June 1, 2021

how my people, OK, just Tank, drive me crazy

I shared Mini's issues, Tank now takes center stage:  YOU LOVE 'EM ANYWAY . . .

 Mom's pen:  

I know you visit my blog for
the exceptional photography.
Pens, where do they go? Lately coming across a pen has been paramount to coming across a room in perfect order in my home.

I found a pen - probably in my purse (you know things are bad when you have to dig in your purse in hopes of finding a pen rather than the drawer where pens live in the kitchen). I liked this pen. A lot. So, I labeled it. MOM'S PEN. 

Then last week, I realized that I hadn't seen my pen for days. Tank came into the kitchen and randomly announced:  OH, I'VE BEEN USING YOUR PEN. THE ONE YOU WROTE YOUR NAME ON. 

He told me that me labeling my pen was funny. Note to self:  order more pens from Amazon. edited to add:  I DID order more pens, but I do smile when the pen that is still labeled 'MOM'S PEN' appears in circulation.

M & M thievery:  

Because I wanted to drive myself bat-shit crazy, I potty trained Wilhelm. The boy who cannot respond to a question, but simply repeats every.word.someone.else.says. When he pooped in the potty and I tried to celebrate, I pointed and said:  WILHELM, WHAT DID YOU DO? To which he responded, while staring at his, well, you know waste:  WHAT DID YOU DO? (me: pounding head into wall)

I bought a bag of M & M's. My go-to treat for potty training. I'd been picking an M & M out of the trail mix bag from Costco, but finally remembered to buy a separate bag. A supply. A stash. 

The bag was in my hiding place and mysteriously open the morning after I bought it. I had yet to reward Wilhelm for his 'successes', so WHO OPENED IT? My offspring know that a random bag of M & M's is not meant for public consumption. It is FOR something. If I wanted them to be devoured I'd put them out in little decorative bowls. 

My inquiring mind wanted to know, so I left a note on the counter next to the open bag. 'Who's the idiot who opened my M & M's?' The next morning in very small print, Tank had written his name. As if any of us didn't know who the culprit was. 

Tank is very sarcastic and often says things in a voice full of fake sincerity, which can be confusing (also known as insincerity, but that seems insufficient here). He found my note on the counter hilarious, or so he claimed. 

Tank:  You're SO funny. (he doesn't really think I'm funny, so I was not buying it - I stood waiting for the punch line). I took a picture of the note you wrote and sent it to my friends. Now they think you're hilarious too. 

I looked at him with my head tilted to one side - not sure if I should believe him, my nose and forehead wrinkled. 

Mini, stepping it to translate in a smarmy teacher voice (no joke):  So, Tank is really complimenting you on being funny here. I know it doesn't sound like it, but he's being genuine. (Now Tank looked confused, so Mini continued) Tank, you aren't serious often enough and the inflection you speak with is the same inflection that you use when you're being sarcastic, so Mommy isn't sure that you actually THINK she's being funny.

Tank:  But I just TOLD her that I thought she was funny. (shrugs and walks away)

Mini:  This is a good start, we'll continue to work on Tank's sincerity. But, Mommy - you're funny. He thinks so, it's just coming off sarcastic. For real. 


During the pandemic, when the kids were all learning from home and I had a handful of toddlers and babies woven into our crazy days, my only peace was in the shower. Or, not.

One day I was in the shower. Knock, knock, knock.

Me:  I'm in the shower.

Tank (in a muffled voice): Can I eat the leftover blah blah blah for lunch?


After that incident, also known  as the day I almost lost my mind, I made a new rule. NO ONE WAS TO ASK ME WHAT WAS FOR DINNER AND NO ONE WAS TO TOUCH MY PRECIOUS LEFTOVERS. 


Tank competed in something called Mr. 'South' High School the end of March. (More to follow) It coincided with him being on the homecoming court (moved from the fall to the spring). It also happened to be in the middle of when he needed to complete applications for several scholarships that he was applying for. 

I became his personal secretary. My tasks included:  ordering a very unique outfit on FB marketplace, buying shoes to be worn during the talent portion, proofreading and rewording essays for scholarships, helping him identify music for his entrance while donning the very unique outfit, arranging lessons with Curly for his 'talent' segment, weighing in on the wording of his intro for the Mr. Contest-had to be funny and not wordy - me, wordy?, reminding him of scholarships dates, and helping him choose three words that describe him for the Homecoming court (none of which could be normal words like humorous, he was looking for words like buoyant and mathematically-challenged).

March was exhausting despite not having the usual Irish dancing shows to race off to. We survived and had some very entertaining exchanges along the way, like when I made him read parts of his essays out loud. "How is that a sentence?" 

Last week we attended the awards ceremony. Tank won 5 scholarships. One was for $5,000 for a student with financial need who demonstrates grit, perseverance, and a will to succeed. He raked in $8,650 total. 

My dad favors smart kids (eye roll). I'm no dummy, but it was tough growing up sandwiched between my folks' two most brilliant children (and my folks aren't afraid to share who they count as brilliant). Tank won more money than his very academic brother a few years ago. He's going places, preferably without my pen, my M & M's, and my leftovers.


Nicole MacPherson said...

Yay for Tank on the scholarships! That's such great news, good for him!
But... "I used the pen that had your name on it" TANK NO. Nooooo.
Glad I'm not the only one with a hiding place for certain goodies. No treats are safe around teen boys!

Pat Birnie said...

Congrats to Tank! That’s awesome! Funny I just recently commented to my husband how nice it is to never have to search for a pen in the house! I totally recall hiding and labelling certain things. For years the scissors were attached to a long cord tied to the drawer handle so no one could wander off with them. A friend commented that they could just cut the cord—-no that never happened; they knew what would put me over the edge.

Martha said...

Congrats Tank, that's awesome! You really have a little too much fun at your house, enjoy every frustrating minute of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Are we allowed to have a favorite of your children... just kidding :)
Congrats on the scholarships! I hope we get to see a picture of the Mr. SHS outfit.
And I’m shocked Tank didn’t reply with “I am potty trained” or “I went in the potty” for his M&M reward thievery.

Bibliomama said...

Ha ha. "Be sincere, even if you have to fake it"? Way to go Tank. I'll bet you anything he steals your pen when he leaves.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Last year our junior high gave every award to one kid. It was obnoxious. I wanted to write a letter to point out that there were other kids in the grade, but I didn't want it to seem like I thought Reg should've gotten recognized for something. That wasn't the point. So, I didn't bother. I am thrilled that a kid who is good at lots of things, but not necessarily academic based things was recognized.

And, yes - HIDE THE TREATS. I swear Tank has radar. Even if he doesn't see me come home with the loot. He seems to just KNOW.

Ernie said...

Pat - Nothing is sacred. Certainly not pens. Funny about your scissors. I was ALWAYS in trouble as a kid for using my mother's scissors and not returning them to the kitchen drawer. I was into arts and crafts long before HGTV. Nowadays I have to wonder - did they not sell cheap scissors for like $3 a pair back then? Could we not have just invested in a few more pairs?

Thanks - we are super excited and proud. I didn't mention that he lost the $5,000 check in the car on the 6 minute drive home from the school. It was found 20 minutes later, but only after some high stress moments.

Ernie said...

Martha - Thanks. Every bit helps and this was a big help. Fun fact: I almost named my blog: NEVER DULL. Go figure.

Ernie said...

AM - One of the teachers told Mini that she was excited for Tank. Mini whispered that to me the day before awards. I was hoping that meant he might get one of the bigger scholarships. Then his name was listed for one and they failed to call him on stage, so I was worried it was a misprint. They called him up afterwards and handed him the envelope. Hooray - that was the $5,000 one. Although honestly during the assembly I couldn't remember which award went with which scholarship.

I promise to remain partial, but you can claim any of them for your favorite. Some of them, ahem, are hard on their surroundings with their trail, carelessness, etc. - but yet very entertaining.

Ernie said...

Ali - The interesting thing here is GOD FORBID ANYONE TOUCH SOMETHING THAT BELONGS TO HIM. Yes, he will probably bring my pen to school. I literally never knows if he is complimenting me for being funny or if he is making fun of me for trying to be funny and not quite cutting it. I try not to fall for his 'HUH, YOU'RE SO FUNNY.', because who even knows what he's saying?

Ernie said...

AM - Oh, and I wanted to let you know that I have a post about the Mr. High School contest coming up. I think I'll be ready to post it next week. I've been debating whether or not to share the link to the footage and (drum-roll), I'm gonna share it. It's just too funny. I feel like my readers are not going to do anything rash if they figure out my actual last name (if you don't already know). Anyway, get excited. I will include the times when Tank appears so you can scroll through because this is a silly, high school boy show - no one wants to sit through ALL OF THAT.

Busy Bee Suz said...

He's a piece of work and will certainly keep you on your toes. Well, until he has a wife of his own, and then she can deal with his sincerity, insincerity, sassiness, and food stealing. :)

It sounds like no hiding place is really safe and labeling your possessions just goes out the window. JOY.

Congrats to your Tank on all his winnings....he REALLY is going places and I know you're both very proud of him.

Beth Cotell said...

Congratulations to TANK!!!! That's awesome!!!

And I love that Mini had to use a narrator's voice and explain things to you and Tank! I think that kid's going places too!

Ernie said...

Suz - I never thought about that, but yes - one day I will get to watch his dialogue with a wife and chuckle at her confusion. I wonder if Mini will live nearby to translate. This kid has a nose for treats. Hiding is not an option. It's seriously remarkable. Donuts hidden behind a stack of picture frames I never hung since the kitchen was done - they sit in a cabinet I never use . . . gone. Poof. We are super proud of him. He has his issues with school related work, but I feel like he's learned to play to his strengths.

Ernie said...

Beth - Thanks - we were so excited. Everything that makes the bottom line look less daunting helps.

You nailed it - Molly as the narrator. Exactly. She is a crack up too. She might end up at the same college as him and he rolls his eyes and acts like he might transfer if that happens, but we know he'd love it.

Mellie said...

Wow, congrats to Tank! So awesome! And here it's scissors and tape that vanish. I have bought so many pairs of scissors only to have them fall into an abyss. Tape disappears within days of buying a new roll.

Ernie said...

Mellie - Thanks. Curly uses scissors for Irish dancing - to cut the tape that she uses to tape her shoes. If I need a scissors, I can always fish a pair out of her dance bag. Recently we were in the car driving somewhere and someone needed a scissors and I yanked one out from the messy (don't dare stick your hand in there) console thing between the seats. It was impressive, if I don't say so myself. We live like slobs, but somehow I often know where unexpected objects might be.