The thing about having an inquisitive 10-year-old like Annoying Little Brother is that the inquisitive 10-year-old has no boundaries as to the timing of whatever has piqued his curiosity; furthermore, his cross-examination technique is relentless, and the usual parental bobs, weaves, laying-down-of-the-law and attempts to change the subject – they do nothing. Which leads to sotto voce exchanges like this one from earlier today in the front pew:
A.L.B.: “Is it really the actual Body of Christ?”
Me: “I’ll tell you later.”
“I’m eating it so I want to know.”
“It hasn’t hurt you yet, has it?”
“No, but I want to know.”
“But Communion is in five minutes and I’m going first. I’m nervous.”
“You chose the pew, kid.”
“So tell me.”
“Well, um, did they cover this part yet in CCD?”
“Is it His skin?”
“The Church really isn’t specific about…”
“So it’s, like, his blood and guts?”
(sigh) “It’s way more complicated than that.”
“Communion doesn’t taste like anything.”
“It’s not supposed to. What did you want, nacho-flavored?”
That actually got him thinking – but if you thought the process of going up for Communion would move him along to something else, perhaps saying prayers for his grandparents and mom and dad and the cats and his friend with the broken wrist and maybe even Annoying Big Sister…no.
(looks up at the Cross) “No wonder He’s so skinny.”
Can we get some help down here, Joseph?
If you’re square-footage-impaired like we are, and insufficiently ruthless about finding new homes for old toys, the next thing you know ten years have got behind you and the kids commandeer your garage.
On top of your carefully curated disorganization, now there’s greasy kid stuff everywhere. And it will stay that way all summer and into the fall unless drastic dramatic deterrent steps are taken to reclaim your last redoubt of man space. You need to find one of these.
No, not necessarily the actual spider, although if you do manage to snap a shot of one that’s great – but if not, do an image search for “garage” and “spider” and you should find a shot of some immense Shelob-looking thing scuttling across what looks an awful lot like your garage floor, walls or ceiling. Maybe this one matches your garage floor.
Here, some theatrics are called for. Get the picture uploaded to your phone, and then when the kids return from school or soccer practice or whatever, hit them with your best “There’s a HUGE spider in the garage, and I think it lives there now.”
Then you spring the picture on them. You may have to keep driving home the point that you’re pretty sure that the enormo-arachnid has made its home in some inaccessible corner of the garage, and that it’ll pounce if the kids linger too long in the garage.
If it works on them you’ve got your garage back – and if it doesn’t, it’s a decent April Fool’s prank. Let me know how it goes.
Trouble is, the kids are digitally-savvy, but not so much so that they can’t figure out simple things for me like how to get my other new site rolling (more about this soon!) and stop it from redirecting to this new site.
And stubborn old me, the aspiring WordPress autodidact, is too cheap and occupied with job-search necessities to devote the necessary attention span to getting to that “oh, right” moment where I realize I’ve been reading the instructions sideways.
That’s one good thing about being among the ranks of the laid-off: when you find yourself stuck for any reason, you can always head down the hall and think things over in the bathtub which is supposedly the place where great inspirations occur.
We shall see.
As soon as I find my duckie, anyway.
Full disclosure: I try to keep my political-junkie activity quarantined elsewhere on the internet but once a newsguy always a newsguy. But still…dayum, guys – what in Sam Hill was that middle school locker room mess last night?
This morning I awoke to a discussion between Noodle and Beast that was vastly more substantive:
Noodle: Well, at least when I was 2 and ran outside naked, I didn’t pee in the storm drain!
Beast: Oh, yeah? At least I don’t pick my nose and eat the boogers!
Dad: Already this is a more mature discussion than the Republican debate last night.
Noodle: Wait…who’s running?
Did she just…ask a serious question about…a grown-ups’ topic?
The school bus was due to arrive in 20 minutes, so I put off the secret silent parental fist-pump hooray that she and her brother were taking an interest in how we’re governed, but they did get the ten-cent walkthrough on how the presidential nomination process goes. This led to a mostly non-indoctrinatory discussion of who represents us in Washington, although She and I did say we thought our current congressman and possible future governor was one of the few good-guy standouts, and that Dad got to interview him several times and came away mightily impressed, and She added that pretty much the only other time Dad was more of a shameless fanboy on the job was that one time in 2007 at the Genesis reunion-tour press conference.
Now comes the difficult part: demonstrating to our offspring that while the two parties have presented us with thoroughly disappointing choices at the national level, it’s not like they’re the ones in charge of plowing the streets, making sure the village park is tidy, and ensuring a proper level of gnarliness at the village skate ramp.
Dad is going to have to raise his civic-duty game.