Monday, September 14, 2015

The Power of Suggestion

When my kids were little, my husband had to travel a lot with his job. There would be long stretches of time where I was the only chief in our camp of wild Indians. These also happened to be the years I embraced cereal as an option for dinner. (Come on, you know they spray vitamins on that stuff, right? As far as I'm concerned, that puts it in the same category as kale.) Luckily for me, I wasn't totally on my own. My big sister only lived about five minutes away from me. Our two families grew up functioning a lot like one family. My kids were her kids and her kids were mine. We were our own play dates, birthday parties and sleep overs.

Here's what we looked like when my younger sister, Ginger , came to visit one summer. She brought her four babies and we just rolled them into our combined horde of nine. Too bad our kids were so shy and reserved. We should have worked harder on fixing that. 

A few months after we took that picture, my grandmother passed away. Graham was on a business trip in Germany, so he cut it short and flew straight to Oklahoma to join us. This meant I would have to get my crew there solo.  10 hours with 4 kids in a one minivan- one way. Fortunately for me, my sister and her family were driving too. So we decided to make our own little convoy to Broken Arrow.

The plan was to take off early in the morning and drive all day. I had made lists upon lists. I packed clothes for everyone in my family. I loaded up on snacks, juice, and diapers. I impressed even myself.

At 3 am on the day we were to head out, I went in to wake up the boys. Ian was on the bottom bunk and Reagan was on the top. Ian started getting ready, but Reagan stayed in bed. "Bubba," I said, "I need you to get rolling. It's going to be a long day and we need to hit the road."  He slid out of bed and tried to scoot around me - never a good sign. I flipped on the light and was afforded a clear view of my sweet son's face. A face that just so happened to missing all of one eyebrow and half of the other.

 Apparently, while I was preparing for our trip, my boys had been digging around in my bathroom and had found my husband's nose clippers.  I must have looked like I was about to burst into flames, because Reagan put on his best innocent face and announced, "It's not my fault. Ian told me to do it." I whipped around to find Ian trying to sneak out the door. "Hey," I said "you get back in here right now and explain this." 

You could see he was trying to come up with something good- he could feel he was in the dog house.  But I was losing patience and losing it fast.  We were going to have dozens of pictures taken that weekend and one of my kids was going to be staring back at the camera with nothing but eyelashes. "Mom! Mom!" he said, trying to calm me down. "It wasn't like that at all. I didn't tell him to do it. I would never do that! It was just a suggestion."

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