Ran around in baby clothes
The older boys were suspiciously quiet one day. I assumed they were playing together in their room. Instead, they were rummaging through the clear bins of too-small clothes in their closet. The Gort emerged wearing a size 3T Italia shirt that he used to wear in…..2006….paired with red skater shorts that are marked 12-18 months. The Hen ran through the house wearing a corduroy winter hat lined with sheepskin. For babies aged 4-6 months. Along with his snowboots. Later, he emerged wearing a fleece hoodie intended for the 12 month and younger set.
Used a marker to create facial hair
‘You know what I wish I could do,’ the Gort asked conspiratorially one afternoon. ‘No, what?’ ‘Draw a mustache on my face,’ he confessed. ‘Oh, go ahead,’ I sighed. So he did.
Dumped ‘bubble’ soap all over the front porch
I thought I’d be fun-summer-mom and picked up three (differently colored) bottles of bubbles at the store. The boys were elated. But young Percy couldn’t quite get the wand in and out of the narrow-mouthed contained. And he couldn’t quite blow any bubbles. And then he dumped three-quarters of the liquid onto the front porch within five minutes of receiving it.
They tried to replenish by adding water. But, as they soon realized, that didn’t quite work.
Staying up late
Thanks to the skies being light interminably, and the boys sharing a room, one or both of the older two boys often don’t fall asleep until 10 . Last night we tried separating them, by putting the Gort on the guest bed in the office, leaving the Hen to run around in his room upstairs, alone. He still didn’t fall asleep. When I went in there just before 9pm, I found him holding a yellow highlighter. [Come to think of it, where did he GET that yellow highlighter?] ‘What are you doing?’ I asked. ‘Nothing,’ he told the lie that children all over the world have told for centuries. ‘Where did you draw with that marker?’ ‘Nowhere.’ I repeated the question, he repeated the answer. My eyes landed on a paperback book resting on the dresser, a pair of 4T pajamas piled (suspiciously) on top of it. ‘Don’t look there,’ the Hen warned me.
I removed the pajamas and found the cover page of the book decorated with yellow highlighter. ‘Did you do this?’ I asked. ‘No.’ ‘Well, who do you think did this?’ ‘I think Percy did it,’ he threw his baby brother under the bus. The brother who was actually sleeping. Without a yellow highlighter.
‘Henners, you’ve gotten into trouble before for writing on things that you’re not supposed to,’ I chided, remembering the evening we walked upstairs and found blue permanent marker on the hardwood floors, the baseboards and the doors and the washing machine. ‘My name’s not Henners,’ he balked. ‘Well, what’s your name, then?’
I drove the boys to the Gort’s tennis lesson yesterday morning. ‘We’re lucky to live in Canada,’ the Gort mused from the backseat. As he has a time or twenty in recent months. ‘Why?’ I asked. For the twentieth time. ‘No volcanoes, no twisters, and we don’t really get sunburns, because our country is not really warm.’
I howled. Visibly. ‘It’s not funny,’ he roared from the back. ‘Our country is not really warm’….’sunburns’? Actually, it is….funny.
‘It’s going to be boiling hot when we go to America,’ he sighed.
As mentioned previously, the boys don’t fall asleep until very late each night. Last night, especially, the Gort was still awake at 10.3opm – because he’d fallen asleep in the car…..at 5pm. ‘You can draw,’ I suggested, when he emerged to complain (again) that he couldn’t fall asleep. So he sat beside me at the dining table. I, working, on jargon-laden conference papers. He, drawing whatever came to mind. It was sweet. ‘This is nice,’ I observed, ‘to see you drawing. You don’t draw as much anymore.’
‘Well, I’m getting older,’he replied. ‘And I’m busy.’ I suppressed the smile that was begging for release. ‘What do you mean you’re busy?’ I inquired, a mixture of bemusement and curiosity. ‘It’s hard to explain,’ he tried to dismiss me, in the superior tone of the ‘old’ and ‘busy’. ‘Well, name one thing you’re busy with,’ I insisted.
‘Tennis,’ he replied. I hadn’t realize the four days of 90-minute-lessons had wreaked such havoc on his schedule. ‘What else?’ ‘Playing….running errands…..’
Ah, I see.