Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There's Nothing to See Here

“Julie?” Dave said when I answered my cell phone while out to lunch with a friend, “is Luke having Andy over today?”


“Um, yeah,” I stammered, “didn’t I tell you that?” (I knew I had not). In my excitement to escape the house, I had completely forgotten to tell everyone Andy was coming over to play.

Luckily Andy and Luke got busy right away building Legos, playing Rock Band, and shooting hoops in the rain all afternoon.

Other than one little incident with the boys involving a wet shirt, a hairdryer, and the words, “WHOA! Were those SPARKS???” (at which point I abandoned my work in the kitchen and ran up to my bathroom just in time to deliver the “If It’s Not Yours Don’t Touch It” speech to Luke, who, to be fair, was only trying to get his buddy’s rain-soaked shirt dry before his dad came to pick him up), things went quite smoothly.

Until Andy’s dad arrived.

“Oh, good,” he smiled when I answered the door, “I’m glad you’re home!”

I laughed, unsure of what he meant. Everyone else had been home all day.

Sensing my confusion, he explained. “I came to the door with Andy, and your daughter [she is 10] answered the door. I asked if you were home, and she said no. I asked if Dave was here, she said he was in the shower. So I just looked at Andy, wished him good luck, and left him here.”

Andy’s dad is very forgiving.

“I’m so sorry, I forgot to tell them you were coming before I left,” I told him. The boys ran off to find Andy’s shoes while I continued my confession, detailing the hair dryer incident.

“So, did sparks really fly?” he asked.

“I don’t know, but I got there before any damage could be done,” I said reassuringly. I left out the part about my bathroom smelling like smoke.

Just then the boys returned with Andy’s shoes. And a steak knife.

“Mom?” Luke said, holding the knife up to me with his eight-year-old grin, “Can we cut a hole in a shoebox for my homework?”

Luke had been itching to start his creative book report project all weekend and was now holding a knife up to a man who may or may not ever bring his child over to play again.

“Honey, let me have the knife,” I said through a tight grin, “and you get the shoebox ready.”

I turned back to Andy’s dad and thanked him again for bringing Andy over while Andy put his shoes on when I heard a familiar name.

“Mom?” Luke said again as I turned around to see him holding both a torch lighter and a book of matches, “Can I light a candle in the kitchen?”

Andy’s dad broke the silence. “Are you sure you were actually watching them today?” he said with a nervous laugh and a smile that (I hope) meant he was just kidding around.

Watching them pull out of the driveway I immediately started formulating my foolproof plan for an exit strategy should Child Protective Services come a-calling. So if future blogs come from a woman named Elsie in hiding in Newmarket, Ontario with her husband, Felix, you’ll know what happened.

(No need to get the guest room ready right now, Erin, they haven’t shown up yet…)


Mr. Knucklehead said...

I'm a mandated reporter. You're in big trouble, Missy.

PalmTrees said...

Fresh sheets are on the guest bed and the key is under the mat Jules! Err...I mean Elsie. Your #1 Canadian fan would be glad to have you!

The Jules said...

As long as children aren't actually dissapearing or eating batteries under your care, I think you'll be okay.

You did hide the batteries didn't you?

LC in Hawktown said...

Yep,this is a good example of why those parents who have a son first are fortunate. After a boy,even the good ones, you're pretty much prepared for anything to happen with the kids who follow!

Leah Rubin said...

Love it! Murphy was an optimist, wasn't he? I mean everything that possibly can go wrong WILL go wrong, and in front of people who will judge you! Great post!

Diane J. said...

I've got five boys, sounds like you're doing a great job. They sound healthy (which means they're eating well) and there was no blood shed, so obviously you kept them safe. What more was the guy expecting?

We're working on HOW to write a NICE thank you. One of the twins was doing his thank-you notes for his birthday party and he wrote "Well, well, the stuffed dog is good, but I still wanted legos." I'm just glad I caught it before it made it out the door. Sheesh!

kk said...

that sounds tame compared to what would have happened should i ever have children.

i bet parents get mad when you accidentally "lose" their kids!

Chrissy said...

That's so funny!

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining story! Appreciate the fact that he happily entertains himself and, at least he seeks permission before he acts! What a good boy! ;-)

I would gladly swap places with you. I struggle to keep clothes on my 3 year old, it doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing she just wants to take her clothes off. It really is very embarrassing in social settings.

-Diane J - your son's comments made me laugh!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh my gosh! I skip a couple weeks of blog reading and I come back here to find you plastered in the newspaper with your very own column, offering bits of jules wisdom and wit (I'm waiting anxiously to find out the secret to glass repair-not for my kids-I can't tell you how many times I've taped my sunglasses back together).

Thrilled for you, Julie!

Jesse said...

We do the best we can! "Andy" had a great time from what I heard. As long as our children come home breathing with all limbs attached I call that a success!! Boys will be boys and these two had a good time being boys at that!