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Michael Jackson is the KING! (King of pop, that is.) My son knows this well. Ever since he was a young kid, you could find him pop-locking to Michael’s music and mimicking a mean moonwalk. On a daily basis, he would ask for me to play “Beat It” and at the first downbeat, he would toss the hat he stole from his auntie Pam onto his head, jerk his lower torso back and forth, kick his leg in the air and scream, “Wooooo!” Yes, he had committed the entire dance to memory, and it made me chuckle every single time he performed it.

One Halloween, he worried me sick. He ran through the door, determined to make his demands. All of the kids at school were bragging about the outfits they planned to sport that day, and he had to be included in the conversation. When he got home, he explained in great detail that he just had to have a “New” Michael Jackson outfit, complete with the hair, gloves, jacket and shoes. Little did he know, I already had a weave under my bathroom sink, and his black church shoes were gonna have to do. As for the gloves, a trip downtown would allow me to get a pair for $5.00 and a bag of rhinestones for a whoppin’ $0.99 cents. Now, what did I do with that glue gun?

It is times like these that living in Los Angeles is not so bad! However, this blessing quickly becomes a curse when your child is an undercover fashion guru. There would be no makeshift hair, no junkyard shoes, and no thrift store gloves allowed this Halloween.   No, sir! He wanted the item in the bag that cost $55.95. I am holding my chest as I write this. Is it illegal to charge consumers that much money just to play scary games? To wear these outfits for one day, and one day only, made my stomach turn somersaults. Was my son nuts?

I walked out of the store having paid a bill of $109.95 for two outfits that I wish I still had today. (Clearly, I was the nutty one). I swore I would make them wear each outfit every year, and then use them as heirlooms for my grandkids. It was an investment, and I had no intention of placing it into a bag to give away to someone else’s child. Stories would be told in my family for years to come because of Mr. Jackson.

A few weeks ago, my children and I were sitting down watching the 413th re-run of a show on the Disney channel. Staring at the screen as though the first time watching the scene play out, they cut to a commercial. The next sketch was that of a Disneyland adventure. In the spirit of being true children, the boys began to drop bomb-sized suggestions of returning to the happiest place on earth that leave parents pissed they ever went. The opportunity arrived, and like little rich kids, they took the day off from school and went…with their babysitter. I bargained with them to bond at a later time on flat ground and at a park that is no more than half an acre in size. Walking an entire nation was not appealing. From my youngest child’s perspective, if that nation included M. J., it was worth the trip.

After a long and eventful day (and still infused with a ton of energy), they were dropped off to me and immediately recounted their experiences. My ears burned of the tales they told of old people arguing, riding roller coasters that made their hearts stop mid-breath, and sneaking food into the facility, because $20 for a cheeseburger is just unconstitutional. I can always tell when my youngest is in deep thought. He entered that space and lifted his finger in the air as if to say, “I think I’ve got it!”

“Mom.” I didn’t answer at first. “Mom. You gotta hear this.”

Even though I had not walked for ten hours, I have raised them together for 10 years, so we were even on the exhaustion tip.

“Yes, baby.” I whispered.

“Why are you whispering? Sean’s not sleeping!” How considerate of him. “We went to see EO today. Did you know that?”

“I figured you would see the show today,” I responded. Did you enjoy it?”

“Yes, I did.” He pauses. “But, I think I figured something out that I never knew before.”

“Really? What was that?” I sat up a bit, because I never know what this boy is going to say.

“I think Michael Jackson died because he grabbed his crotch too hard. Do you think so?”

While his reasoning would have kept Michael’s doctor out of prison, I offered that it could have been the beginning of all of his problems.

“Well, that just means that Sean and I have to be very careful when we use the bathroom, or we could die too!”

Spoken like a true commoner.

Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!

The Diagnosis of “The King”

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All God’s Creatures…Work My Nerves!

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BeeI despise snakes.  I am not fond of rats.  Cockroaches are simply grotesque, and any other creature that enjoys the company of trash and other unsanitary conditions can not be considered a friend to man. Yet, they persist in being in our presence, loitering in places they are not welcomed, making their existence known by marking their territory.

We live in an area where possums and raccoons are a regular sighting.  As a matter of fact, one evening, I looked over my balcony to witness a possum rummaging through the trash, and after finding a prized apple core, remained there to revel in its flavor. Noting that this thing was as big as a baby pig, I stood frozen in my space. With garbage bag gripped tightly, I decided it would not be a bad idea to table this journey for the next day.  And that, I did.

Insects, some animals and rodents have the capacity to cripple us; it simply depends on our experience.  For example, my oldest son hates spiders and ants. He feels when they are near him, they have teleported themselves into his skin and have taken up temporary residency there. He rubs the area, takes a shower, or covers his head with a comforter to smother his fear, and subliminally, the insects as well.

There is nothing worse, however, than the dreaded bee.  I have been stung by them in the past and avoid them like brussel sprouts.  My children have adopted my fear, and it has crippled my youngest to the degree that he refuses to share his space with them.  They do have spaces, you know?

Last year, I was desperate to send my children to camp. Forget the fact that they might have had the most enjoyable experience being there; it was all about me. I needed the time, the peace and quiet, and a break from the world of Nickelodeon.  And so, off they were sent! Sometimes, I wish that the camp rulebook stated that children could not call home under any circumstance while there.  It could read something like this…

“Campers are not permitted, under any circumstance, to contact his/her parent during the week he/she is assigned to camp. Any violation of this rule will result in an additional week being added to his/her stay.

Mine were not at such a camp. Having been away from me for two days, I received a phone call stating that my youngest son was ready to come home.

“Absolutely not!” I screamed into the telephone.  “They just left, and I have plans!” The counselor, astonished at my outburst, tried to maintain her telephone composure.

“Well, Ms. Rowe, we have to contact you when something is wrong.  It’s our policy.  I tell you what, I will watch him today and see how he does. Well, he didn’t. Not two hours later, his brother got stung in the head twice and that was all she wrote.  The telephone rang again and my head began to hurt. “Dear God, please don’t let this be that camp lady again!”

“Hello? Hello?” She spoke louder, yet I pretended to have a bad connection. “Hello?

“Hello.” My response was dry and I was agitated, bracing myself for the inevitable.”

“Yeah. I’m sorry. You’re gonna have to come and get them.  We just don’t have the expertise to handle this type of paranoia.”

I must admit that I cried for two hours and threw the worst adult tantrum I have ever thrown. I hit the steering wheel, screamed out of the window, glared at old people, and was unforgiving to anything that got into the path of my car.  Who would have thought that bees would be the ruin of my vacation?

Driving up the hill, I prayed that I would remain calm and loving when I saw them, knowing very well that they would be grounded for the rest of the week once I got them home.

“Mommmmmyyyyy!” My eldest cried.  “Are you mad at meeeeee? I’m sorrryyyyyyy!”

“Me too, mom!” His younger brother walked up to the car with his camp bad in tow.  “But if you want me to, I can stay and get stung again. I will have to be a man and suck it up. Right?” His mouth said one thing, but his eyes said something completely different.  He meant, “If you leave me here, woman, I will hate you for the rest of my life and never mention your name again!”

We went home in silence. Once we arrived, we grabbed their sleeping bags, backpacks and pillows.  Moments later, we were greeted on the sidewalk by a bee. Carrying those things upstairs by myself only added to my anger; my children were nowhere to be seen.

Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!

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tummyThere are many words in the dictionary that cause us to scratch our heads. We ask ourselves, “Why in the world is this in here?”  When I first learned of the word, ‘fetish’, I discovered that it was a fascination of an object one felt had a potent spirit or magical power.  I have no idea what magical power a foot could have, nor do I sense the same with dirty diapers or vomit. Yes, those types do exist.  The smell of a newborn baby or freshly baked bread, I get.  The power in those things are self-explanatory; it’s the smell of innocence for one, and pure heaven in your mouth for the other (especially if made by my mother!)

When my son became a toddler, he discovered a love for the stomach.  Many children find comfort in resting on the tummy of a parent; it is the warmth of the closeness that provides a certain peaceful reprieve.  At some point, children graduate to a special pillow, blanket or toy to substitute for the tummy he/she no longer requires.  My son’s tummy obsession was quite cute.  I would give him to a friend or a family member to hold for a minute while I took a much-needed rest.  If on his way to a nap, the finger went into his mouth and he would gently lift the shirt of his intended target, just enough to have a place on which to rest his head.  His auntie would see him coming for a nap and lift the shirt automatically, knowing his consistent routine.  Within seconds, he would fall into a deep sleep, but if moved from the area even for a second, he would whimper and cry to be placed back there again.

One day, I desperately needed a sitter.  I was headed to an appointment that could not be rescheduled.  A friend of mine volunteered her daughter for the task of keeping not one, but both of my children.  Being two years apart, it was no easy task.  Usually, I prepared the sitter for my children’s routines.  “This child here can not stand vegetables, so please don’t force him to eat them.  He also has a hard time taking naps.” Turning to the other, I would explain, “This little one right here will cry for the first few minutes, because he has separation anxiety, but will be fine. Oh, and by the way, do not be alarmed if he lifts your shirt. He has a stomach fetish.”  Having no time for these narratives that day, I dropped them off, grabbed a bit of fruit from the bowl on the table and left.

A few hours later, I returned to get the boys. For those of us who know our children, there is often a silent prayer offered while crossing our fingers that this will be a house to which they will be allowed to return.  When the door opened, there was a smile.  (That is always a good sign, by the way.)

“Hi Melanie!” My friend greeted me at the door. “Your kids are so cute!”

“Thank you so much! I love hearing that.”  Thank you, God, I was running low on the babysitting options.

“Stephanie, Melanie’s here!” A few minutes later, she entered the room with my youngest in one arm and the eldest close behind.

“Mommy!” My eldest shouted as he reached for my hand.

“Hi pumpkin!” I swept him off his feet. “Did you have fun?” He nodded quickly as he wiggled out of my arm to grab one last treat before leaving.

Looking at my  youngest, who still had his head on Stephanie’s shoulder, I had to ask. “And how was this little one’s day”  He still looks a little sleepy!”

“He just woke up from a short nap. Did you know he likes tummies?” she asked.

“Oh my God! I am so sorry! I forgot to mention that!” I had no way of teaching him such etiquette.

“It’s OK! It was actually kind of cute!” She handed him to me as we headed out the door.

Upon arriving at home, worn out from the day’s activities, we sat on the couch and got ready to watch television.  My eldest jumped on to his favorite spot next to me as my youngest followed with his blanket in tow.  Not five minutes in to the movie, I felt a cool breeze. Yep.  The skin bandit had struck again.  As I looked at him lying there, I whispered a simple prayer. “Dear God, please help him to grow out of this.  It is cute now, but they have a specific name for this as he matures. Amen.”

He is nine now.  He is cured.

Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!

 

Middle School Mayhem

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Middle schoolTeaching at a middle school has provided me a professional insight that I never imagined would scare me to death.  My eldest child is in the fifth grade, and in a few months, he will make that transition into the world of hormonal dysfunction, erratic behavior and temperamental attitudes.  He will no doubt begin to think that he is grown, and I will no doubt have to think of a way to put him out of my house.  (I’m getting ahead of myself. This is what happens when you heed the warnings of friends who know the truth of these things.)

My eldest son and I were having a conversation about his middle school choices. Not including my youngest in the conversation, he decided to weigh in early, just in case his fate was sealed with our selection.

“Well, I don’t want to go to your school! There are gang bangers and crinimals there!” He declared.

“Cri-Mi-nals! You have to say it right.” My eldest was in agreement with his brother. It is seldom they are ever on the same page, so this had to be considered a serious situation.

“My school is not that bad, guys.” Lying has never been my strong suit but I attempted to say it with a straight face.

“Oh yeah?” The little man was convinced that the lie was evident. “Then why do you always come home with a headache and have to drink a glass of liquor?”

“It’s wine, and I don’t have a glass every night!” Since taking on the position of Dean, my children were convinced that I was becoming an alcoholic, because just about everyone at work had presented me with a bottle of wine for the Christmas holiday. Many of those glasses came in very handy. When they thought I had a glass because of my students, they had no inkling that it was tossed to the head in their honor.

“If you send me to that school, I think I will just lose my mind!” My eldest child is the dramatic type; he is unskilled at hiding it and I can usually complete his rants before he thinks them. “My whole life will be over! I want to go to school with my friends!”

Thinking long and hard about his response, his brother took a deep breath and placed his hand on my eldest child’s shoulder.

“Good luck, dude.” His flippant bidding was met with a shake of the head as he went into the kitchen to get a drink.

“I don’t need luck.  I’ll just run away.”  Simple answers are not always so.

“You will really need luck at that point, sweetie. You can’t just run away and think it is easy to find your way back home.” I figured he would understand the seriousness of his response, but as most things, it flew over his head like an unsuspecting fowl that had found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Why can’t I just be normal like my friends and go to the school they are going to?” He continued. “Marissa is going to Praxton! Even Johnny is going to Praxton, and he doesn’t have any friends!” The tears were beginning to form, and I could sense it would result in a sleepless night.  Too often, he became the victim of his own thought process and I became the victim of circumstance.  With a long day ahead of me, and nothing else to say on the matter, I bid both of them a farewell and a good night.

Before they could get to the top of the stairs, my eldest turned around. “We have to pray.”

Without skipping a beat, his brother’s response was immediate. “We have to be in bed by 8:00.  It’s gonna take a long time!”

“Well, I don’t care how long it takes! If we pray, God will answer!” With that, I went upstairs, said a prayer and left the room.

***

A few months later, a news report was released. Their Godbrothers had spent the night and informed them that a student at Praxton had been arrested for bringing a gun to school.

This bombshell of a revelation shattered my eldest to the core.  A few days later, his brother approached him and placed a hand on his shoulder again.

“Well, at least God answered your prayer.”  He said.

“What do you mean?”

“About Praxton.” He was confident it made sense.

“No, he didn’t! How?” His brother retorted.
“Well, the dude brought a gun to school.  Nobody’s gonna wanna to go there now. You’re good!”

The blunt nature of a child could be the most comforting thing in the world, or it could generate a feeling of hatred so profound that separation from others may deem necessary for survival.

I hate sharing my bed.

Laugh, people.  It’s good for the soul!

 

Family Trips are…a Trip!

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Family vacations are not always what they are cracked up to be. We make plans to enjoy this imaginary week or two of family bonding, loving each other as the good Lord intended. No arguments. No fighting. No crying. No killing each other.

No way is this ever possible.

My children and I took a trip to my native homeland of Nassau, Bahamas. For weeks, the children threw clothing at me that they thought they could wear. For my eldest, it was simple; a pair of shorts or pants, and a nice T-shirt that matched. For the youngest, the process was a bit more complicated. There had to be enough of his favorite color, green, to match with his favorite skinny jeans. Otherwise, it was just another ordinary outfit. Since we were going to the Bahamas for the first time in over six years, each outfit had to possess a bit of swag. No swag, meant no girls. No girls, meant no fun. No fun? Seriously? We might as well stay at home.

Our day finally arrived to head to the airport. House and dog sitter…check. Electronic devices…check. Passports…check. Homework that will not be completed…Check. Before we even landed at the Atlanta airport, I realized that I had already spent a whopping $96.00 on gas, food, luggage and headphones. Landing in Nassau would be the best Christmas gift ever. It required no more money to be spent for at least a day or two, and no more toting luggage I refused to pay and additional fee for at check in.

***

“Mommy?” My youngest began. “Is the Bahamas a nice place?”

“Of course it’s nice! Didn’t you see all of the beautiful water when we came?” I asked.

“Uhh, no? He was blocking the window as always!” The finger pointed to his brother, who was seldom at a loss for a comeback.

“Dude! There was nothing to see! We were sitting at the back of the plane! The only thing I saw was the white part of the wing! So, this means I have to sit by the window on the way back now, because I didn’t get to see anything on the way here.”  His explanation would have been acceptable had we not agreed that he would sit by the window on the way over, while his brother got the opportunity to do so on the way back.

“Sorry. You lost this one!” It was a good try, but his brother was not buyin’ it. “Huh, mom?” He looked at me for a confirmation. Not waiting for one, he continued. “Too bad you couldn’t see! I have the window on the way back!” That was his answer, and he was stickin’ to it.

“OK!!! Do y’all always have to start when we are on our way somewhere?” The look of denial came. You know it. The one of ‘these are my sister’s kids’ came over me.

The couple next to me chuckled. No doubt it was the chuckle of familiarity. There were two kids seated next to them on the opposite side of the same row. Note to self: When you don’t want to be bothered, give the kids their own row in which to act the fool. You can pretend you don’t own them for at least a few hours. Check.

***

“Grandma! Grandpa!” The boys ran to greet the grandparents they had been dying to see. The house was full of cousins, uncles and neighborhood friends.

“Hey!!!! We are so glad that you guys are here!” They don’t live with my children.

After a few seconds of hugs and kisses, they announced they were going to “meet the people” and ran outside.  They boys ran and played and laughed and talked. I smiled as they hung from the exact tree I swung from as a child, and watched as they landed over and repeatedly in the neighbor’s yard.  Hours passed and night time fell. As we prepared for bed, I realized I had neglected to warn them about the one thing that would drive them nuts. BUGS! Mosquitoes and sand flies are the first enemies of tourists who travel to the islands. My children and I had instantly become fresh bait. At the first slap of the knee and scratch to the leg, I knew the biting had begun. Our first two nights ended in misery. When my youngest son awakened after the first evening, he looked at me with drooping eyes.

“What’s wrong, honey?” I asked.

“Everything is itching! Look!” He pointed to his legs that had formed a new version of connect-the-dots.

“Oh, baby. I am so sorry! We’ll get you some Off Spray today, and you will be fine.”  The mosquitoes and the sand flies must have heard my declaration and were determined for it not to be so. For the next few days, we engaged in an experimentation of white alcohol, green alcohol, Calamine Lotion, Off Spray,  other brand name products as well, and good ole’ fashioned prayer, but to no avail. The more I sprayed and rubbed and dabbed, the worse the attack of the killer bugs became.

One night, I sat up in the bed and said to myself, “Enough is enough!” I packed up their pillows and blankets, and took them upstairs to sleep on the floor in Grammy’s room. If this didn’t work, we were in big trouble. Off Spray was $7.49. Calamine Lotion was $1.69. Alcohol bottles were $3.49 each. I had bought all of these items twice in one week. Something had to give. The following morning, I awoke with my fingers crossed. While I continued to wage war against these intolerable pests, I had not heard a peep all night long. I went upstairs to find out how they had spent the night. My eldest had already left the room and was outside enjoying his morning. My youngest turned over, stretched, and showed as many teeth as he could.

“Good morning!” I said.

“Good mornin’, mommy!” He continued to stretch, then sat up and pulled the covers off his legs. “Look!”

“Wow!!!” I breathed a sigh of immediate relief. “No more bites?”

“Nope! Did you get bitten mom?” He asked.

“A little, but I’m OK.” “Well, you’re on your own sistah! I’m sleepin’ in grammy’s room!” He jumped up, did not skip a beat, ran down the stairs, greeted his grammy for breakfast and headed out the door to meet his brother.

No more knees in my chest, legs on my head, arms across my neck and random farts aimed in my direction throughout the night. I’ll take the bites.

Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!

Did You Know? NO!

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Children grow. I get that.  Things change. I get that too.  I’m not naïve to the fact that my world, as I know it, will always be riddled with life-altering moments, all orchestrated by the two children I call my own.  At times, I never know what I can expect to come out of their mouths.

A few weeks ago, I picked my boys up, as I usually do, and my eldest came to the car with an extra pep in his stride.  He dropped his backpack on to the floor, looked at me, and smiled sheepishly.

“Do you like my smile, mom?” He asked, as his mouth remained frozen in grin mode.

“Of course I like your smile, honey! I always love it when you smile, because you seldom do!” I replied.

“Well, I am going to smile a whole lot more. You wanna know why?” He waited for me to respond, a widened grin still plastered to his face.

“Why? I asked.

“Well,” he began, “I don’t want you to be surprised or anything, but…” he paused.  “I asked a girl out today!” The smile got so wide; I feared his cheeks would split.

Trying to maintain my composure, I fidgeted with my purse to provide a bit of  distraction.  Knowing I couldn’t prolong the inevitable, I decided to engage him.

“Hmph.  Asked her out where?” It was the best I could do.

He rolled his eyes. Parents, when this happens, please know that you have said a very obvious, stupid thing.

“To…the…P.E. field?”  He said it as though I should have known the answer. After all, where else could he go?

“Ohhh, got it.  And what is the name of this young lady?” A first grade memory of a young girl planting a kiss smack on his lips flashed across my mind. It had me a bit concerned.  (Kids are far more advanced in the fourth grade! Did you know that?)

“Her name is Haley, and she’s from Mexico.” He folded his arms, smile still radiant and new.

“OH!” It was the only thing that came out at the time.

“And she is so pretty!” He chimed in again, proud of his catch.

 

At that moment, my youngest son, who usually takes an additional twenty minutes to realize that I am actually there to pick him up as well, entered the car.

“Let me guess. He ‘s talkin’ about Haley, huh?”  He sung her name as though the very thought of her worked his nerves.

“Yes, I am.  So?” My eldest was defensive, and was willing to protect Haley’s honor.

His younger brother conceded.

“Yeah. She’s cute.  But not as cute as mine!” He sat back. He had delivered the punch line to his satisfaction.

I believe I almost popped the muscles in my neck as I swung around to face him. With a smirk on his face and his hands in the air, he stared at me.

“What!” He chuckled. “ I can’t help it if I have swag!”

I figured they would find out sooner or later that women are confusing.  We can’t make up our minds, the smallest things irritate us, and many of us, by our own admittance, are high maintenance.  Until then, I stare at the screen saver on my eldest son’s iPod. It is a picture of Haley, a cute Latina girl who is stealing his heart. Where is that delete button?

Laugh, people! It’s good for the soul!

Butt it Hurts!

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Dumb.  It is the only word that can describe some of the things our children do. Just…plain…dumb.  I can admit that I have done some things during my childhood that should have summoned the little men in white coats and a gurney. But I often stopped mid-foolishness to say to myself, “That does not seem to fit with this thing called common sense!”

Both of my boys have friends who live within our complex.  I often wonder if some of them have parents who are twelve.  They allow them to do what they want, say what they want, have what they want, and my children in turn, label me as the unreasonable warden when things don’t quite happen that way in our home.  After all, kids should have the opportunity to be free citizens of America, dictating to parents what they feel is best.  Yes?

Not in my house!

One day, both boys decided they wanted to be rough and tough with their buddies.  Neither one is accustomed to pain; neither deals with it well when it happens.  A prick of the finger is coupled with a shriek, a tear and a pillow to rest upon when all the drama is done.

There is a small hill at the back of the complex where we live. For all intents and purposes, it is a dirt hill with rocks that have not yet been cultivated by the management. They saw it as a creative opportunity for adventuresome fun!  So the sliding on the rocks commenced.  One after the other, they ran, the slid, they jumped up, and returned for more.

After forty minutes of what they had interpreted as fun, my youngest ran into the house, slammed the door and screamed for me.

“Mom! Come now!”

I walked downstairs to see the most pitiful face I had seen in a while.  He stood with both legs slightly apart, much like that of a baby who is dealing with severe diaper rash.

“What happened? And why are you standing like that?”

“Brian is a stupid friend!” He began to explain to me how Brian had forced him to run down the rocks and then pushed him when he had taken too long to do so.  He had slipped and fallen onto the rocks and scraped his bottom.

“I don’t ever want to be his friend again!” He sobbed and I comforted.  I led him to the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet.

“Oh heck no!” He pulled away from me.

“Honey!  I have to clean the cut!”  I was not convincing. He continued to back away from me, and swore he would not come near me as long as the cabinet remained opened.

“Ok, fine. I won’t use alcohol. I will clean it with a warm towel. Come here.”

“You promise?” He asked.

“I promise.”

I wonder how old they will be when they will no longer freely drop their pants for me to wipe their butt.  He sheepishly revealed the bruised spot, one that had somehow gained a few grains of rock and a red bruise.

“Ooooh, sweetie!  You got a pretty big scrape there.  Do you want me to put some Neosporin on it?”  As I reached for the tube, I turned to find him near the couch.  “It won’t burn! It will actually make it feel a lot better!”

“I’ll take the warm towel.  That’s it.”  He was a tough negotiator, and I conceded.

“Ok. Fine. Come on while the towel is warm.”  He inched back over to me and within a few minutes, was much better.  Moments later, he looked at me in horror.

‘Oh my God!” He exclaimed. “ I need to use the bathroom!”

“Then go!” I moved out of the restroom to give him privacy.

“I can’t.” He stopped at the toilet bowl. “I can’t sit down. Oh my God! If I can’t sit down that means I can’t poop!  Don’t people die if they can’t poop?”

With a hand to the forehead noting his despair, I watched him work through his dilemma. With a roll of tissue paper on each end of his tender behind, he sat gingerly on the porcelain throne.

Five minutes passed and I hear a whimper. I stood at the door only to hear him mumbling to himself.

“This is the worst day ever,” he whispered.

I peeked through the door to see him peeling the tissue paper from the butt that was scraped.

I wish I could report that he never played with Brian again. I wish that I could say that he never went down that makeshift slide again.  I wish that I could tell you that it was the last time I wiped a bruise on his butt, but I have always taught my children to always tell the truth.  It is a hard lesson he will eventually have to learn on his own.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  He’ll get it. One day…

Laugh, people!  It’s good for the soul!