Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dispatches from the Morning Rush

*Cross-posted on the Picket Fence Post.*


Morning, just minutes before three kids have to dash outside to make the school bus in time. One child had already shouted, “I hate you!” when Mom insisted that, because it was raining and 50 degrees outside, the child should skip the shorts and wear pants. Three school snacks had been crammed into backpacks, including two non-nut-related items because there are nut allergies in two of the kids’ classes. Water bottles for the snacks had been filled, after a thorough check of the bottles to make sure they didn’t have the poison 7 inside the recycling symbol stamped on the bottom. Lunch money for the three children had been distributed.

Eldest Boy approaches his sloppily pony-tailed mom (who’s dressed in all black yoga attire though she hasn’t been to yoga in months and is so seriously NOT Zen-like). The Boy is wearing a subversive, chesire cat grin.

ELDEST BOY: Moooom. You’ll never guess what [YOUNGEST BOY] just did with a marker.

MOM: (*Groans, imagining all manner of illicit marker action.*) Do I even want to know?

ELDEST BOY: He wrote his name on the rug on the stairs.

Mom fights the urge to break things and calmly summons the Youngest Boy to the kitchen where she’s putting the milk and juice bottles back in the fridge. Considering that Mom hasn’t shouted nor turned purple yet, the Youngest Boy cautiously enters the kitchen.

MOM: What marker did you use? (*Praying silently it wasn’t one of the many permanent Sharpie markers that had been pilfered from her home office.*)

YOUNGEST BOY: (*Crickets*)

THE GIRL: (*Grinning because she hasn’t yet had an argument with Mom this particular morning so she’s sucking up*) He used a washable marker, Mom.

Mom exhales. Looking at the perp she quietly asks:

MOM: Why did you do that?

YOUNGEST BOY: (*Giant pregnant pause.*) I dunno.

Mom thinks she sees a smirk but is hoping there isn’t one as she mulls over what kind of punishment the Youngest Boy will get.


So much for “washable.” The remains of the teal-colored first grade scrawl — where the Youngest Boy claimed the third stair from the bottom as his own – are still evident on the cream-colored carpet, the first thing one sees upon entering the front door.

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