Ah, Summer. Hello, Summer! Um, wait. Wait, Summer! Please wait a couple of days!
This is the last time I’ll have to deal with this particular problem–which is due to varying schedules between private and public school (and from here on out my children will suffer equally at the hands of our tax dollars gone awry)–but Monkey is done with school, and Chickadee still has two more days to go. This is a recipe for sibling smackdown, in case you were wondering.
My job, as the attending adult in this situation, is to pretend that it’s No Big Deal and somehow make sure that Monkey and I have some Quality Time Together over the next two days without doing anything that smells of fun (which would upset Chickadee). Gosh, I can hardly wait!
I have a plan, though. I nearly always do. I’m thinking that tomorrow, Monkey and I will go buy the pump stuff needed for the upcoming basement project, and then maybe we’ll put away some laundry. Except, we’ll have to skip the socks. Chickadee likes to pair socks. And maybe I’ll get him to take a walk with me, if it’s not so hot that I’m worried about us melting into the pavement.
Hey, add in maybe an hour of cartoons (while I do some work) and dealing with lunch and a few other miscellaneous things, and there’s our day. Easy. Nothing that will render his sister indignant over missing, but enough to feel exciting to him. Right?
This evening as I was unloading the dishwasher, Monkey zipped from one end of the house to the other brandishing a Pokemon pencil over his head. After the third time I heard Chickadee screeching and running from him in protest, I sent her upstairs to take a shower. Then I asked him what he was doing.
“I’m TRAINING,” he responded. “And the Master says I can come get my new OUTFIT. I’ll be right back!” I put a stack of cups into the cupboard. As I reached back into the dishwasher, Monkey reappeared. He had removed his shirt and donned a crown and a string of beads. His pointy little ribs flexed in and out with the effort of running around and raising his pencil in the air. “SEE?” he demanded. “I’m level SIXTEEN now. After I learn just a couple more spells? I’ll get to be even HIGHER. Gotta go enchant some stuff!”
He ran off, and I finished the dishes. “Hey, Buddy?” I called. He came running back, pencil held aloft. “What do you think we should do tomorrow while Chickie’s at school?” His eyes widened. He’d forgotten that he had me to himself for the day.
“Well I could teach you some spells,” he offered. “Or!” he hopped in place with the sheer excitement of this new idea, “I could DO some spells to HELP YOU! What do you need done?” Oh, this was perfect.
“You’re going to do some spells to help me?” He nodded. “Very cool. Let’s see. Have you learned the Laundry Be Gone spell, yet?”
His face fell. “Oh. That’s a beginner spell. I’m level sixteen, you know.” I thought better of pointing out that perhaps he would’ve learned his beginner spells along the way to becoming level sixteen.
“Darn. Okay. Well, let’s see. Do you know the Clean Up The House spell?”
He giggled. “I don’t like that one. That’s hard to do with this wand.” And he air-drew squiggles to demonstrate. I nodded my understanding.
“Alright. Well, how about I just finish my chores, and you can teach me whatever spells you DO know, tomorrow? K?” He brightened.
“Okay! We’ll have to find your wand, though. And I’ll have to think about what to teach you because there are a lot of different spells. Like, look, I’ll cast a spell on the table. Ready? STUPENDO!” He glared at the table. The table continued being a table. Monkey nodded with satisfaction. “See?” I did not see, but I wasn’t sure if I should admit that. I settled for raising an eyebrow. “SEE? The table is STUPID now!”
“OHHHHHH!” I surveyed the table with a critical eye. “It definitely doesn’t look very smart,” I agreed.
“That’s because I cast Stupendo. Gotta go, time for me to move up a level!” He ran out of the kitchen and I muffled my laughter into a dishtowel. As I hung it back up, Monkey came tearing back into the kitchen. “I was SO GOOD, they let me go directly to level EIGHTEEN!”
“Awesome!” We high-fived, and I couldn’t resist tickling his naked belly. He ran off again, and I went to check on Chickadee, who was just getting out of the shower.
As I helped her wrap a towel around her hair, Chickadee asked what Monkey and I were planning to do tomorrow. “Well, first we’re going to the Aquarium, and then we’re going to the circus, and then we’re going to the PUPPY STORE!” I crowed.
“MAMA,” Chickadee was not amused. “There is NO WAY you’d have time to do all of that before I got off the bus. What are you doing, really?”
“Monkey is going to teach me how to make the table stupid,” I told her.
“Really?” she asked.
“Really,” I answered. “It’s too bad you have to go to school. It involves nakedness and pencils, I think.” She gaped at me and we laughed.
“But, wait, what are you REALLY going to do tomorrow?” she pressed.
“I’m not sure, honey. I will have to work part of the day, and we really don’t have any big plans other than that.” She nodded–satisfied for the moment, anyway–and Monkey came exploding up the stairs.
“I just made level NINETEEN! I’m going to go make my bed stupid!” He careened around the corner and was gone, though we heard him pronouncing “STUPENDO!” in his room.
“Good luck, Mama,” Chickadee said with a giggle.