Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't get dirty!

Raising a boy is a dirty job – a filthy job, actually, especially when you are the person washing his clothes. My son, whom I adore, has reached an all new level of grime.

So much so that I recently told him he would have to learn to do his own laundry. He had the exact look on his face that his dad gets when I tell him the same thing - the kind of too-scared-to-argue-with-a-crazed-woman look.

It all came to a head the night of his choral concert. He was supposed to wear a tux, which was fortunately provided by the school.

“All I need is a pistol, Mom, and I’ll be James Bond.”

I wonder if James Bond’s mom worried about him making it out the door without getting his crisp, white shirt dirty.

The night in question I was working in Atlanta, so I called my husband about an hour before I arrived home.

“Oh, he’s playing in the woods.”

“Make sure he comes home and gets cleaned up.”

“No problem,” he said. Women, you know what that means.

I came home to a sheepish-looking boy and an angry husband.

“He is not allowed to go up there for a week!”

I wanted to say, “Why are you punishing me?”

But, instead, I gave him the know-better-than-argue-with-a-dad-who-has-had-it look.

Apparently, my son had come home as called, gotten cleaned up, put on a new set of clothes and then asked to go back outside again. My husband told him not to come home dirty. To his credit, he didn’t; he came home filthy. At least he wasn’t wearing his tux.

Long story short, after a good scrubbing, some pushing and pulling, we managed to rope him into his penguin-suit. We weren’t allowed to walk him to his chorus room, so we dropped him off and prayed he wouldn’t fall into a puddle on the way.

“DON’T GET DIRTY!” my husband and I warned simultaneously as he clamored out of the truck.

The performance went off without a hitch. He sang his heart out despite the fact that his collar was choking him profusely. And, believe it or not, he stayed cleaned. His shirt was untucked, and there was poison ivy on his face from an earlier romp in the woods, but he was clean. And I even have a picture to prove it.

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