Being a mother of boys is a wonderful thing. Because of them, I know no fear of reptiles, arachnids or rodents. I know that David’s Roasted and Salted Sunflower Seeds will actually grow when planted outside the kitchen door, even if it they do come up mutated, short and kinda creepy looking. I learned that a pile of black socks makes an amazing snake pit for Indiana Jones adventures, and I know that “Seriously -- what is that SMELL?” must always be investigated immediately. But above all else, I learned, often the hard way, to never be too surprised about anything.
When my boys were little, they loved making up their own games. Toys were nice and all, but what fun are toys if a boy is confined to playing with them according to the manufacturer’s directions? Their room had one of those red, twin over full bunk beds that were popular in the 90s. That bunk bed was their headquarters.
One game didn’t even need toys, or at least I think it didn’t. The details are still a very sketchy and well-guarded secret. When I heard them calling out KNOCK THE STATUE!!! from their room, curiosity would get the better of me and I would have to investigate. It makes a mother a little nervous when she goes to check on the kids, only to find them sitting politely, hands folded in their laps and smiling innocently up at her. I needed quieter shoes.
I never knew exactly what Knock the Statue was or how to play it. I knew it involved the bunk bed, but that’s as much information as they allowed me to have. I did get a clue one day when I heard my younger son yelling to his brother, “But I don’t want to be the statue anymore!” Quieter shoes. Definitely.
Their bunk bed was also the scene for a rather creative dinner. It was Easter, and they were both still pre-school aged. Ever the adventurer in the kitchen, I decided that we would have a nice roast duck for the holiday meal. The boys were fascinated. “Duck? We’re eating a DUCK? Do people eat ducks? Mommy, how did you catch a duck?”
Seated at the dinner table, they oohed and aahed over the roasted bird laid out on my best platter surrounded by spring vegetables. After dinner, they went off to play in their room while I tidied up the kitchen. When I checked on them, I was mildly alarmed to find the bottom bunk set as a dinner table.
Their Donald Duck stuffed toy was sprawled out, surrounded by Legos, on one of my platters as the main course. They were discussing who was going to cut him up with a toy, rubber camping knife when they noticed me standing in doorway. “Hi Mommy! Wanna have some Donald? We’ll share!” They both fell back on the bed giggling, and I declined a portion of their meal, retreating to the kitchen to laugh myself silly. I still don’t know how they got past me to swipe the platter from the kitchen.
Boys are a never ending source of wild imagination blended with reckless abandon. Even though they are now in their twenties, the fun and games have never stopped. And I have developed an awfully high tolerance for the unexpected. However, I will still draw the line at eating a Disney character, even if he is stuffed.