Johnny never (well, mostly never) wears hats. Today he discovered a “cool” baseball hat to wear. He happens to be one handsome kid and he did look kinda COOL………so he wore said hat everywhere today. When Johnny likes something he goes BIG!
He doesn’t start his school year until after Labor Day, but The Brothers started today. Us Catholics like to torture our children with as much school, church and prayers as possible!! Even better we like to tie it all into one. (kind of like a cable tv package). Thus was born THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL!!! Johnny hasn’t quite taken to Jesus like his brothers……sooooooooooooo………………let’s just say we are sitting on his Catholic School Application for another year or so (or 2 or 4).
Johnny was my go-with guy for picking up The Brothers today. Couldn’t take the One Hour carpool line so I went in to sign them out. Johnny in tow, hat and all.
We enter the school. I scribble our carpool number on The List, turn to see where Johnny had gotten to. And LORDY, LORDY, Baseball Fans!!……… I had me a vision of the Virgin Mary!!! And she was wearing……………………YOU GUESSED IT!! a WHITE SOX BASEBALL HAT!!!
Me: JOHNNY, get your hat off of her! That’s the Virgin Mary!!!
Johnny: Oh. I thought it was a hat rack.
Hmmmmmmmmmm, maybe a re-dip in the waters?
HAIL MARY, PRAY FOR MEEEEEE!!!! NOW!!!
CAN I GET AN AMEN?!
I’m not proud of the following fact……….but………….given the fact that our life has been MORE than turned upside down the last 2 years………………I’m not quite sure I remember my address and phone number(S)!
As a kid, didn’t we have this burned in our brain by the age of FOUR! Not even like I was the smartest kid in town and I pretty much nailed that quiz.
Sadly, I don’t believe Johnny and Little Brother would pass the quiz. I know, I know, this is important information, what do you mean they don’t know it? What kind of mother are you? Well………………….. I’m the Military kind of Mother. I like to uproot my kids every year or two, put you in a new home, new school, and then scramble like H**L, to make your life feel normal and cheer you on about all the new friends you will make. And most of the time this is done with only one parent doing the move to a house we just found a few weeks before moving in. And prior to moving in, said children have been living out of color coded duffel bags for a month or more and are lucky if they know what city they are in. Let alone addresses or phone numbers.
Not to mention, sure I nailed the quiz as a youngster, but I never moved and there was only one phone number involved. The HOME one. Now, it’s a little like learning the State Capitals……….home phone, mom cell, dad cell, dad work. Now, change these every year or so and see how it goes. I mean, we all know some “adults” that can’t remember their home phone numbers.
And anyways, my boys never have to call me………… because why? WE ARE A MILITARY FAMILY, WE ARE ATTACHED AT THE HIPS!!!! You need to call me? Just yell into the other room!
But, be that as it may (I learned to use this as a student teacher when I didn’t know how to respond to a student)……..I decided to give this mark of GOOD PARENTING one more college try. No one can call me a quitter. I remember I read once that it is good to have important conversations in the car, you are supposed to have their undivided attention this way. Whoever wrote that never met my particular type of children. Anywho………..in preparing for the upcoming school year I decided to check in with Johnny to see if he had committed all of this vital information to memory.
So…………in my best chipper Mommy voice I went for it:
Me: (With chipper voice!) Hey, Johnny, what’s our phone number?
Johnny: WHAT?? Your FORGOT?!! GREAT, that’s just GREAT!!!! NOW, what are we going to do?!
Me: No Johnny, I want to see if you know it? So let’s practice together.
Johnny: Why? Because you forget to?
Me: NO! I remember it. Now I want you to remember!
So we did a couple of repeat after me drills. The enthusiasm just wasn’t there on Johnny’s part. Finally, after the third read through he states (with no chipperness):
“Mommy, just write it on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket, then if I need to know I’ll just read the paper.”
Oh Johnny! I would splurge on an ID bracelet but Johnny, of course, is smarter………I’ll use paper, this address is only good for a few more months anyways. Better yet, I’ll write on his hand in Sharpie. I’ve watched him bathe, it won’t come off until the next move anyways.
Can’t wait till school starts and he tells his teacher, “My mommy can’t fill this out this form, she doesn’t know our phone number.” Hey, I’ve read this book, I know how it ends. My kids love to rat me out. Better go study!
So……apparently, Johnny is working on expanding his vocabulary. A good thing, right? Considering it seems to be his FOUR LETTER VOCABULARY that is growing, I tend to think, WRONG!
Really, how much closer can I monitor the Boy? Okay, okay, I could set my alarm to get up before him……… but since that would be about 4 a.m. I have preferred the fear of God method (also known as taking away the legos). I fear due to his early rising he is catching Cartoon Network at the end of “Adult Swim.” Or the way things sound, right SMACK in the middle of it! At least that is my theory after he had trouble getting his shoes on.
Me: Johnny, go get your shoes on we will go to the book store.
Johnny: Okay, okay, can I get a Batman Comic?
Me: Just get your shoes.
Johnny goes to other room to find his shoes.
Johnny (from other room) SH*T! The darn shoe won’t go on.
Me: JOHNNY!!!! WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!
Johnny (all innocent sounding) Sorry, Mom I didn’t know sh*t was a bad word.
Why do I try?
What can I say **it happens! Especially, around here! Darned shoe.
Dinner cannot be a CULINARY MASTERPIECE every night. I mean who can keep up that kind of pace? Anyway, wouldn’t it just spoil the children. It’s kind of like I’m giving a gift to a future wife (God help her) who would be so lucky to be with my boys. Hey, they cook and have low expectations for dinner time. Kind of makes them the Most Eligible already, don’t you think?
Whatever mind games get me through the day, right? Hey! don’t judge, it is survival of the fittest after all.
Johnny, however, does have higher expectations for his meals. Mostly, he expects pizza or hotdogs. At least that is what he would prefer to be served. But, I we can’t have a spoiled Johnny so I rock his world with different culinary delights. And he wasn’t seeing it my way. Thus his less than thrilled reaction to my “cooking.”
Johnny: Mommy, why did you make me this turkey sandwich on a circle hamburger bun for my dinner?
Me: Because I LOVE YOU!!!, that’s why.
Johnny: Yeeaah. Now, what’s the REAL reason!?
BUSTED!!! Well, Johnny, I took some age old advice. I couldn’t take the heat so I got the H**L out of the kitchen. Oh, and I Love YOU!
We have had a scorcher summer here in the DC area. Our Johnny isn’t exactly an “Outdoor Man” on a tepid day. So…….turn up the heat to egg-frying hot and you have one CRANKY BOY!! Mama not being happy has nothin on him cause if Johnny ain’t happy…………just hide the sharp objects and pour a little beverage because it is going to be a looooooonnnnngggg day! Did I mention he can be tempermental?
Let’s just say I never learn my lesson………or what is that definition of crazy?……………..doing the same thing and expecting different results. BINGO……. the crazy’s have it! Because that is me…………CERTIFIABLE!!!!! Hey, to thine ownself be true, HEH?!
Anywho……..during our recent stay in Ohio we went to a local Nature Center. Let me tell you it was a beautiful day. About 80 degrees and low humidity. Perfect………….that is, for August in the Midwest. Well, Johnny, he was having none of it. In his opinion there is never a good temperature to hike a trail. He would prefer to get his dose of the Great Outdoors from the National Geographic Channel. Guess you could consider it more of a forced march than a hike.
So……we are walking along when I notice we have lost a hiker. I look to see Johnny in a pose much like this:
Me: Johnny, come on, get up, let’s keep walking everyone is waiting.
Johnny: I DON’T WANT TO HIKE!!!! Hiking is STUPID! And it’s tooo HOT!!
Me: (Trying to be calm and upbeat….I said, trying.) Come on!!! IT IS NOT HOT! It is a beautiful day!
Johnny: Oh yeah! Then how do you explain THE HEAT!
Well…….he got me on that one. Can’t argue with that logic. Now…………. for a beverage!
Afterall….Johnny clearly ain’t happy.
Who needs Nickolodeon Cruises, Disney or Breakfast with Mickey when you can travel the Midwest with my Boys? I was going to write ONE blog entry about my great adventures in Ohio with Johnny and his brothers but the size of that entry would rival only War and Peace so……….. I believe it is best written in several editions.
When we would visit Ohio when the boys were smaller, most of the time was spent at the home of family and friends “visiting.” Now that everyone is a little older, this does not cut it. BORING………yeah, that’s the word I think I heard.
On this visit I planned to delight them with field trips to all the great places I went to in school. We hit the Dairy (which funny enough has a putt-putt golf course), a Nature Center, Ohio Caverns and Johnston Farm. All fun, inexpensive and gauranteed to make Johnny yell, I’M TIRED WHEN ARE WE LEAVING!” And his new favorite……..”THIS IS BORING!” Let me tell you, he is a real JOY to drag around the state……..actually, not really.
Our first stop was the Dairy. Which, as I mentioned, has a putt-putt golf course. Fun, right? Well…….not always. Johnny declared this, “THE STUPPIDIST GAME EVER”, then propped his club against a tree and abandoned us on the course. Little Brother is not so quiet…….and has a MEAN competitive streak. His quest for winning was not helped by having one arm in a complete cast. He delighted us all by throwing his golf ball into the parking lot screaming THIS STINKS, then throwing his club on the ground and JUMPING up and down on it. Yeah…………a real proud Mommy moment. Good thing he is a light weight or I would have been the proud honor of a mangled putter. And we weren’t in my hometown………..so…………….just maybe, just maybe, nobody noticed the equipment flying across the course. Hey……I can dream.
Our next destination was Ohio Caverns. This was a definite field trip destination back in the day. The brothers thought the stalagtites and stalagmites were so cool and were really in to seeing the “gems” and rocks in the gift shop. Johnny, however thinks looking at rocks is for schmuks and was more interested in trying to find “Batman in the Bat Cave.” Just our luck we did have one bat sighting. Thus while the brothers were in the gift shop planning how they were going to get rich by mining for gems, Johnny approached me at the shop with his FIND.
I turned around to see my Johnny, (did I mention he has a penchant for mild curse words?), who said:
Look MOMMY, I’m the ANGEL FROM H**L
Who needs Disney Land, right? Mickey Mouse has nothing on my “Angel”, Batboy! How much do you think people would pay to have “Breakfast with Batboy?” Now…….that’s a GREAT IDEA! Pancakes anyone?
With some trepidation, I decided…………or was coerced…….. into taking the boys on another road trip to the Midwest. This time to the great State of Ohio. I was just recovering from the 13 HOUR solo drive home from Chicago when we loaded the OL DODGE GRAND CARAVAN back up and headed West on Interstate 70.
I got the low flying headliner replaced in the van the day before we left….. so…… I was feeling pretty HIGH CLASS not to mention my shiny new windshield!
On the last drive to the Midwest we were about 3 HOURS into the trip when the AC went out. That was followed by 10 HOURS of Johnny bellowing: HEY, CLOSE THE WINDOWS, WHY DON’T YA, I CAN’T HEAR MY VIDEO!!! And 24 HOURS into the stay at Grandma O’s house Little Brother was in a cast past his elbow!
Begs the question, why the h**l do I even leave my HOUSE?! Because my DADDY didn’t raise a Quitter!!!!! That, and I could probably use a check up from the neck up!
So………. I naively thought…….once again…….there I go thinking………that this trip would be smooth sailing. And I was feeling full of myself………..what, with my re-decorated interior and all. That was until about TWO MINUTES into the 8 HOUR drive the windshield wipers IMPLODED, EXPLODED…..I don’t even know how to describe it……best described by the man who replaced them at 7 a.m. ……..as previously being put on upside down, inside out or something like that. But once fixed, we were on our way!
And we arrived in Ohio about 8 hours later and the fun began. We were at GG’s House (my boys name for one of their Grandma’s) visiting and eating when just 2 HOURS into our arrival all of the sudden………with not even a storm in sight……..the POWER WENT OUT!!!!!!
One house, 8 KIDS, NO AC and 98 DEGREES equal ONE GOOD TIME!!!!!! Only Johnny can make this situation BETTER. Because no power equal NO T.V. equal one ticked kid. Being a compassionate and selfless young man, he began accusing his GG yelling: HEY, YOU FORGOT TO PAY YOUR ELECTRICITY BILL!!!!!! Not to be pushed around by my Johnny, she quickly responded, “Johnny, I know I paid my electric bill, I have it automatically deducted.” That provided no comfort to my Johnny so he said, “I’m outta here!”
And in the Battle of the Grandma’s, he promptly ran up to “Grandma M’s” house in search of T.V. Darn the luck, the power was out at her house to! And…… you guessed it………Johnny again began accusing yet another “Grandma” of “NOT PAYING YOUR BILLS.” In complete exasperation he screamed:
DOESN’T ANYONE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD PAY THEIR ELECTRIC BILL!!
Is this Elder Abuse?? I think this is why Johnny has heard more than once this week, “Good thing You’re Cute.” Or my favorite, “You’re something else, Johnny.” Hey, it’s NOT my first day on the job with these boys of mine…………..I can read between the lines………………I know what Grandma is saying…….and it is the following:
HEY KID, GET OFF MY CASE………I DON’T TAKE ANY C****P FROM A 10 YEAR OLD!!!!!!
Awwww come on, Grandma, admit it, you know it…….to know Johnny is to LOVE Johnny. Now, go pay your ELECTRIC BILL!!!