I swear this just happened

mat.JPGThis is a true story, I promise:  the boy has had a mild case of foot-and-mouth for the last few days.  I’m home on Winter Break anyway, so it’s not like it’s mattered; I was supposed to be home anyway so it didn’t lead to any change in anyone’s schedule.  He’s cleared up– the red spots are still there but he’s not contagious anymore, and we figured we could send him to day care today so I could get some stuff done around the house that I haven’t gotten to yet.

Less than an hour after we dropped him off we got the “Uh-uh, come get him” call– apparently H&M has been tearing its way through the day care lately (what a surprise, eh?) and they’re not taking any chances.  So, my first “drop everything and come get your kid from school” call.  

He feels fine– he’s been running around the house like a maniac since we got home, and I’ve been keeping half an ear on him while getting a couple of minor things done around the house since it’s not like he’s staying in the same room for more than three or four seconds anyway.

I hope this admission does not make me too terribly ridiculous:  I, uh, tend to… sing to myself, occasionally? when I’m doing things around the house?  One of our dogs is named Hector.  We call him Tor most of the time, and silly songs based on the dog and changing his name around have kind of become a thing around here.  So as I was letting the dogs in (covered in snow, both of them) I was singing at Hector.  The boy, as it turns out, was standing in the kitchen (which is right off our laundry room, which is where the dogs come in from the back yard) and heard me do this.  

The song is actually relevant:  “Tor is the snowiest Hector,” to the song of “One is the loneliest number” by Three Dog Night.  Go ahead, take a minute and imagine; I’ll allow it.

I walk into the kitchen, still singing, and make eye contact with the boy.

He screams “NO!” at me and runs out of the room.  Top speed.

Uh.  OK.  I start following him; he’s gone.  It takes a minute or two to determine that he’s run to his room.  The picture at the top of this post is of the mat in his room.  I walk in and he is tearing it apart.  He grabs the number one and throws it at me.

“One!  One is loneliest number!  Not Tor!  No!”

I have a weird-ass kid, but at least he has decent taste in music.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

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