Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A family sandwich

“Did you know your shirt is on backwards?” my husband asked while pointing a finger at me.

I looked down and...son-of-a-biscuit.

He was right.

I pulled at the shirt's neck where it pressed awkwardly around my throat and answered, “I thought it felt a little funny.”

I sheepishly began pulling my arms through the sleeves and whipped the offending garment around 180 degrees, once again a respectably dressed member of society.

In my defense...well...I don’t really have a defense. It wasn’t a plain shirt I put on in the darkness of the bedroom closet.

Nope. It was full-on daytime, and the shirt had a big, friggin’ design emblazoned right across the front.

Thirty-eight years old and still unable to dress myself.


It’s gonna be one of those days.


Getting a first grader to do his spelling homework isn’t always the easiest of tasks.

However, I’ve found great motivation in the form of chocolate chip cookies and a promised 30 minutes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” usually paves the way for Mr. Grumpy.

So consider me a little shocked when he announced after school that day that he’d already decided what he would write about and headed to his desk to get started.


Rather than feel unnerved about suddenly finding myself in a remake of “The Body Snatchers,” I simply shrugged my shoulders and decided to leave things alone.

I often find ignorance is bliss.

Ten minutes later, he excitedly ran into the kitchen, waving a sheet of paper over his head like he’d just written Star Wars Episode VII.

Look out, George Lucas.

“Mom, read this,” he shoved the paper at me. “It’s awesome.”

I smiled at his enthusiasm, looked down at the paper and began to read.

“‘I found a puppy. I brought it home. I named it Glory,’” I read aloud. I looked over at my son and patted him proudly on the head. “You did a great job.”

And then I read the last sentence, “‘It better not poop on the carpet.’”

Uh, oh. Houston? We have a problem.

And I think it’s OK to say George Lucas’s dynasty is safe.

I bit my lip to keep from laughing and admonished, “I don’t think you can use the word ‘poop’ on your homework assignment.”

He smiled and responded with innocence, “Oh, don’t worry, Mom. It’s not inappropriate. I really hope it doesn’t poop on the carpet.”


Let’s put aside the fact the little stinker correctly used the word “inappropriate.” Because, really, his vast vocabulary will soon eclipse that of the the two adults in the house and we’ll no longer be able to communicate.

We’ll be like chimps. Gesturing. Grunting. Throwing food.

In other words, a typical Tuesday.


“Please explain something to me,” I asked my husband later that evening. I waved a hand around the room. “Two thousand square feet of living space. With three televisions. And every single body in this house - including an 80-pound Golden Retriever that snores - is in one room, piled onto our queen-sized bed watching TV.”

My husband, whose upper chest was currently being squashed by said Golden Retriever that thinks she's a lap dog, could only grunt in agreement.

At least...I think it was a grunt of agreement.

He could have been desperately begging, “Get this animal off me!” But - darn - she looked so cute and comfy. I didn’t have the heart to shove her off.

And if having to share my sacred space with the entire family wasn’t hard enough...the movie our son had chosen for the evening was a Chipmunks sequel.

But before I could say anything, demand some alone time AND the remote control, our son turned around and said the words that melted my heart and cleared the stormy skies.
“Look, guys, it’s like we’re making a family sandwich,” he chirped.

I smiled and silently said a prayer of thanks for it turning out to be “one of those days.”

You can follow additional adventures at Kelley is a former editor of the Maryville Daily Forum.

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