As the only woman in a house full of males (even the dogs are packin' testosterone) you get used to certain things that you, as a young, doe-eyed dreamer and proud owner of the Barbie dream house high rise where Ken and Barbie had separate sleeping quarters, never imagined you could get used to. The occasional late-night, sleepy-eyed trip to the bathroom that culminates in a butt baptism and frantic flailing to save yourself from falling ALL the way into the toilet, the nervous giggling and silent prayers for safety as everyone enthusiastically votes for Taco Bell AFTER the movie, the thousands of dollars of Saran Wrap I used to protect the walls, cabinets and every other surface of the house as Kyser was celebrating his freedom from diapers and went through a strange singing and swinging phase, these are the things that NO little girl dreams of. But they are the certainties of being in a home full of boys...I wouldn't have it any other way.
And I never cease to be amazed by the things that evidentally simply come naturally to the male of the species. At only six years of age, Kyser does that rearranging thing, if you know what I mean and I think that you do... I once asked James what was up with that and he said that, like any other high precision tool, sometimes that geographic area requires some fine tuning. I often wonder if perhaps Kyser has seen his father do the relocation maneuver and that is why he does it, so I asked all the "girl/mom" questions: 1. do you have to go to the bathroom? 2. does it hurt? 3. does it itch? 4. did you put Hot Wheels down your underpants again? He simply looked at me and said "I'm just making sure it's still there."
Perhaps it was never so obvious, this difference between the gentler sex and those other guys, as it was tonight. As we did a turbo lap through the local Wal-Mart we came upon a display of Ritz Crackers and canned cheese, the kind that comes out of a nozzle - kind of like edible Silly String. Kyser was fascinated. He just kept looking at the can, trying to figure out how to get the lid off. I hadn't had squeeze cheese as we called it in college, since college. I had a roommate that loved the stuff and we would sit in the second floor lounge pretending to do homework watching "Pretty Woman" over and over again while squirting our mouths full of squeeze cheese and then shoving a cracker in as a chaser. I stumbled down memory lane long enough for Kyser to figure out how to get the can open and was brought crashing back to reality by a glob of squeeze cheese landing in my hair. Kyser had discovered the secret of the squeeze to get to the cheese and had blown the little nozzle clean of the inevitable hard crusty wick and had showered the display with sharp cheddar. About half of the cheese was out of the can and I was desperately using the last 10 wet naps I had in my purse to clean up the remnants of Fromage Fest '08.
My conscious would not let me put back the remaining 1/2 can of squeeze cheese and so I threw it in the cart, fully intending to leave it in the car or better yet toss it in the trash can on the way out of Wal-Mart.
But I got distracted...they were giving away free samples of those shower cap looking things you use to put over your leftovers and Kyser had gotten his head stuck in one and I had to use my car key to cut him an airhole until I could stop laughing long enough to get his head out of the Reynold's Ready Wrap or whatever. He kept sitting on the scale part at the self-checkout and I kept getting the red light special blinky thing happening.
So we finally get home and I headed to the kitchen with one of the bags. It wasn't long until I heard a low hissing sound from the living room and it was then that I remembered the squeeze cheese. I stuck my head around the corner to see Kyser laying under the Christmas tree with the squeeze cheese resting on his chest. Every now and then he would pick up the bottle, open his mouth and expell cheese until he was satsified. I watched him do this a couple of times then he got up and approached the dog, our beautiful, white, old dog Zeus.
There are defining moments of motherhood when you know that no amount of nurturing and training and love is going to give your child the platform to leap into the vast gap that is anything contraintuitive. I realized this as I watched my son do shots of squeeze cheese while watching that show Dirty Jobs. Standing in the doorway of the kitchen watching him cock his head the same way his father did, as if mesmerized by the television, taking drags off the squeeze cheese, every now and then patting his pants, just to make sure it was still there I suppose, and occasionally paint a squeeze cheese smile on Zeus' face and giggle as Zeus desperately tried to lick it all off and come back for more, a gesture which thrilled and delighted my little man and made me want to yonk like a spoiled sorority girl.
But soon enough the squeeze cheese lost its umph and pooped out. It was fun for about 10 minutes to tell Kyser he just needed to shake it, but then he figured out that it was simply kaput and gave up on it. Gone but not forgotten, our weekly trip to the grocery store resulted in two cans of squeeze cheese hidden somewhere he nor his father will ever find it: the cleaning supplies.