She wants her $2

January 10th, 2006

Those of you who didn’t rise with the sun this morning will realize that my goal of writing here daily suffered the first obstacle last night only by the date above. Of course, those of you who rose with the sun anywhere close enough to me to be affected by similar weather will still be in bed since it’s grey and rainy outside.

I had intentions of writing last night about Isaiah and I putting together the airplane kit mentioned in the previous edition of this publication. I did not do that for two reasons– the first of which is that we didn’t put it together last night and the second is that I fell asleep at approximately nine-thirty without ever having spent more than one minute in front of the computer.

Last night was Ruth’s monthly bunko night and as long time readers will know, the boys stay home with me while she spends a few hours playing bunko with the gals. We usually have guy food like frozen pizza, franks n’ beans, or pigs-in-a-blanket. We also frequently either have some movie to watch that Ruth would rather not have to endure like one of the numerous cinematic works containing that remarkable thespian, Godzilla, or we work on some project like putting together the abovementioned model airplane.

Bunko was supposed to be last Monday and the boys and I were going to watch the movie National Treasure which I found to be silly but mildly entertaining, but which I knew Isaiah would love since it is chock full of mysterious clues and hidden treasure and such like that any red-blooded six year old boy would find fascinating. The gal who is hosting bunko this month (there are twelve women in this group and each one hosts everybody at their house one month out of the year) was sick so it was postponed until last night and we’d ended up watching the movie in two or three sessions through the week.

Ruth was all set to go to bunko last night, but circumstances prevented her.

Ruth’s mom had a mild heart attack last Friday. After Ruth had dropped Isaiah off at school, she went by her mom’s house to pick her up because they’d planned to go grocery shopping together. They went, but Nancy said she had a tightness in her chest and had had it for some hours. Through the store she felt tired and not too well. When they got back to her house, Nancy had to barf. It was then that Ruth insisted she go to the emergency room and she remained in the hospital until yesterday.

Well, she got to come home yesterday and since the hospital said the release time would be between three-thirty and four pm, Ruth volunteered to use our van to taker her home after getting Isaiah from school. Ruth figured that even if Nancy got out at four-thirty, there would be plenty of time to get to bunko. Unfortunately, Ruth didn’t account for the fact that the estimated release time was reckoned in hospital hours.

I’d talked to her from work and she’d told me that she probably wouldn’t be home when I got there, but would be soon after so when I got home I set down and read a library book for about an hour and a half. Ruth called about six-thirty to say that after she picked up Nancy’s prescription, she’d be home with the boys. Of course, bunko was out since it started at seven and it would be that before she even got home.

I told her to come get me first, then we’d get the prescription, drop it off, get the boys and go out for supper somewhere. But that was not to be either. When we got back to Ruth’s folks’ house– just as I was about to tell the boys to start getting their coats on, Nancy suggested that Bob, Ruth’s dad, should give us some money to pick something up from the Arby’s just on the other side of the highway from the subdivision and we could all have supper.

Ah, well… What can you say to somebody who just got home from the hospital? Your mother-in-law who just got home from the hospital? (especially my mother-in-law) “We’ll be glad to get you something, but we were kinda planning on going somewhere ourselves. How about a raincheck?” That would not have been a wise course of action to say the least. And you know, she did just get home from the hospital and all.

I think what really wore me out was the boys fooling around during supper. We all ate in the living room since Nancy had been installed on the couch and the dining room table was all covered with the same kind of junk that I’m sure covers a large proportion of the dining room tables in the homes of average americans (and by average I mean not neatniks)– which is to say junk that has nothing to do with eating. Ruth and Gideon sat in the floor, Isaiah sat on the couch by Nancy with a TV tray. Nancy, Bob, and I also had TV trays in the small-ish living room so we all were kind of wedged in there in a manner that worked OK as long as everybody sat reasonably still and ate instead of monkeying around.

Isaiah and Gideon, however, had spent a few hours at the hospital being remarkably good so monkeying around was exactly what they insisted on doing. Gideon kept climbing up on the couch between Isaiah and Nancy and wiggling around, hopping, and leaning on Nancy or bumping Isaiah’s tray. In response to this Isaiah was making noise kicking his tray with his feet and shoving Gideon off him from time to time. All while I sounded like a broken record with “Knock it off!”s, “Stop making that noise”es, and “Do you want a spanking?”s– to each of which the boys reacted promptly– as if they had lost the power of hearing. It wasn’t as much the behavior that wore me out as the number of close calls and near misses of such a rowdy bunch surrounded by food and drink on rickety TV trays.

Earlier, when we’d gotten back from getting the food, Ruth said that Isaiah had homework to finish and grabbed his backpack out of the van. “Uh-uh,” I told her firmly, “Leave that in the van. His homework is our excuse to hit the bricks right after supper.” So once the food was et and the wrappers and trays were cleared away I reminded Isaiah that he had homework to finish and we needed to get going. It only took us twenty more minutes to get all our coats on and out the front door. That’s not a record, but it’s a better than average departure time from Ruth’s folks’ house.

When we got home, Ruth put Gideon to bed and Isaiah started on his homework. I went upstairs to take off my contact lenses. Once they were out I laid down and fell asleep. I next remember Ruth telling me Isaiah was done with his homework and ready for me to read him a story. I told her I’d give her a dollar to do it for me, and when she gave me the look I doubled my offer. I don’t remember her ever officially accepting the deal, but since I was only about ½ way playing possum and the next thing I remember is waking up about twelve-thirty in my clothes, I guess she did it for me.

I owe her $2.