Friday, March 13, 2009

How was your day?

I work several days a week writing at a corporate office, a freelance job I enjoy and am very happy to have. The downside of it is, on those days, I am not able to greet my children when they get off the bus. Don’t get me wrong. They aren’t latchkey kids. Their father, who works from home, is there to pick up the slack.

I’ve learned, however, that the first ten minutes that the kids are home is crucial. That’s when all the best information is revealed. By the time I’m home, all I get is “good,” “fine,” and “okay,” in response to my questions about their day. Calling their dad while I’m at work doesn’t help me much either. When asked how they are, he responds with “good,” “fine,” “okay” and an occasional “all’s well.”

But today, I was home and ready. I pounced on my son as he clamored off the bus.

“How was your day?” I asked.

“Let me tell you what happened,” he was shouting, before the bus could even pull off.

I struck gold. He was very excited, first and foremost, because a girl named Alicia gave him two stickers, which he wore proudly on his shirt.

“That was really nice of her,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said, “I got these for free, but next time I have to buy them!”

After explaining to him that we didn’t really need to spend our money on stickers, he said, “Oh, I have to bring something in that smells tomorrow because one of my spelling words is aroma.”

“Okay. What do you want to bring?”


“Well, that might stink,” I explained.


I still have a lot to learn about boys.

Then he asked if he could take off his shorts and his shirt. Now, I can appreciate the fact that he wants to be comfortable and seeing him in his boxers amuses me, (one day his wife may disagree), but my daughter, on the other hand, just doesn’t get it.

“You don’t see Mom and me walking around like that,” she said, disgusted.

Ignoring her, he asked, “Mom, do you want to hear what I learned in school today?”

Oh, boy, did I!

“Yes, please tell me!” I said eagerly.

“Well, there was a scientist, a newspaper reporter and a dumb guy in an airplane.” he began. (All of his jokes include a dumb guy, btw, since he is allowed to say that one in certain context, like a joke!)

“The scientist threw an apple out of the plane,” he continued, “and said, ‘Let there be more fruit in the world.’ Then the newspaper reporter threw out his typewriter and said, ‘Let there be more writing in the world.’ Then the dumb guy threw out a hand grenade.”

At which point, my son paused for a deep breath, making me think I’d missed the punch line.

“Down below, a man runs into another man who is holding his head and laughing,” he goes on. “The first man says, ‘What happened to you?’ and the second man said, ‘I was walking home, and I got hit in the head with an apple and a typewriter. ‘Well, why are you laughing?’ the first man asked. ‘Because I just passed gas, and the house behind me exploded.”

Then all of us, including his sister, howled with laughter. No wonder everyone responds with “good,” “fine,” and “okay,” when I ask about their day. They don’t want me to know how much fun I’ve been missing!

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