For our 15th anniversary, Kevin and I planned a trip to Vancouver. We sent the boys’ to my parents and then I went home to pack and noticed a little detail: that my passport expired three months ago.
For two seconds, we thought of all the other places we could go instead, and then we shook that thought off and decided to just stay home.
He told me to make a list. I already had. We got right to work.
I spent most of the weekend in the boys’ room, which started out looking like this:
The mess is the result of two years of Saturdays where they were told to clean their room and they did so by putting everything back exactly not in its place. I was able to do what they never could have: fill up two garbage bags worth of old toys, papers, candy wrappers, certificates of showing up, etc. etc. I sent one to Goodwill and one to the dump.
There were treasures hidden in all the junk, like an unspent Toys R Us gift card, an entire Easter basket’s contents, unopened, and an unusual amount of legitimate postage stamps. But my favorite find in their bedroom was this:
Yes. A booger. And before I even finished asking Kevin which kid do you think did this, we already knew the answer.
Coincidentally, one of the things on the weekend list was to hang the letter R that Rocco got for his birthday two years ago. Zoom in. You will see the booger exactly in the middle of the round part of the R.
Even more coincidentally, this was the exact place I planned to hang the R. Zoom out…
I’m not even going to say anything to Rocco. Not a word. Then one day he is going to discover this blog and discover this post specifically, and he’s going to go to his bedroom to see if I was BSing or not and he will find that no, I was not, and all these years his boogie was framed in the letter R on the wall beside his bed and he didn’t even know it.
Then he’s going to say it’s not his booger.
[The last time we found boogers on the wall it was an entire collection, in the bathroom, and no one would claim it so finally I said then it must have been me. I must have made a booger collection on the boys’ bathroom wall. I apologized to everyone and scrubbed it off while they watched and told me how disgusted they were with me.]
Over the weekend, we made other little improvements to the boys’ room, like adding a hole to their desk to hide cords, installing a hook for V’s headphones, hanging R’s geosphere lamp, adding power strips to each side of the desk so that both their lamps would plug in, and unburying and plugging in the lamps that wrap around their bedframe. I was very excited about these little things. With each improvement I told myself that this, this is the missing piece, the reason they couldn’t keep their room clean. I told myself I was turning their room into a magical fairy land and that they will take pride and delight in, so much so that they will want to keep it pristine.
I imagined the boys rushing into their room when they got back and exclaiming over all its new features.
And finally! They were back!
Vincenzo instantly retreated to his bed and covered himself all the way with a comforter and Rocco went outside to whittle weaponry on the front porch, not to be bothered with the details of interior design.
I ripped the covers off of Vincenzo. I made Rocco come inside. I showed them how their lamps were now plugged in and working! They said, “Meh.” I asked them if they knew how many teeth I would have given to have a bendy lamp on my bed when I was their age. “How many?” they asked. “All of them!” I said. “All of my teeth!” Vincenzo went back under the covers. Rocco went to the kitchen to build a ham radio. The lamps remained un-turned on.
I was just about to declare our kids completely broken when I remembered that wait! I have another kid! I called Leo downstairs to the panic room—that dark room underneath the stairs–where we had hung light up Minecraft torches on the wall. “Behold!” I told him. “This room is just like real Minecraft now!” He glanced at the torches, unimpressed. “No it’s not,” he said. He went on to tell me all the reasons it’s not at all like real Minecraft, then left me alone in the panic room to contemplate all the decisions I’ve ever made in life. He never even turned the torches on.
Seriously, what is wrong with my kids?
I peeked in on the boys last night after hours, just to see if maybe they were using the lamps after all.
It’s hard to see what’s going on in this picture due to the obvious LACK OF LAMPLIGHT, but Rocco is scrunched at the end of his bed by the window, reading by the feeble amount of light coming through the closed blinds, while not one but two lamps on the opposite end of his bed are sitting there in the dark like a couple of chumps.
Seriously. Broken kids. Duds.
But you know, maybe I’m looking at things wrong. Maybe I should stop evaluating my boys based on their lamp-turning-on skills and start evaluating them on their mess making skills—to look at the situation in a different light, if you will.
There we go. Absolutely brilliant. Top shelf kids. Friggin’ geniuses.
(And no, the light coming from the right side of the picture is not lamp based. It’s just the window.)
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Potato & corn salad
Soba noodle salad
Kale, date, & parmesan salad