Monday, October 1, 2012

Saturday morning: the terms of vacation

From a deep sleep I hear: “Mommy! No school for two weeks!” I pull the covers over my head. They are quickly peeled away for a repeat, “Mommy! No school for two weeks!”

I surrender to the urgency in this voice and look at the clock: 5:00AM. “Well good morning to you, too, Sam.” My sarcasm is lost as Sam sticks his face into mine for a third, “Mommy! No school. No school. No school for two weeks.”  “Yes, Sam,” I confirm. “No school for two weeks. Go back to bed."

“Mommy outside! Shoot hoops.” Sam demands.

“Too early for hoops. Everyone is sleeping.  And no hoops in your underwear.” I remind. I'm certain I've given an edict here and yet I still hear several more,  “Mommy! Shoot hoops.” Delay tactics are my only hope. “Sam, I have a plan. Would you like to hear the plan? It’s a good plan.”

Sam responds with interest, “Yes! What’s the plan?” Except it sounds more like “Waz the plan.” And his voice inflections don't lilt up in question.

“First, get dressed. Clean underwear, shorts and tee. Eat breakfast. Make toast. Get flip-flops. Go outside to shoot hoops.” If I stretch it out, I can preserve neighborhood peace until, oh, 7:30. I throw in a shower and shave, adding, “Then come inside, take a shower and shave.” His expression seems to say, "About that shower and shave. No." The actual conversation runs like this:

Sam: No shower.
Me: No hoops
Sam: No shower
Me: No hoops
Sam: Yes hoops.
Me: Then you need to take a shower.
Sam: No shave.
Me: Yes shave.
Sam: No shave.
Me: No hoops.

We have hit an official impasse. He takes a minute to consider his options. I help by saying: “Sam, it’s simple: No shower, no hoops. “ Sam quickly agrees to my terms. “Shower later!” he announces with triumph. 

I know Sam is simply telling me want I want to hear. I know we will renegotiate the agreed to terms later.  How does he know to do that I wonder? Where did he learn it? And then I remember. Me.

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