I take it back. I take it ALL back. I spent the better part of the week after Christmas bitching and moaning about how my kids needed to go back to school. How SICK and TIRED I was of cleaning sticky unidentified substances off of the floor, buying an unlimited supply of food stuffs, wiping things off of walls that I cannot explain, listening to inane arguments about NOTHING, and so on and so forth. All of that distracted me and made me forget how much I hate school. I didn’t hate school this much when I was IN school. But I hate it now.
This morning, the crater set in to my face very early, and so remained until I was T-30 seconds from work. I had to remind myself aloud that I was ruining my face, and then smooth the wrinkle out manually while repeating relaxation mantras over and over. “It’s okay, now. I’m almost to work. That’s where the normal people are. They will act in a reasonably logical manner and won’t whine and bicker and ignore me…It’s okay, now. I’m almost to work. That’s where the normal people are…”
At least when school is in session the arguments at my house get a little more interesting.
The Y, where Little A and Little B go after school, is located across the street from Big E’s High School. In the middle of dinner last night, Little B said “Hey, Mom. Guess what I saw today? It was Bubba. [Big E]. He was riding on top of a truck while someone was DRIVING IT.” Big E countered with, “Oh, yeah. Because you know how much I love to ride on top of trucks.”
I couldn’t let this one go.
Z: “What’s that, B? What did you see?”
B: “Bubba. On top of a truck. While it was moving down the road.”
Z: “When did you see this?”
B: “When I got to the Y.”
Z: “Hmmm. That’s weird. Because when you get to the Y, your brother has already been home for like an hour and a half.”
B: “Well, it was him. And I saw him.”
Here’s where it got interesting.
E: “Oh, yeah, well I saw you, too. You were climbing the fence and then you punched a kid in the face.”
B: “What?! No I didn’t!”
E: “Yeah. You did. Because I totally saw you do it.”
B: “Well, it must have been someone else, who looks like me.”
Now we all got involved.
ZH: “B! Why’d you punch that kid in the face?!”
B: “I didn’t punch ANYBODY in the face! I didn’t!”
ZH: “You must have, your brother saw you do it!”
C: “B, do you think that maybe you saw someone who looks like Bubba on a truck?”
B: “No. And besides, he already admitted that it was him.”
ZH: “No he didn’t.”
B: “Yes he did. When I first told you about it, he said that he loves to ride on top of trucks.”
E: “Well, I happen to know for a FACT that you like to climb fences…”
C: “AND punch kids in the face.”
B: “I. DIDN’T. PUNCH. ANYONE. IN. THE. FACE!”
I was starting to get concerned. Maybe this was going too far.
Then Little A chimed in for the first time, hinting at her highly unrecognized intelligence.
A: “Dad, I didn’t see Bubba do anything.”
The table, save for Little B, erupted in laughter. Little A clearly recognizes the “rat on me, I’ll rat on you” regime between her siblings and herself.
B: “How long is Bubba going to be punished for doing something so dangerous and unsafe?”
ZH: “The same amount of time that you will be punished for climbing that fence and punching that kid in the face.”
He leapt from his chair at the dinner table and took off down the hallway, arms crossed over his chest, trying hard not to cry in front of anyone. I followed him. I gave them ALL a dirty look, but I secretely felt guilty for laughing. B can’t tell when someone is being sarcastic, usually. Especially when it’s done with a straight face, which Big E, like his mother, is very good at.
I found him in the laundry room, sobbing. I told him that they were all joking with him. He wasn’t in trouble. We knew he didn’t punch anyone in the face. We were picking. Then he told me that he wasn’t lying about Big E. He really was riding on the truck. I tried to explain to him that it couldn’t have been his brother, but had to be someone who looked like him, because E had been home for over an hour when B got to the Y. He wasn’t buying it. At. All. In the end, I had to agree to punish Big E for doing something so dangerous. E agreed to accept his punishment. And Little B went to bed happy.
I hope that E’s doppelganger doesn’t do that again.