My 6-year-old son leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “Don’t tell Dad I hit his new car with my scooter.”
He shrugged his shoulders in a “golly gee whiz/what’s a kid to do?” kinda way, grabbed the handle bars to his scooter, hopped on and pushed off, leaving with a clear conscience, a smile...and the chocolate chip cookie he stole right outta my hand.
Now before we all get upset - in his defense - he didn’t really hit the car.
I was there. I saw it.
It was more like he stopped a little too late and stumbled the last few inches, grazing the bumper with less ferocity than a butterfly floating gently on the wind...or some such poetic nonsense we all slept through in high school composition class.
In any case, according to the manufacturer, said bumper is supposed to protect us from a nuclear attack, an armored tank frontal assault, highjacking Somali pirates or any combination of the three.
So I wasn’t too worried.
About the car.
Oh, yeah. He and I are gonna have words over that one. No one steals chocolate from me and lives to see the age of 7.
“I will not go in my house because it is haunted.”
I peeked over my son’s shoulder, reading the sentence he’d just written for his homework assignment and mentally calculated the estimated amount of time between turning it in and getting a call from the school with a “We have to talk” summons.
Four if he turns it in before recess.
Oh, who are we kidding? I might as well call and make the appointment now.
I reached over and pointed at the paper, “So...something you want to tell me?”
My son looked up, sharpened pencil clutched tightly in his hand, and promptly said, “Nope.”
Nope, he says.
I had visions of that creepy kid in “The Sixth Sense.” I looked down at my son’s Star Wars t-shirt, ratty shorts and dirty socks.
At least the creepy kid was better dressed.
FOCUS! my inner voice yelled at me. YOUR KID SEES DEAD PEOPLE AND ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT IS HIS WARDROBE? ARE YOU MENTAL? BESIDES, GEORGE LUCAS TOOK OVER THE WORLD IN THE SEVENTIES AND HAS CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN A JEDI-LIKE STRONGHOLD ON EACH GENERATION SINCE. LET. IT. GO.
I looked at my son, tapped the word “haunted” on the page and attempted to go all Dr. Phil on him, “Did you see or hear something that scared you?”
My son looked at me like I’d sprouted a third eye in the middle of my forehead.
You know that look. The one that says, “Are you mental or just being weird? Great. Mom’s crazy, now my friends can’t come over any more.”
He carefully asked, “Is this about your chocolate chip cookie?”
OK. So much for Dr. Phil.
I smiled and tried again, “You think the house is haunted?”
I paused, on edge waiting for his answer. Wondering...how much does therapy cost out of pocket? Would they make him stop watching SpongeBob? Did that mean I would have to stop watching SpongeBob?!
Oh, tartar sauce.
His laughter brought me out of my SpongeBob-induced trance. “You’re so silly, Mom.” He then explained that “not” was one of his spelling words, and he was supposed to use it in a story. Now that Halloween is fast approaching, he decided he’d create a tale about our house being haunted.
Oh, my little Edgar Allan Poe.
Literacy - 1
Mom’s mental state - 0.