This past Saturday night my son Jack had a friend sleep over. Which isn’t alarming because Jack is only 9 1/2 years-old. If he was 23-years-old and still living in our garage until his Seals & Crofts cover band “finally gets traction” and he had a friend sleep-over, I probably wouldn’t be writing about it. I’d be in my closet drying my tears on a house cat.
Anyway, that night Jack and his buddy decided that they’d like to sleep on the sofa bed that’s upstairs in our playroom. I usually never go into our playroom because a) I don’t like Beyblades and b) I’m allergic to Cheez-It crumbs and c) I’m not sure if all of my vaccinations are up to date. It’s basically 600 square feet of Boy up there and for that reason, it’s better if I don’t know what goes on. I just pretend the various crashing and banging I hear over my head is thunder and it works out nicely for all of us.
In fact, up until Saturday, the last time I was in the playroom was a couple of weeks ago when almost-12-year-old Sam decided that the best way to get a book out of the bookcase—was to stand on the back of the couch and jump at the bookcase. My sweet Sam then learned two things: 1) The bookcase is five feet away from the couch and 2) He can only jump two feet. So that day I couldn’t pretend the crash I heard was thunder because thunder doesn’t scream, “Mom! I think I broke some of my private parts! Owwwww! I’m dying! Hey, can you email my math teacher and tell her I’m too injured to take the quiz tomorrow? Owwwww!”
Of course, he’s also the same kid who just did this:
When I told my mom that we had to use dish soap to get him loose and how ridiculous it was for a kid to do something so dumb, she said, “Uh-huh. When you girls got stuck, we used to spray PAM on you.” Oh. Right.
Back to Saturday night in the playroom.
Because we had an overnight guest, I decided I should peek in the playroom bathroom (aka “The Chevron Station”) and make sure it was in good condition. Which is sort of like looking at yourself naked in a full-length mirror once you’re past 40 and expecting to see your boobs closer to your chin than your ankles, but still. I had hope.
Here’s what I found:
– Bright, orange fingerprints all over the light switch causing me to momentarily panic that one of the kids had a blood disorder
– One Cheeto on the ground, which was bad because snacks aren’t allowed upstairs, but good because—no blood disorder
– A white sock
– Another white sock
– My favorite pen that I thought I lost on an airplane two years ago
– Another white sock
– A pool toy that was wet even though it wasn’t currently in the pool
All in all, not too bad. The sink was even still mostly white and the SpongeBob Squarepants soap dispenser was only coated in 10 layers of soap scum, so I was feeling pretty happy about the way the boys were taking care of their bathroom. Until I saw this:
“What happened to the toilet paper thing?” I asked the boys.
“The what?” they answered.
“You know the thing that goes in the middle of the toilet paper holder. It has a spring in it.”
“Oh, right. That. I totally know what happened to it,” Sam said, looking up from his video game with one eye. “Someone musta stole it.”
“What? Who would steal that, Sam? Like, who would break into our house just for that?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Save your questions for the cops, lady. I’m not a Hardy Boy.”
Not getting the answer I wanted, I stood there giving them the stink eye until Jack finally put down his baseball cards and came over to me with a concerned look on his face. I knew I could count on the kid who likes things nice and orderly to help me out. “Do you know where it is, Jack?” I asked sweetly. “We kind of need it.”
“No, I don’t know where it is, mommy, and I definitely didn’t use it as a weapon in the treehouse yesterday,” he said. “But why don’t you just put the toilet paper on the floor? You know, next to all of the socks.”
Anyone hear that thunder?