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Monday Minute: Be prepared for a scare this Halloween…


Today is Ian’s first birthday, but since Ryan is rarely home before bedtime on weeknights we already celebrated over the weekend. Despite this I wanted to do something special this evening, not because Ian would actually notice but because the other kids would, and because I’m a glutton for punishment.

Meanwhile, James was recently taken off of one of his more potent medications and has since been coming home from school ravenous, so I’ve been stocking the kitchen with quick and easy things he can make himself. Somehow, microwave popcorn turned into a gourmet event – James goes through the spice cabinet and sprinkles this and that into the bag until he’s satisfied, then shakes it up and devours the entire thing.

To make the following conversation intelligible, I omitted two poopy diaper changes, Adam gagging on a chicken skin and throwing up, Ian screeching “cup” at me every 15 seconds and Margaret dropping her plate of dumplings on the floor. Oh, and James’s mouth never had less than an entire dumpling in it. Ever. It was a birthday celebration for the record books, to be sure.

Let me set the scene for you: Sitting down to dinner, a chicken/dumpling/applesauce/mustard greens extravaganza, because they’re Ian’s favorite foods and the whole glutton for punishment thing.

James: Can I have dumplings?

Me: Let’s do grace first.

James (immediately after grace): Now I can have all the dumplings I want?

Me (sniffing the air): Whats that smell?

James: I can have as many dumplings as my heart desires?

Me: Let’s start with 4. Do you smell that?

James: Yeah, I think it’s the chicken.

Me: I hope not.

James: How about 5 to start?

Me (leaning over to smell James): Whoa, buddy, didn’t you shower?

James: Yeah, see? (points to damp hair)

Me: It’s just that you stink so badly.

James: Gross.

Me: Seriously, what is that?

James: I dunno.

Me: (sniffing): Is it your breath, too? Geez! What did you eat?

James: Just popcorn.

Me: With what??

James: Garlic.

Me: Ohhhhhh. Please try not to breathe on me. (reach into popcorn bag and fish out a stray piece)

James: Try some.

Me: (immediately spitting popcorn into napkin) WHOA. James, what the heck – how did you manage to eat this whole bag?

James; I like garlic.

Me: No. I like garlic. This is not garlic.

James: It is!

Me: How much?

James: like 3 or 4…

Me: 3 or 4 whats?

James: 3 or 4 salts.

Me: what? That makes no sense.

James: You know, salts?

Me: James, how much garlic is in there?

James: 3 or 4 garlics.

Me: Do you mean 3 or 4 shakes?

James: Yeah. Like shake-pours. Like this (shakes hand wildly in the air)

Me: James, that is way too much. It’s actually coming out of your skin – I can smell you across the table!

James: Awesome!

Me: No.

James: Well, I’m just keeping the vampires away, right?

Me: and everyone else.

James: Ha-HA. What will people say if they smell me?

Me: what will people say?

James: Yeah, what will they say when they smell this odor? (breathes in my direction)

Me: I think they’ll be speechless.

James: (grinning) What will they say about my smelly body?

Me: Hopefully nothing, maybe you can gargle some of dad’s listerine.

James: Yeah, I’ll just spray some of dads cologne.

Me: Seriously, that’s probably a good idea for tomorrow.

James: Can I have more of those birthday dumplings?

Me: More again? How many have you had?

James: 2 or 3.

Me: I don’t think so.

James:  Well, then 17.

Me: I think one more is enough.

James: Then, when it’s Halloween… (trails off)

Me: Yeah?

James: I can breathe my breath onto any monsters we see when we’re trick-or-treating.

Me: Thanks.

James: And they’ll burst into flame.

Me: I agree.

James: Then, when it’s Halloween…

Me: I think once is enough.

James: I can have 17 more dumplings?

Me: Oh.

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