Sunday, October 10, 2010

Honk if you love Jesus

Steel and her brother were bickering over watching Toy Story or Finding Nemo on movie night. It got heated, so I said, "Sunshine is coming over; we'll let her pick." I was expecting flack, but Steel looked at me with a confident smile and said, "Yes, we'll let Sunshine pick, and she will pick Toy Story." Sunshine came to the door. Steel greeted her with a Woody doll in her arms and said, "Sunshine! Do you want to watch Toy Story????" Even Jack Peter got swept up in the enthusiasm.

After she's done a good marketing campaign for my pottery business, I need to hire Steel's PR firm to spin the YMCA. The first problem is that I feel guilty about it. On Mondays I pick them up from one daycare only to dump them in another so I can swim. The drop-off is always chaos. Toby now cries as soon as we walk into the room, so I have to cuddle her while filling out the sign-in sheet and explaining to a rightfully skeptical Miss Kim, that cheese-its are fine for my infant. As I leave, I extricate all of the big-kid bribes from my swim bag and wrestle the last remaining car key from Toby's mouth. (We've lost all but 1) I sneak out as she screams indignantly. I noticed last time mid-cuddle that Toby's leg was inside my pants. It's not easy to concentrate on paperwork when your brain is saying to your child, "Girl, What is your foot doing in my Va jay jay?" so on top of my usual graceless exit I had to choreograph pulling up the fly on my huge, clay-covered man pants.

I'm wondering when we're going to have to confront the Christianity issue. I don't see too many Bible thumpers at the Y, but mocking Christians has been a family tradition, and it might not go over well. My dad used to shout across the woods, "PRAY FOR ME, EVAN!" every Sunday morning as the neighbors piled into the station wagon on their way to church.

Last weekend my mom revived a Kinder family favorite. I have always had fall allergies. I heard my husband admitting to a friend that my nose blowing would be a deal breaker if he didn't love me as much as he does. Regardless, I blew my nose in the kitchen while the kids were eating cereal, and my mom bellowed, as she and my dad did throughout my childhood, "HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS!!" Jack Peter has embraced it. He has also started to shriek, "DAMN!" and "JESUS!" periodically, usually with an impish grin on his face.

I'm trying to convince him to say, "JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!" instead. I wish I'd screamed that instead of what came out last Wednesday night. Steel had gone for a bed wetting hat-trick that day. She'd soaked all but the guest room mattress, and Toby had taken the most shocking poop in the tub. At dinner the 3 had mounted their first successful coup d'etat. Tim was teaching at Penn, and I had lost all control. They were refusing to eat and swinging from their chairs. I'd finally gotten them into their beds and was about to start singing, "The cowboy song" (Sweet baby James) when the neat freak in me lunged out of the rocker to pick up one last toy. Our now former friend Shawn had left his pit bull, Maud here while he'd gone to help Tim with his class. Poor Maud had taken a dump on the rug in the kids' bedroom, and I slid through the shit on my way to pick up snoopy. Tim had just returned. His response to my panic was,

"BABE, from now on, I DEAL WITH POOP! My dad was a plumber; I can handle it. You FREAK OUT!"

Maybe Jesus did take the wheel.