June 15, 2020

Curly-ism and life-with-Tank moments


Last week I noted that Curly was using a giant plate to make her lunch.  Plastic plates I bought so the kids would not break my real plates, but no one really uses them anymore.  

Anyway, all food groups were represented, which was weird because in our cave of teenagers Curly has learned to eat standing up, a little of this, a little of that.  Wait, sandwich?  What's that?

I asked her:  "What's up with the big ass plate, etc?"  Well, her friend with the gma with the handy pool has twin siblings a year younger and the mom calls all 3 of her kids to the table and passes out their plates with lunch prepared on them.  They all sit down and eat.  At the same time.  Lunch.  Curly apparently witnessed this and her face was all WHO KNEW?

I explained to my youngest-one-in-curls, currently with no knots, that she missed it, we used to do that.  I would make a dozen PB&Js and cut up fruit and dish out goldfish by the handful and slices of cheese and maybe a yogurt all while the gang sat together around a crowded, crayon-strewn, sticky-ass table threatening to poke me with their rounded, plastic flatware if I didn't hurry up with their gruel - this our table, where at least one cup of milk was spilled daily.  

Sorry Curly, but now kids wake up at lunch and make breakfast.  Everything is a free for all.  I am putting cereal boxes away at 2:00.  Dinners are more organized, on certain days, I like to think.  The upside is she has no bedtime - and the rest of this rat-pack used to go to bed at 9 ish at her age and they NEVER watched the kind of movies she is exposed to on the regular.  

She continues to pine away for the glory days lately at lunch:  gets out her big ass plate and makes an organized, uniform, well-balanced lunch and sits at the table alone.  I think this is what experts write birth order books about and why some kids seek therapy, or maybe it's cause those kids were ditched by their mom and bitch sisters when they left to go to the mall.  Just saying.

Life with Tank:

The key is, don't let your guard down, don't take the bait, and don't take words that tumble from his mouth too seriously:  

#1:  When Ed went to the dealership in late May for the accounting internship interview, he came home to find all of us sitting around the island, chins in our cupped hands, waiting to be told what it was like out there, in the world.  Were there masks?  Did you still shake hands with people?  Was there traffic?

Ed:  Well, two ladies came in to interview me . . . 

Tank (interrupting):  Wait, so did you ask to speak to the man in charge?

He managed to wait until we all stopped in our tracks and stared at him before he busted out laughing.  Thank you Michael Scott for what you have turned my son into.  

#2:  After work one day Ed was explaining why he was late getting home.  

Ed:  Well, I had to reconcile some of the stuff we had input.

Tank:  Oh, so car dealers work as priests now too.  You reconcile people when they tell you their sins and shit?

(sensing no laughter at this one, Ernie fumbles around in her notebook:  wait the best one is coming, promise . . .)
#3:  I was racing around trying to get on my zoom call for my writing group in early May.  It was my turn to read 3,200 words and I started dinner a tad late, and  - well, even when I don't have to leave the house I run late.  The things we learn about ourselves during quarantine.  

Anyway, I begged Mini to help me get the zoom set up.  Remember me, the fake 80 year old?  She and Tank came into the study where I plopped on the couch and Mini messed with my laptop (bought to participate in my writing class while I was in Ireland for World Champs that were then cancelled, but that's OK because just telling the kids:  "Can you grab my laptop for me?" makes me feel like a grown up).  Zoom wouldn't let me in without my video being on and it should've just come on but it was being cantankerous and Mini had to go to settings.  Bottom line:  I was late.

Host:  Oh, hi Ernie.  We already introduced ourselves, so go ahead and introduce yourself before we get started.  (I know most of the people, but we introduce ourselves each time in case new folks show up).

Me:  boring introduction . . . while I am saying BLAH BLAH BLAH, Tank is frantically waving a paper at me.  I grab it from him.  He and Mini double over, silent laughing, off camera.

I am up to read first and it is tough to concentrate when Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are hovering in the room trying to make me laugh.  I am waving at them frantically to get the hell out of dodge, while eyeing my self in the laptop to make sure I don't look like I am a lunatic waving frantically.   Eventually they leave and I am stuck wondering if the meeting attendees hate my voice as much as I do for 3,500 words.  

After I read and get my comments and love their ideas and suggestions, I settle back to listen to the next reader.  Then I grab the paper Tank kept trying to hand me.  In chicken scratch he wrote:

Next time they tell you to introduce yourself, say:  Hi, I'm Ernie.  I'm an alcoholic . . . Oh, wait . . . I think I'm in the wrong zoom meeting.

Fortunately I was on mute while the next reader was reading so he didn't hear me burst out laughing.

Tank.  He leaves his crap everywhere, but OMG he is a hoot.  

So I thought I might have space to share a Mini moment, that I sort of 'created' and videoed partly, but that will have to wait.  I know you will be on the edge of your seat until Wednesday.  I can't wait for you to tell me if it was worth the wait.

In the meantime, have you got anything to share about how your older kid got different treatment than the younger kid, organized lunch, or early bedtimes?  Your favorite zoom screw up?  


Kari said...

We all ate dinner together last night (Sunday) for the first time in over a week. Mike's hours are all over the place and it's just hard. And honestly, I just give up with the girls always home and migraines and just quarantine.
How do YOU do it with six kids and babysitting and the like??

I used to be SO organized when the girls were little and it makes me think what the hell happened to me? Probably because I wasn't in menopause.

Anonymous said...

You have a Maeve in this one. I'll have to think about my kids, 3 girls. Oldest is six years older than twin sisters. Right off the top I can tell you none of the can change a toilipaper tool and they are 25- and 19-years-old. Must be something I missed teaching them all.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I wish I could fix those typos.

Beth Cotell said...

I only have the two kids and since they are 18 months apart, their experiences have been basically identical. And my brother and I are only 11 months apart so I don't even have any intersting stories of my own. Oh well! Thankfully I have all of your stories to enjoy!

Nicole said...

Love her lunch!! That huge plate - that kills me. Also, love The Office! Hahaha Tank!

Ernie said...

Kari - We do NOT all eat together every night. More often during quarantine, but still not every night. Coach still works late 2x a week - till like 9. Reg and Ed go to his clinic most weeknights to use the fitness equipment, but they have to wait until patients are gone, so they eat later than the rest of us. It is driving me nuts. Not gonna lie. Food left out, tracking who hasn't eaten and factoring who can have seconds, and cleaning up the kitchen multiple times. Funny about being organized back in the day - I felt organized but I didn't even KNOW what the word meant. I used to map out dinner an hour before we ate. Huh? No longer a working system. I literally remember being overwhelmed by trying to find the time to sweep the kitchen (a postage stamp compared to my current kitchen). Nowadays, I am clearing bathrooms between changing diapers and switching laundry loads and scheduling ortho appointments.

Anonymous - so funny. My kids cannot pick up a wet towel off of the floor, and maybe it is a generational thing - not changing the TP roll. My kids cannot do it either. I think when we were kids time was just different - like we just watched Indiana Jones. Hadn't seen it in years. It was SO slow. My kids thought so too. How could it have felt fast paced back in the day? Stuff just moves faster now? Perhaps that is why no time for the TP roll? Need to keep moving. :)

Beth - OMG - never got back to comment on your upcoming test. How glad are you to have it over with? Happy to share and over-share the stories of my kids, and happy that you enjoy them. So crazy to me that Tank and Mini are the same ages as Peter and Sarah. They did everything together - but Tank did not speak until he was 3, ah - the glory days.

Nicole - Yes, the size of that plate is laughable. I wanted a back up so the kids would quit breaking my real plates. Then I replaced the real plates with new real plates - and I bought a million real plates PLUS I told the kids to stop breaking them. No one uses those huge plates so when Curly took one out I was like 'What in the world?' Yes, Tank plus the Office equals laughs. All day long.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Poor Curly. Send her my way and I'll sit with her for all three meals.
Lolo always said that Linds had it easier, but I'm not sure if I changed that much in 2 1/2 years. There were many years where it was only two of us at the table for dinner because it was either me and Linds at dance or Coach and Lolo at softball.

It's like you are living with Michael Scott himself. He's a trip and I did LOL at the AA introduction.

I can NOT wait until the Mini story!

But wait, where are racoons??

Ernie said...

Suz- you would love Curly. She is a sweetheart. I'm happy to sign her up for Suz's Butterfly Summer Camp when restrictions lift, and you two can enjoy long chats over big-ass plates of food. ;) She might not sing for her supper, but she will surely share her Irish dances with you.

Tank's middle name is Michael and the similarities grow from there, obviously. He is quick with a one-liner and almost as quick at sneaking my stowed-in-the-freezer chocolate chip cookies.

The raccoons have made no more appearances since Coach stripped the deck. Hoping they have moved on. . . I did draw them a map to Mary Ann's attic.

Bibliomama said...

The Zoom joke was funny. I was in an annoying chat for one of my library tech classes once and my husband was in the kitchen listening - he said helpfully "tell them you're confused about your sexuality".