There are quintessential parenting moments that are fodder for sit-coms. Last night I had one of those… in spades.
That evening, we enjoyed a fine family dinner of barbecue ribs with my in laws and one of my thirteen year-old son’s buddies in attendance. The ribs were an all-day project having been on the smoker since the morning. My sweetheart and I were on the road for much of the day delivering buildings, so my daughter was in charge of making sure the ribs stayed at a steady, low temperature. We exchanged a few text messages that will ensure my place in parenting hell.
After dinner, I worked on fixing my mother-in-law’s computer. She insists on using the AOL software as a gateway to the internet, which may be easier for her, but is certainly not a cake walk for her “technical support” person (i.e. me.) I have come to believe that AOL really stands for “Asinine, Old, and Lame”. Even their “running man” icon looks like he’s avoiding eye contact. They should have a voice-over of Frank from “Blue Velvet” play while he’s displayed.
When my son’s buddy’s mom showed up to pick him up at about 8:00, she mentioned the choir concert that’s scheduled for tonight. Somehow, even that discussion didn’t trigger in my son’s head that he didn’t have his choir outfit ready.
It was an hour or so later when it was brought to my attention that his choir pants still needed to be hemmed. He tried on the pants, which did not fit particularly well, hemming aside, and I told him to put on his black shoes so I could measure. He hadn’t yet found his black dress shoes that we had purchased for him over the summer for the Children’s Theater play he was in. About a half hour later, his closet had been manically emptied onto his floor, revealing toys he hadn’t touched in five years, various not-black shoes that were now four sizes too small, a karate uniform from kindergarten, and several years’ worth of Halloween costumes… but no black dress shoes. After an exhaustive search, it has been theorized that the shoes never made it home from the theater last summer.
We soldiered on undaunted (well, pretty daunted, actually) and I measured the pants leaving an allowance for various possible footwear selections and a generous hem for future growth spurts. My sweetheart took our son to Wal-Mart to get some black shoes and to bring to an end “The Great Shoe Cataclysm”. (That really burns my bacon, by the way, since I am philosophically opposed to Wal-Mart.) While they were gone I completed the hemming and ironed the pants.
When they came back, and my sweetheart asked him how he was planning on bringing his choir uniform to school, he stated that he was just going to put it in his backpack. After a little investigation, we found his tuxedo shirt wadded up in the bottom of his bag, badly in need of ironing. Fortunately, I still had the iron out after “Pants Apocalypse 2012” so I ironed the shirt. We then came to an agreement that we would bring the uniform to school for him, rather than him toting it at the bottom of his backpack.
Lastly, as I was finally getting my jammies on and heading to bed, I asked him if he had some black dress socks for us to bring with his choir outfit. He replied, “Oh, I’ve got a ton of those. Don’t worry about it.” I asked (read: begged) him to give me a pair to put with his pants and shirt. After several minutes of digging in his sock drawer, he realized that he had worn all of his black dress socks throughout the week, and didn’t have a clean pair. He did have one single sock though, which he offered to me with a weak and apologetic smile. Thank goodness, a quick check of the recently folded laundry that hadn’t yet been dispositioned to drawers garnered a pair of black dress socks.
I realized this morning that I never did see the vest that is supposed to complete the choir ensemble. So, this saga may continue with “The Dreaded Vest Debacle” when I get home from my day job tonight.