I interrupt my previously scheduled life is full of candy corn and happy changing leaves blog post to give you an exclusive look into the fairytale that is our marriage. Hey now. Before you roll your eyes, at least give me a chance to reassure you that this is an honest look and not a cheesed up version of reality.
A church related obligation called me away from home last night. With the children fed and their homework completed, my dear spouse was left with the following responsibilities:
- Play soccer with Henry. "Dad will you come outside and be my coach?" - Henry.
- Bathe Lottie and Henry."How could you leave this for me on a night when you aren't going to be here?" - Andrew.
- Put the children to bed.
Forrest must have missed his Mama because he was more than happy to just cuddle with me; which made my homecoming a sweet one. Andrew returned from his outside jaunt and continued to share details from his day. He was in a weird, almost silly, type of mood. Four tired Fleglets can lead to sensory overload, I get it. A wire is bound to short circuit
In a voice feigning hardship and adversity he reports,
"I had to go out to lunch again." Wo is him.
"You poor thing. That sounds awful..." before I complete my thought he interrupts,
"Pesto Cavatappi with chicken... it was awful." Now he's just being smug.
"Yum. Noodles and Company." I say. "Who'd you go with?"
"Well, I was going to take him to Arby's... but at the last minute I said, 'Or we could go to Noodles and Company.' And he immediately chose that one."
"Was it a client?" I ask. "Why did you take him?"
"So and so was out of town, so the job of entertaining him came to me. Turns out he's from China. He's actually a consultant. During lunch he informs me that he used to be the Vice President of *dear reader: insert super famous business firm here* and that he's personal friends with the CEO of our company."
This guy is a heavy hitter. I get it. He's a multi-gazillionaire probably. And then it hits me.
"Oh my goodness." I put my head in my hands. Without looking up because I'm feeling embarrassed for him I ask, "Did you drive?" Andrew let's out a huge guffaw indicating the answer.
"Yes! But he LOVED it! He kept saying, 'This is so fun!'"
Picture it with me friends. Andrew was put in charge of chauffeuring and escorting this VIP consultant to lunch in his 1987 certified piece of
"And I was going to take him to Arbys!"
Andrew is childlike in the way that he shares experiences from his day. I'm surprised how often his day will include a gem of an experience such as this. I use the word, 'childlike' because it's the same way that Henry operates.
Henry comes home from Kindergarten and usually only offers one to two word answers as I ask him about his day. But then, out of the blue during his bath or as I'm tucking him in, he'll suddenly go off in fun five year old detail about an experience from his day.
When my boys feel like talking, I make myself in the mood to listen. There is a limit, as I was reminded last night, to these conversations. Joining Forrest and me on the couch, talk turns back to the hardship of his night at home with the kids.
"Boo-hoo!" I thought. I listened attentively and tried my best to be empathetic as I had faith that at some point he'd turn to me and say,
"It just really puts into perspective how well you handle the children since this is your norm." Except he never said it. And so I thought I'd go ahead and point it for him. I was, after all, trying to express empathy.
"I understand. Our morning was disrupted by a tantrum courtesy of Lottie. She had to go timeout when she..." And that's when I notice that Andrew has picked up the remote. Unapologetic, he begins to turn up the volume on the t.v. The man has reached his daily allotment of words. And, it so appeared, wasn't compelled to help me use up all mine! I was hurt. And I let him know it. But come on, Ali. Ironman was on t.v.! Who can compete with Robert Downey Jr.? Honestly!
Forrest was now sleeping in my arms. I put him down and called my Mom while I cleaned up the kitchen. I needed to talk (!!!!) to someone.
As for Andrew, it turns out he had six more words left in him after all. As I head toward the stairs to make my way to bed, he enthusiastically jumps up off the couch.
"Okay then! Let's go make whoopee!"
And with these two words I fulfilled my quota.