This dining room isn’t big enough for the two of us…

Ice, ice everywhere (you thought I was going to say “baby,” didn’t you?)  We had a definite Keystone Kops moment this morning when I finished getting J ready, Dada got the car loaded, and then (and only then!) did I notice there was a missed call on our phone.  From the school.  At 6:28 a.m.  I looked at the TV and Dada had been watching BBC news so there would be NOTHING on there about a 2-hour delay.  I called our message service, and what played was one of those generic “hold music” recordings with a “press * to listen to your message” and more music.  And then nothing.  I called J’s teacher while Dada insisted on getting in the car and heading out because it was already 6:35 and he didn’t want J to miss the bus.  J’s teacher confirmed that the freezing rain had compelled the district to opt for a delay and I, crazy woman that I am, flashed the porch lights on and off to no avail.  Dada turned onto the main road and drove to wait for the bus.

Remember that cell phone we bought with the big keys???  The one we bought to replace the one we couldn’t find and then that one miraculously appeared once we’d gone through the expense of a new (cheap) one?  Yeah…well…it was left here…at home…I called it and heard it ringing upstairs.  As fast as my fifty year-old knees could take me, I bounced up the stairs and forced TGG out of the shower.  “Go tell Dada to come home!”  Nothing says “I’m hurrying” like the sound of freezing rain hitting the glass on the patio doors, and TGG walking around like one of the extras in The Walking Dead.

At ten minutes to seven, everyone pulled up to the house and I asked WHY do we have cell phones, and WHY don’t we look at lights flashing, and WHY were we watching the BBC when, for crying out loud, we made a point of saying “it’s cold and icy and nasty out there?”  Then came the round-robin acceptance of some degree of guilt in the whole fracas: TGG heard the phone ring, but didn’t want to get out of bed; Dada didn’t think taking the phone to the corner was necessary; I admitted I should have checked the TV first…  While all this was happening, J quietly unpacked all his school stuff, took down BUS and BACKPACK from his schedule board, changed his clothes, and then announced he was staying home.  When I told him “but there’s school in about a couple of hours!!!” he looked at me like I was nuts, opened the curtain and looked at the ice outside.  I called the bus driver, his teacher, and set about the usual morning business.

Throughout the next couple of hours we got reports that roads were closed due to accidents; Dada and TGG called to say “wow, that drive into work was interesting,” and J parked himself in the dining room to watch Fantasia even though he has his own TV room.  He has since moved on to The Rescuers, and -surprise, surprise!- he knows where the button is to make the sound reverberate.  Even I forget where the box is, and we have only used it for movies like The Right Stuff, the original Star Wars trilogy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and anything that has explosions in it…  When I sent Dada an e-mail informing him of this, he told me that he has figured out what to get J for his birthday because finding a townhouse with a dining room big enough for all of us is not practical.

I was allowed in the kitchen to make lunch.  Not only did he kick me out of the kitchen/dining level, but he also asked me to make shrimp for him.  I was allowed in the kitchen once more to make some cream of spinach that I will put in a container for later this evening.  My attempt at sitting down to watch the hippos in Fantasia was met with a giggle quickly followed by a deadpan NO.  When I started singing along to “R-E-S-C-U-E…Rescue Aid Society” I was asked to leave the premises and take my furry cat with me.

Even as I type this I’m searching for an affordable sound bar we can get J for his birthday.  You may ask yourself “why let him win this particular battle?”  Well…in truth I had been telling Dada that J turns up the volume in his TV room because the speakers they install in all these flat screens are too tiny, and that is done with the sole purpose of getting you to bow down to the need for a sound bar.  The sound comes out of these very small speakers, and they are designed in such a way that they face away from each other, leaving the sound to travel towards the walls rather than to the person sitting at a discreet distance from the screen.  We even drew diagrams explaining the strength/weakness of each argument, and we reached an impasse.

The deciding factor is, of course, the e-mail stating “your son has closed the curtains, turned off the lights, planted his butt on the love seat, and put his feet up on our fake-ottoman and is watching Fantasia upstairs.”  The truth is that J likes being alone, but he also loves quality sound, and listening to Ponchielli’s Danza delle Ore upstairs made him very happy…I could hear him giggling and humming along.

I’d really better get on this research then…he’s moved on to Ferngully: The Last Rain Forest, after serving himself some hummus and pita bread, of course.  And he didn’t even hesitate to do it without any help.  Sigh…


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