In the days since then, the brothers of the PJ laugher have cooked up a new bit of nonsense. I don’t mean the bottle rockets, either, the ones that No One shot off the first day they were all home from school.
“You have got to be kidding,” I muttered when I heard two loud reports outside the window. As I often do when such civil unrest unfolds, I slipped a message to their dad. “Will draw up papers momentarily, awarding you full custody for the summer. At your office. Gird your loins. Just sayin’,” it read. As he often does, he slipped one back, indicating that he was heading for the southern border. I sighed. “Here’s a taco,” I said. “See you tonight.”
But all of that nonsense isn’t what I meant. I’m talking about what kicked up after the announcement about the upcoming family vacation.
It was the summer of 2009 that we loaded up the BMV (Blue Mommy Van) and headed for the hills. For one glorious week, we vacationed in Branson, Missouri, the six of us, and had the time of our lives. Now, four years later, plans were in place to return again, and by every indication, the excitement meter was veering into the red.
It was the Middles who started it. I’d caught them in conference in the stairway on a Saturday. Where no cleaning was happening, and no laundry was being folded. There, they huddled, comparing notes.
“Get going,” I’d said, briefly considering the use of their own tactics against them. Two bottle rockets in the stairwell would get their attention, alright, but we’d all be lip reading for days.
“We’re playing Branson Trivia, Mom,” they said by way of explanation. Sure enough. They were.
“What was the first movie we watched at the IMAX theater?” “What was the name of the mini golf course we went to?” “What was different about the second go-cart track?” With these and a hundred other questions, they interrogated each other, testing their recollections and, I could see, reveling in fond memories and eager anticipation.
Then this, “What was the first meal you made for us at the condo?” Stumped, I shook my head. “Pizza!” they chorused. “And you burned it.”