams of the two oldest children as they fight like a couple of coked-up honey badgers over who had what first.

No more “Daddy can I use the computer?” or “Sweetie, I need to use laptop when you get a minute.”

No more “help” when I try to do things.

Oh no, no more of any of that…

Or at least until the weekend gets here.