I think the key to parenting boys is short-term memory loss.
For example, last night Kevin and I had to do a divide and conquer with kids’ activities. So Kevin took Rowan to the batting cages, and I agreed to take Liam and Colman to their Boy Scout meeting.
In the midst of helping everyone put on the Boy Scout uniform…
(This is where I silently scream, WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PARTS TO THIS OUTFIT? Because that stupid outfit is ridiculous with the extras of that tiny bolo THAT NOBODY CAN EVER FIND, the folded kerchief and WHERE IS THAT SASH WITH THE PATCHES THAT I EARNED–I MEAN, YOU EARNED? Just kill me now.)
…Liam calls down, “Uh, Mom. There’s a bit of a problem with my toilet. Like, an overflow problem.”
Oh. My. God.
All I can think is, “Please don’t let it be bad.”
(See? I pray.)
And it was so bad. I gagged. It’s like that toilet just rejected everything that had been flushed down it for an entire week. There was only a tiny bit on the floor–Thank goodness–and that was because Liam had tried to plunge it, which he found out you cannot do effectively when the disgusto-rama water is perfectly even with the top edge of the toilet bowl. Seriously, what are the science teachers thinking not teaching basic water displacement? Sheesh.
Liam asked, “What are you going to do?”
“Nothing. I’m going to do nothing and hope this goes down enough to plunge it later. Just finish getting dressed while I find some old towels and clean up what’s on the floor.”
Now, we’re pressed for time and Liam was supposed to be there early. I march my two big boys, now dressed like fudgecicles, out the door. And that’s how we all completely forgot the worksheet Liam was supposed to take and turn in for his physical fitness badge. It completely slipped our minds.
It wasn’t until we got back home and were eating dinner that Kevin asked, “Liam, did you get your physical fitness worksheets turned in so you can get your badge?”
“No,” he said, “I forgot.”
Kevin looks at me and I look back blankly. I mean, he’d mentioned it and I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten to remind Liam.
Kevin asked, “How could you forget? I put it on your desk. I reminded you twice.”
Liam said, “Dad, we had a situation as we were trying to leave the house.”
And I asked, “What situation?”
(My brain had completely flushed the whole toilet eruption incident.)
“You know, Mom, the toilet?” Liam said.
And then I remembered the horror and felt it wash over me again as I thought about having to go battle that toilet with the plunger. “Oh, yeah, we had a major problem leaving the house with Liam’s toilet upstairs.
I’m pretty sure Kevin thought Liam was lying and I was covering, but that was not the case at all.
Then Liam said, “Hey, Mom, you were right. It went down and I was able to plunge the toilet. It seems to be fine now.”
And just like that, Liam was promoted to favorite child.