Jackson (6 yrs.) was invited to a sleepover a couple of weeks ago at Wes’ house. Wes is a nice kid – ‘Wes’ was also a back-up name for Jackson, so, naturally, I like Wes. But after I agreed to the overnight via voicemail, it dawned on me that I had no idea who Wes’ parents were, where they lived or if they had guns, a pool, faulty railings or tantric sex. My good sense had clearly passed out from I get-a night-off-from-one-of-my-kids giddiness. So I did what every good parent would and tried to back out.
Here’s a brief transcript of what went down:
Voicemail #2: Hi, this is Cynthia Jenkins again – scratch that last voicemail. Could Wes come here instead? We have a tree house. Call me back.
Returned voicemail from Wes’ mother #1: Hi, Wes’ mom here. Actually, I will be out of town and my husband Larry will be watching the kids and he thought it would be fun to have a “guys” night. See you Saturday at five?
Larry. A rash was beginning to crawl up my neck.
Voicemail #3: Hi. (LONG PAUSE) Do you have guns? (ANOTHER LONG PAUSE) This is Cynthia. Call me back.
When we finally connected, Wes’ mom could not have been more accommodating to my neuroses. She gave me a list of references and permission to stop by unannounced to check her cabinets. When I did that - (I actually showed up an hour early on Saturday) – Larry escorted me into their living room and told me to “have at it.” Now, there’s really only one word to describe a woman who behaves like this – WHACK. JOB. This was not a normal activity mothers find themselves participating in. And despite how ho-hum Larry was acting about this whole situation, I was certain he was thinking the exact same thing.
After a quick assessment, I deemed Wes’ environs squeaky clean, as I did Larry. So much so, I could have fallen asleep (the stress of all this) right there and had my own sleepover. But I managed to pull myself away from their beautiful artwork and kitchen-big-enough-for-a-party to wait for Larry’s “they’re asleep” text* later that night.
The next morning I arrived at Wes’ house at 8:30am – a little early for a Sunday, no? Regardless, a dressed and wakeful Larry graciously offered me a cup of coffee as well as my unharmed kid back – neither of which I accepted. I’m kidding, but my point is that, well, I was sort of falling in love with Larry.**
As I was packing Jackson up and saying our good-bye’s, Larry asked me if he was going to be reading about this someday.
“Aren’t you Sugar Mama?” he asked.
“Oh, that.” I answered. “No, you’re safe. I only embarrass myself on my blog.
Which, of course, is how this entry came to be.
*Larry’s text actually read, “You’ve raised a good one. Smart kid. They’re winding down right now. See you tomorrow”
**This happens to me when I’m under stress.