The spirit is willing, but the recall is weak

We’re supposed to be filling out the school registration packets. We got them weeks ago and—surprise! They’re due tomorrow!

In my defense, I blame this situation on our long-standing family policy regarding To Do items, namely, “If it isn’t on fire, bleeding profusely, or emptying its body cavities on the rug, it can wait.”

And yet despite our impending deadline, the boys keep getting distracted.

TIGER: Ha! Your Zombie Outbreak Survival Club is on the school’s list of student organizations!


TIGER: Are you going to be a member this year?

SQUIRT: Nah. There’s not much more you can do with it. I mean, we’ve already watched all the movies. What else is there to learn?

If it came down to choosing between fighting zombies or filling out paperwork, I’d think I’d pick the undead.

In fact, I panicked when I remembered these registration packets, but then I realized that if my kids are old enough to order a Double-Double all by themselves, then they’re certainly old enough to help me fill out school paperwork—or at the very least buy me a chocolate shake.

Besides, the way my brain’s been working lately, I need all the help I can get.

BONNIE: (waving a release form) You call this completed? Hel-LO! Name? Address? Do you even know what your address is, Squ— I mean, Hub— I mean, Moj… WHOEVER YOU ARE!

TIGER: (raises one eyebrow) “Whoever you are?” (takes paper) Just for that, dear Mother, I’m putting my address down as living across the street. At least THEY know who I am.

Theoretically, there’s no reason the boys can’t fill everything out. Theoretically, all I should have to do is sign my name in the spaces marked “Parent Signature.”

Unfortunately, the gap between theory and practical application is huge—especially when one member of your team tosses aside the “Student Code of Conduct” in order to reenact the shower scene from Psycho with his pen.


TIGER: (calmly) Mom.

BONNIE: (not so calmly) Tig— I mean, Hub— I mean, Moj— I mean… (waves at Squirt)

TIGER: (leans over and whispers) “Squirt.”


Now, maybe my brain isn’t what it used to be, but even in its prime it never ran at the high production level exhibited by Squirt’s intestinal tract.

SQUIRT: (primly) I must go to the bathroom. (puts down Psycho pen and leaves)

BONNIE: Figures! Whenever there’s any work to be done! (calls after him) And don’t use my bathroom!

(Bonnie and Tiger look at each other.)

TIGER: You must forgive him, Mom. It was… his bulging colon.


TIGER: (warming up) It was controlling him.


TIGER: (intoning) It was BULGING to EXTREME limits. It was his COLON’S fault.

BONNIE: Heh! “Colon Boy.”

TIGER: That’s the spirit. And frankly, it’ll be easier to remember than “Squirt.”

13 Replies to “The spirit is willing, but the recall is weak”

  1. I have learned just to yell “boys!!!!” then I pick out which one I actually wanted =)) I always call the wrong names! My mother did it to us and I swore I would not do that….well guess again!

  2. I nearly snorted my water at “bulging colon.” I don’t know why bathroom humor is so funny, but it is.

    My sympathies on the name thing. I only have a husband to keep track of, and I even call him the wrong thing from time to time.

  3. School started TODAY here!!!! mwah hahaha! *doing dance around the house* Having two boys 7 years apart (7 and 14), I can tell you summer was one big arguement. I am soooooo glad school started!

  4. Counting the days until they are back in school. It takes more than my fingers and toes.

    Colon Boy has a certain ring to it. πŸ˜€

    Bonnie, you’ve learned the secret of why I call my two chaos apprentices Boy/Girl. πŸ˜‰ It’s that or sift through all the pet names and everyone else I know before pulling their names out.

    To do list? What are those? πŸ˜€ I think the Chaos god at that for breakfast the other day.

    Good luck filling out your forms. I’ll get those pesky things in 21 days.

  5. Too funny!

    The good news? By the time they’re in college, you only have to fill out one form – the check.

    I keep calling my son by the dog’s name – and she’s a she. I do not, however, call the dog by my son’s name. What’s up with that?

  6. I am awed by Tiger.
    ~His colon made him do it…His bulging colon~
    That’s frigging elegant.
    But his soliticious attitude towards you makes me nervous…
    Does he think he’s already surpassed Mother?
    Getting the names right?
    Ha. Knowing as “calling the roll” around here.

  7. Hey, everybody! I got a new charger from Apple and have been trying to catch up on everyone’s blogs. If I haven’t visited you recently, I will!

    Yeah, Bernita, Tiger’s been having a solicitous attitude toward me! Make him stop! Heh!

    M.G., what’s up? I sent you an e-mail. Check your inbox.

    Yes, Michelle, you ARE a genius! But I could tell even before I found out you only reproduced once.

    Hooray, Miss Karen! I am so glad to see your name in my comments section. I don’t know what’s up with the name-calling, but I doubt very much your sheltie ever developed a solicitus attitude toward you.

    Kristen, maybe I should’ve proofed those forms better. I caught one or two things that made me pause. And usually I use terms like, “Hey, YOU.” Hubby prefers terms like, “Product of my loins.”

    Honey, you’d really fit in around here. The “pull my finger” jokes bounce off the walls! Bathroom humor is Squirt’s forte, ever since he learned to talk.

    Laurel Wreath, do you ever mix up other nouns when you’re at it? Yesterday I was shouting upstairs: “Did you brush your shoelaces?” Translation: “Did you brush your teeth?”

    Welshcakes Limoncello, your name always makes me hungry, but your blog pictures push me over the edge!

  8. The Teenager disappeared for most of the summer, then magically appeared long enough to collect cash for school fees, negotiate a $21 a week gas allowance, and talk me into signing his forms as “Mother Unit.” He has since disappeared. If you see him in San Diego, do let me know.

Leave a Reply