I am worried about Red…so very, very worried. Not because he is currently running around the house in his underwear. I can see how you might think that would trouble me, but you would be wrong. No, I am worried because he was able to convince me this was a good idea. Sometimes he makes so much darn sense out of utter nonsense that I fear, without the proper care and feeding, he is going to grow up to be a shyster. You know, like one of those guys who cozies up to nice old ladies and then removes them of their lifesavings. I don’t claim to know everything about this mothering thing, but it seems like that would be a bad outcome.
The other day Husband had done a sweep of the house and filled a bag with crap to return to the library. Red rummaged around and pulled out a DVD called “Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks.” (If you have not seen it, you really should check it out. There are a lot of fire trucks in it. Also, it was produced somewhere in the 80’s. Need I say more?) “I love this DVD!” exclaimed Red. Then his face fell when he realized it was in the bag to be returned. “Why is THIS going back?” Red demanded.
“I know you love it. That is how we ended up with two copies. We are going to take one copy back and you can watch the other copy,” I said. I thought I made a pretty compelling case. I really should know better by now. Red’s only response was to furrow his eyebrows at me. I knew full well that his father had lost the battle while in the library, but I still attempted to explain. “You can only watch one at a time. We do not need two of them.”
“Two is better than one.”
Well, he got me there.
And it isn’t just what he says, it is the WAY he says it that really gets ya. Take the evening I was reading him stories before bed. He was snuggled up against me, warm and cozy. All those great mothering hormones were coursing through me. When I was good and high on three-year-old boy sweetness he said, “I want a giraffe.”
“A giraffe, huh?” I replied, knowing I had to win this one. We cannot afford to feed a giraffe. “That sounds like fun, but where would it sleep?”
“On my bottom bunk,” he said.
“Hmmm…I don’t know about that…I don’t think a giraffe could climb the stairs—”
“I will take SUCH good care of it. I will feed it and walk it and pet it.”
“Well, it does sound like you know that pets are a big responsibility…”
“I will even let my brother pet it.”
“Aww, that is so sweet.”
“And I will let my sister pet it.”
“Oh, you are such a sweet boy!”
See that? See how he did that? This was a brilliantly executed plan. He got me with my guard down. Then he smacked me upside the head with taking responsibility and brotherly love. I WANTED to give him a giraffe. If he had me seriously considering a pet giraffe, can you imagine how many cupcakes he has convinced me to let him eat today? Let’s just say more than I should have given him, but just this side of less than would call for a trip to the ER.
So, why is Red running around in his underpants? Because he was putting on pants and got distracted. Why am I happy? Because he hates to wear pants. Every day for the past couple of months there has been a battle because he wants to wear shorts. Then he came up with the idea that he can wear shorts at home then change into pants before he leaves the house. Brilliant! It is now common to hear “Do I have to put pants on?” asked in our house several times a day. I am so happy that he is going out into the world dressed for the weather that I do not even care that he drops trou as soon as he gets to the door. You read that correctly. I am happy that my child moons the neighborhood multiple times each day. That is the power Red.
Lock up your daughters and elderly. None of us are safe.