Friday, July 1, 2011

The Flies

As  I was putting away laundry yesterday, I stopped suddenly when I realized I was heading to the wrong bedroom with a pile of shirts. I meant to turn on my heel to bring the items to the correct room.  Yet without warning, I was sent hurdling across the hall.  The cause?  Jack.  He was following me so closely that when I stopped, he stepped right on the back of my flip-flop.

Why is it these kids are always right on top of me unless we're in the middle of a busy parking lot?  Then, and only then, do they feel the need to exert their independence by planting themselves on the outer-most ring of my nucleus center. My merry little electrons dot around parking lots just looking for a distracted minivan mom to flatten them.  It leaves me baffled.  Yet once we get into the safety of our house, I have kids laying across me like I am a giant sofa and they are my throw pillows.

One of Joe's friends described the situation rather colorfully.  Mike is another firefighter with 4 young daughters:

"My wife is like a big pile of sh*t....." he begins. 

He patiently makes sure he has caught the attention and glaring looks of every woman in the room.   His eyes twinkle as he waits for it.

"....and my children are like flies."

The analogy is basically a man's take on every mother's exasperated cry of, "these kids are up my butt all day!"  Based on my extensive study and vast knowledge of mother ducks with their ducklings, I have a good idea where the expression came from:

If Mom Duck Stops Swimming, Guess Where Everyone Ends Up?
Now that my boys are all getting older, they have been successfully evicted from the bathroom when I get ready in the morning.  They've all taken the locked door pretty well with the exception of  Joey.  Joey believes that if you don't immediately hop out of the bathtub the second the plug is pulled, you go directly down the drain.  Without passing Go.  Without collecting $200.

So what does Joey do?  He sits outside my bathroom door the entire time.  He listens for the plug removal and water drainage.  And then I hear him:


His desperate cries only provoke my wicked sense of humor.  I occasionally throw out the "Oh, no....Joeeeeeeeey....." and fade my voice out like I'm going down the drain.  Again, there is a reason my kids will be in therapy one day.

I know there will be a time in the not-so-distant future where my boys will want nothing to do with me.  Joe tells me to soak it all up right now.  Easy for him to say.  He hasn't had his own bathroom cheering squad for the better part of a decade.  When Joey got a toy razor kit that included shaving cream, he proceeded to "shave" his legs in the bathtub.  Like mommy.

Yet to be fair to my husband, there are times where he must feel like the proverbial sh*t:

Joe fell asleep on the floor after a 24 hour shift and the "flies" pounced.

I'm working hard on raising self-sufficient boys who will move out the moment they graduate from Northwestern where they will attend on a marching band scholarship (or something along those lines).  I do not want to raise  Irishmen who spend all their days at the pub and live with their mother until they're 40.

Unfortunately, the situation isn't looking too good right now:

(In case anybody was planning on calling the Department of of Children and Family Services, this photo was actually taken at an Italian restaurant that happened to have a bar. Daniel is tired because we were at the Sox game, not because he'd been drinking. Once we realized he was at the bar and after I got my picture, he was called over to the table. Sheesh. Can't be too careful nowadays. I'm a little scared this photo might end up on the local news with a whole investigative report on underage drinking in Chicago).


  1. Your thoughtful and insightful humor of everyday life has vanished from the writings of modern day scribes. Where have you been all this time. SNL could be revived with your delightful musings.

  2. Perhaps his head is down because he's hiding his face as he woudn't want to be caught dead in a Sox jersey. I kid! When Jack sees people wearing them he points them out to me like they're Morlocks. Sweet blog today poopie.


  3. Anonymous - Thank you, but the mommy blog do runeth over. There are some great writers out there, all in the form of over-tired, over-worked, over-stressed moms. I'm just adding to the clamour.

    Megan - Final: White Sox 6, Cubs 4 Perhaps you want to do the kid a favor and align him with a team whose stadium isn't falling down.

  4. I'll be at Wrigley tomorrow. If the stadium shakes, it's because Ozzie hit his big fat head against a wall when his team loses.



  5. Oh enough with the Cubs - Sox rivalry! What would Jesus do?

  6. Megan -I'll bet you $1 the Sox win (I'm trying to keep my gambling under control).

    Anonymous - Jesus is a Sox fan.

  7. Both of you go to your bedroom an lQQk the opposite way.

  8. Dad, I keep waiting for her to write about that. Love you!