It's been a long day. I woke up this morning groggy from the benadryl I took last night to stave off the wheezing from the dusty books I've been sorting. I dragged myself to the pool and endured a Crap Oreo with Double-Crap-Stuff day at work and hurried to pick up the boys from daycare. C had to work late, all three of them had baseball games (fortunately at the same location) and I had snack shack duty.
When we got home, I reminded them to quickly get dressed in their uniforms and come down to eat the leftovers I was heating up in the oven. Of course that didn't work, and E and Z just ran around. I finally herded Z upstairs and found his t-ball shirt and handed him a pair of sweats. "Too late; I'm already wearing shorts!"
"You should wear sweats."
"Because it's cold out."
"So what?" Fine. Freeze your butt. I opened the window to shout to E, who was running around on the deck, and put dinner out on the table.
"We have to leave in 20 minutes if you want to be on time for your game, so please sit and eat." Of course that didn't work, because the hands on the clock are meaningless to six-year-olds, and the beginning and end times of things are mysterious happenings driven by the will of adults. I finished my dinner, cleared my place and sat on the couch with a book, announcing that we weren't leaving until they ate everything on their plates, and that we were already five minutes late for M's warm-up (and my snack-shack gig). This aggravated M, who tried to hasten his brothers. I gave my at-least-once-weekly "baseball isn't my thing, it's yours, so if you want to do it you need to get ready to go and not hassle me" lecture, to deaf ears, rounding off with, "You're not playing baseball again next year!"
Finally, we arrived at the school. I fried burgers, dispensed nacho cheese from a can. Caught a few glimpses of M pitching. Chased away E and Z after their game ended and they tried to scam candy bars. We left after M's game and pulled into the driveway at 8:35. "OK, guys, what do you need to do when we get inside?" M: "Put on my jammies, brush my teeth and get into bed." Z: "I forgot what M said." E: "butt-head!"
Once inside, of course, it was the run around the room throwing stuff until Mom gets mad routine. M finally got himself into bed with his book, Z got into his pajamas and brushed his teeth and he and I went downstairs to read, leaving behind E, who had goofed around so much (I got mad, he got madder and called me a "Horrible woman"), I told him to just go to bed naked, with no tooth brushing or stories. He met us on our way back up the stairs, book in hand. "Sorry, you wouldn't get ready, so you missed your chance." I said, feeling not very sorry at all. He started crying, and yelled, "I'm not coming upstairs until you read another book!" But once I turned out all of the lights he came up.
I cuddled him in bed and reminded them that they were going to their friend J's house for a playdate tomorrow. Z held my hand, twisting my wedding rings. "I don't want to go on Clifton's bus."
"Why? Is he mean?"
"I don't know."
"M, is Clifton mean?"
"I don't know."
"Have you ever ridden on his bus?"
"No, but you don't have anything to worry about, as long as you behave yourself."
I remembered how they classify busses and asked, "Is Clifton's bus a BlueBird or a Peterbuilt or a Caterpillar?"
"Peterbuilt? Really Mom?" Said M. "It's Thomasbuilt."
"Oh. Well, why not M___built?"
"Or C____built?" M said.
"Or Andreabuilt?" Asked Z.
"Yeah, why not Andreabuilt?"
"How did you know there was Caterpillar?" E asked.
"Because I went to school bus school." I said.
"Was it made out of school buses?" Z asked.
"No, it was in a school bus. I just drove around."
"No. I went to school in a brick building."
"What country was it in? What state? What continent? What opposite continent? What town? What city? What neighborhood?"
"The United States. Colorado. North American. South American. Englewood. Englewood. I don't know...I don't think our neighborhood had a name."
Just when I thought I had changed the subject enough, "Well, I still don't want to ride Clifton's bus. Can't you come pick us up and drop us off?"
"No. I'll be at work. You don't have to go if you don't want to. Good night. I love you."
Just as I was leaving the room, M asked, "Can you die of Lime disease?"
"Uh, yes. Why? Do you have Lime disease?"
"OK, good night."