Thursday 29 Sep 2016

Son Time
Jennifer Flaten

My daughters attended a birthday party this weekend. It was a very large, for girls only birthday party, that included a sleepover. The host mother, let’s shall call Saint, invited 15, yes 15, tweenage girls to her home. Seriously, she deserves a medal or at least a coupon good for two for at the liquor store.

I live with two girls. I can’t imagine having that much girl in one small space. I know I should never say never, but I am never having that many girls over to my house at one time.

Off the girls went with their sleeping bags, pillows and overflowing overnight bags. Those bags were so full I am sure the other mother thought I sent my girls to stay with her permanently. Don’t worry, not yet. I am saving that for when puberty starts.

My girls get their over packing from me. I am a chronic over packer. Even if we are gone for just an overnight, I pack for every contingency. Hey, we could have a freak blizzard in July. After all this is Wisconsin, it’s best to be prepared. Besides, these are pre-teen girls, multiple wardrobe changes are mandatory. Not to mention all the cosmetics who knew one girl could use so much lip-gloss.

I jammed the girls, their stuff and my son in the car and set off for the party. The ride over was noisy, like it always is when all four of us are packed in the car. After dropping the girls off, my son and I continued on our errands.

Suddenly, the car was as quiet as a tomb. My poor son couldn’t stand the silence, he has two sisters, it’s never quiet and started talking. Once he started, he never stopped. I am serious this kid had the talking power of 10 kids plus 2.

Drunk with the knowledge that there no big sister to step on his turn to speak, no bigger sister to tell him to stop talking and certainly no twin sisters to monopolize the conversation. He talked, and talked, and talked.

Did I mention he talked? The only time he stopped talking was at the movie theatre. As luck would have it, there was a family friendly movie to see. Otherwise, I have no idea what we would have done.

I suppose something appropriately boyish. No, it wouldn’t have involved tossing a football around, I try to avoid that I might break a nail. Nor, much to my son’s dismay would have it included letting him playing video games until his eyeballs shriveled up.

I realize that doesn’t leave much, but I am sure I would have thought of something, I mean boys like going to the yarn store right?

After the movie, I took him to buy his belated birthday present-a new bike. On the way to buy the bike, we began discussing the upcoming Percy Jackson movie, based on the Rick Riordan book. This lead to him summarizing several let me repeat several, of the books for me.

Before I slumped into a coma over the steering wheel, I realized that I too had done this to my parents. No, wonder my mom stopped reading books, so when I asked, “did you read?” she could say no truthfully. I now realize she would deftly manage to switch the subject right as I launching into a description of said book.

My son was so excited about the bike that he asked to go on a bike ride the minute we got home. Of course, I said yes. I happily strolled along behind him. I had to walk the dog. He biked about a block ahead of me, in blissful silence.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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