Someone asked me recently how many children I have and what their ages were.
It sounds like at times I have a full house. I frequently refer to my three spoiled, sassy dogs as ‘my girls.’
I had to think for a minute before I answered: “Two, a 10-year-old and a 50-year-old.”
The lady looked at me puzzled. “You don’t look old enough to have a 50-year-old. Did you adopt an older child?”
No, I didn’t. I am referring to the way my husband can regress back to being about 13-years-old the minute he and Cole are together.
He is the ultimate best bud – he’s got a driver’s license and as a parental figure, he can give the OK to things I will normally say a resounding “No” to.
I’m the boring, no fun, bad guy.
Case in point: Lamar and Cole wandered off to a gun store while I waited on take out one night. Cole had some money in his pocket he got from Nennie and it was burning a hole until he spent it. When they joined me, Cole’s little face was beaming with joy.
“I got a knife!” he squealed.
Me, not thinking too much of it, mumbled “how nice,” as I buckled my seat belt.
He’s had little pocket knives before that amounted to basically a pair of tiny tweezers and a blade that would maybe be fair for spreading butter in August.
“See,” he said, thrusting a sheath at me.
It was a knife. A real knife. Not Crocodile Dundee-ish, but a knife nonetheless.
“Why did you get this?” I demanded, sending a glare that was sharper than the knife I was holding to my husband.
Cole stuck his little chin out in determination. “Daddy said he’s gonna teach me some basic survival skills, like how to use a knife, build a fire – there’s a thing in there that will help me get a fire ready and sharpen my blade. I am going to learn some big boy outdoor skills and have fun with my poppa.”
I think smoke was still coming out of my ears.
“I don’t like you having this. This is a real knife, and you are not going to carry this thing.”
The little chin went out further. “Rule number nine – always carry a knife.”
My child knows when in doubt, quote Gibbs. But not even quoting “NCIS” was going to save him on this matter.
“Rule 51 – sometimes you’re wrong,” was my reply. “And this time, you’re wrong. Both of you.”
“Oh, come on,” Lamar began. “Let him have the knife. He is smart and knows how to be careful. We talked about it and went over it in the store when we were in there. He knows what to do.”
I sighed. I was hungry and tired and didn’t want to fight. I just planned on sneaking in his room and finding that knife and hiding it until he was 40.
Days passed and Cole proved – so far – that he knew knife safety. He still thinks he is more grownified than what he is.
That’s the word I called him and he scrunched up his little face and asked me if it was a word. “Yes,” I told him. “It is.”
Then, one day, as I was trying to enhance our wellbeing by buying vitamins at the health food store, Lamar and Cole ventured to Walmart.
When they came and got me and my bag of vitamins that are supposed to make me skinny and fight off every strain of the flu while giving me luscious, long hair, Cole announced he had a wrist rocket.
“A what?” I asked.
“A wrist rocket. It’s super cool, I will show you it tomorrow. I had some money left over so I am either going to get some more BBs or something else.”
I wasn’t too sure what a wrist rocket was, but I sure was wondering how much money my mama gave this child for Christmas.
The next day, I found out that the wrist rocket was some super duper sling shot from Hades that strapped onto my child’s small wrist and propelled BBs toward whatever the target was. “No,” I said. “Absolutely not.”
This set off a chain reaction of my child trying to debate me on how this was safe – all while saying how he was going to get some type of protective gear for it.
“No,” I said. “I said no, that’s the end of the discussion. It will go back. If you have to have protective head gear that makes you look like a storm trooper, then it is too dang dangerous.”
And while I was giving him my parental logic and reasoning, my child committed a cardinal sin:
He was interrupting me with his rebuttals.
“That’s it!” I felt my face grow hot. “Bring me that cussed thing right now – it’s mine!”
His little head dropped as he went to bring me the wrist rocket.
“Why don’t you want me to have any kind of fun?” he asked, placing it in my hands.
“Fun? I am concerned about your safety. I want to keep you safe and from being hurt. This thing could put an eye out or hurt you, really, really bad,” I explained, still upset. “I don’t care if you have ‘fun’ or not – I care if you are safe and get to grow up and old.”
“No buts! My job description is to keep you safe – that’s what I am concerned about. Not fun, not you having some toy that is dangerous. All I want is for you to be safe.”
It’s the reason I make him walk on the inside of the sidewalk, why I make sure he is buckled tight and I have to have him in my line of sight. He could fall, get choked on something, a bee could come out of nowhere. Yes, I am overprotective, but like I said, his safety is my job.
Knowing that he best not defy me when I was on a hyper-psycho-mom tangent, Cole just quietly told me he understood.
A few days later, he bounded out the back door, squealing how he was going to make a fire with his daddy.
“What? A fire, where?” I wanted to know. Fire and those two do not bode well.
“Oh, sweet girl,” he said. “I know your job is my safety, but you know what?”
“Your job stinks.”