Something strange is going on around here. Things are happening, but no one is to blame. Ever.
For example, a long, green streak of marker appeared across the wall, but no one did it. It must have been a leprechaun. Then a cup of milk somehow spilt on the table at breakfast, but it wasn’t them. Maybe Grandma did it? And then (my personal favorite), a package of mini M&Ms magically disappeared from my handbag, but three sets of eyes looked up at me in wide-eyed innocence and swore up and down that they would never, ever take the candies out of my handbag and gorge themselves on them. And they had no clue whatsoever how the traces of chocolate appeared around the corners of their mouths. Maybe they didn’t clean their faces well enough the night before? Because they would never, ever munch on chocolate without asking first. They definitely didn’t do it.
Or at least that’s what I’m being told.
But little do they know, I wasn’t born yesterday. I know exactly what’s going on here. I was a kid not so long ago (ok, maybe it was a few decades ago and I’m getting older by the second, but I don’t want to think about that right now). I had two brothers and sometimes things happened, but did we want to get into trouble and miss out on all the fun stuff? No, of course not. So we had a secret pact to never admit and never throw anyone else under the bus – and it drove my parents CRAZY.
I remember one instance when one of the wheels somehow fell off of our new vacuum cleaner. My father loved that vacuum (if it’s at all possible to actually love a vacuum). We’d only had it a few months and it was some fancy new model. In all honesty, I don’t know how the wheel fell off of the vacuum and I don’t know who did it. I swear. And even if I did, I’m not going to blab about it here where he could easily read it and then fly up to Canada to lecture me with his arms waving hysterically in the air twenty-three years later, am I?!
Anyway, not knowing who broke the wheel off of the vacuum or how it happened absolutely enraged my dad. He still goes on and on about it now and we still won’t say a peep. Drop it, Dad. You’re never going to know! But I understand his frustration. I now get why he used to curse and swear under his breath every time he had to clean the carpet using a one-wheeled vacuum cleaner that scraped across the floor and never really sucked up the dirt the way it used to.
So the last week of the school year, Fin arrived home with a plastic bag that contained his glasses – in two pieces. I took them out of the bag and placed the broken glasses on our kitchen counter. We both stood there in silence, staring down at what used to be his shiny, black rimmed glasses. He wasn’t going to speak first, so I decided that I should probably start the discussion.
“So what happened to them?” I asked him.
“They broke in half,” he said casually. “Right in the middle.”
“I see that, Honey. Any clue how that happened?”
“Yeah.” He replied, nodding his head.
“And are you going to tell me?” This was like trying to get blood from the stone. We could easily end up standing there all day batting questions and vague responses back and forth.
“Well, they just kind of split.” He told me, shrugging one shoulder.
“They just split?”
“Yeah, they just split in the middle and fell off my face.”
Uh, what? How is that even possible? How does a perfectly good pair of glasses just split in half and fall off of someone’s face? I had to know a bit more information.
“So they just all of a sudden broke in the middle and fell off?” I asked him. “Just like that?”
“Yup.” Clearly he’d decided to say as little as possible. He’d make a good secret agent someday.
“And you weren’t playing with them or anything at the time?”
“You were wearing them and they just split and fell off without anything else happening to them first?” I just wanted to make sure that I was hearing him correctly.
And that was the end of the conversation. He wasn’t going to give up any other information. I asked his teacher about his glasses and she said he told her the same explanation. They just split in the middle and fell off. Just like that.
Do I really think that the glasses just split in half and fell off of his face, as if suddenly stuck by a force greater than himself? Ummm…no. Have I seen him numerous times swinging his glasses around by one of the legs and playing with them roughly? Yes, I have. And have I warned him repeatedly not to do that? Absolutely. And does he know that if he was still playing with them like that and then they broke in half that I would be a bit annoyed? Yes, he surely does.
But sometimes it’s best just to drop it. It’s like the wheel on my parent’s vacuum. I’m never going to know what really happened. Thankfully, it was about time for him to get a new pair of glasses anyway (but don’t tell him that). Do I let all of these mysterious happenings just slide by around here? No way. Just yesterday, Ro-Ro ended up with a red mark on his forehead and Fin said that it wasn’t his fault…..somehow Ro-Ro’s head managed to just ‘fall onto his knee’. He did some time on the naughty step for that one.
I may be kind and understanding, but this mama is no pushover.