The professor walked into the kitchen the other morning. It was probably one of those heinous mornings where the older two were fighting and wailing from the moment they placed their feet on solid ground. ‘I’m running away,’ he informed me. ‘I’ll take the baby with me,’ he added. Whether it was because the baby was actually being good, or because he happened to be holding fifty-percent-of-his-genetic-material in his arms, I don’t know. Actually I think B3 might be closer to ninety percent of Herr Johnson’s genetic material.
But I digress.
‘I pretty much have things going on all of next week,’ the man of the house warned me this morning. As if he’d realized that the academic year was winding down and he’d better schedule as many meetings and juries as humanly possible before his four-months-of-no-teaching starts.
We were driving in the car when he relayed this nugget of information. Following a doctor’s appointment for our precious Hen. (The child who was once diagnosed at age six months with a case of ‘utterly charming‘.) The doctor laughed when he walked into the exam room. I’m guessing the three visits I paid him last month has aided him in recognizing me as the woman who comes in insisting her boy children are sick, but they never really are.
I told him I thought the kid had an ear infection. Why? Because I laid him down on the floor to change his diaper and he started screaming the kind of scream that made me wonder if we should skip the pediatrician and continue to some sort of holding facility.
The doctor looked in his right ear. For a long time. To humor me, most likely. ‘This one looks fine,’ he announced. And I sunk deeper into the black vinyl chair. It should also be mentioned that the Hen was sitting on the exam table as happy as a lark. Patiently allowing the doctor to poke and prod. ‘Go ahead, this is fun,’ he seemed to say.
The doctor looked in the kid’s left ear. For a long time. ‘Yep, that’s a red ear,’ he finally conceded. I’m not sure if I actually shouted ‘Yes!’ or if I just thought it. He sat back as he pondered what to do. ‘Since he’s over two, we should probably just wait and see if it gets worse,’ he deliberated. I felt momentarily deflated. ‘Since it’s almost the weekend, I could give you a script, and you could see how he feels in the next day or two,’ he finally suggested.
‘Yes!’ I’ll take a script. And I’ll fill it right away thank you very much. The Hen practically bounced on his way out. As if I’d imagined the morning’s eardrum-obliterating-screaming.
The professor walked through the door seven hours later. I handed him the baby before he’d taken off his coat. The baby I’d been holding for the last two hours. ‘What’s for dinner,’ the man who hadn’t eaten since breakfast inquired. ‘Whatever you want,’ I replied. Not as in ‘tell me what you want and I’ll make it for you,’ but as in ‘whatever you can find to eat because there isn’t any prepared dinner, per se.’
I heated up a frozen (homemade) burrito while he stood in the kitchen listening to the news of the day. Which amounted to ‘not much’ other than our oldest’s announcement: ‘when I turn ten years old, I’m going to call Jason father‘. I asked what he was going to call me. He mulled it over for a moment. ‘I think I’ll call you mommy….or maybe just mom, that’s a short word for mommy……or what about sweetie?’
‘I really have to start coming home at 6.30 again,’ Jason-father declared. After he’d been home for about twenty minutes. ‘It’s so much easier to come home and think I only have to make it thirty more minutes before bedtime…..are there any of those (Cadbury mini) eggs left?’ he confessed-inquired. I replied with a look, the kind that said: ‘I’ve been home with your spawn all day. Do you think there is any candy (other than stale Peeps) anywhere in this house?’
‘Why do you think I did pilates (for dummies)’ I clued him in.
‘Well, can you make me some cookies?’ he asked. And I did. Because I’m an awesome wife and because I hadn’t consumed anything sweet for at least an hour. And the boys’ bedtime wasn’t for another hour.
I’m thinking it’s time for a summer job for moi. Something that pays a decent wage. Where nobody messes up any of my stuff. And I don’t have to spell any words or reply to questions like: ‘what’s plus one plus one hundred plus fifty’ or ‘what number is one five zero eight?’ And I don’t have to utter phrases like: ‘don’t hurt your brother. I said, don’t hurt your brother.’
Also, I’m looking for black curtains. Extended daylight is really one of the downers of ‘spring’. In my opinion.