Saturday, August 12, 2006

On Golden Pond, by I. P. Standing

Last year we had an interesting experience with one of our sons. For anonymity sake, let's call him "Bob." Here's what happened:

Phil was up on the roof fixing some electrical problems. He took "Bob" with him. "Bob" saw lots of pipes sticking up through the roof and wanted to know the function of each one. Phil explained the chimney, furnace vents, and sewer vents. "Bob" was very curious about the sewer vent. (Can you see it coming?)

Phil climbed off the roof to come inside for parts. When he got back on top of the roof, he caught "Bob" in the act of peeing down the sewer vent. (If any of this sounds familiar, it's because Lorien mentioned it briefly in her post about Treehouse Fun.) Pretty ingenious of "Bob," but we had to punish him simply because of the public nature of the pee.

"Son, it doesn't hurt anything to pee down the vent, but it's not a good idea to do it on the top of the roof with your pants down where any one of the neighbors could see."

All this has a point, to which I am coming.

Fast forward to yesterday. "Bob" is in the back yard with a squirt gun and a squirt bottle, shooting water at a swarm of dragonflies. No problem, I'm okay with this. Then Phil arrives home from work. Conversation ensues as follows:

Phil: "Do you realize 'Bob' is squirting dragonflies with the squirt bottle?"

Me: "Yes."

Phil: "So what is that yellow stuff in the squirt bottle?"

Me: (no reply, since I am racing out the door to find out)

I reach the back yard and call out, "Bob? What's that yellow stuff in the squirt bottle?"

(Of course, by the time his name has escaped my lips, "Bob" has made a hasty retreat to the far corner of the house and is madly twisting the sprayer off the bottle and dumping the yellow liquid into the grass.)

Conversation ensues as follows:

Me: "What's the yellow stuff, 'Bob'?"

Bob: "Just water, Mom."

Me: "Water isn't yellow."

Bob: "I poured it out of the squirt gun."

He then proceeds to pour water from the gun into the squirt bottle. The water was, inconveniently for him, clear.

Me: "I don't think so. Was it pee?"

Bob (acting appalled): "No way, Mom! Why would I do that?"

Me (thinking back to last summer): "Because you're you."

Bob: "That's just disgusting! I would never do that!"

Me: "MmmmHmmm. Well, 'Bob,' I can tell you're lying to me. I'm thinking that you peed into the squirt bottle."

His body language is screaming "Lying!!!" this whole time. I'm talking eye darting, avoiding eye contact, everything.

Bob (with a sigh): "Okay, Mom, I did it. But I just wanted to see if pee was toxic to dragonflies."

Me (trying not to snort): "All right, but don't do that again. It's just plain gross."

I wonder what adventures next summer will bring?


compulsive writer said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

I didn't think anything could be funnier than when he stood on the roof and peed down the vent.

I guess I was wrong.

Poor, poor dragonflies.

Lianne said...

That is too great. Raising boys is just, well... a character building experience.

The beauty of it is, they grow up to really love us and take care of us.

Moi said...

That is hilarious! You should rename "Bob", "Calvin", and never let him read any of those comic books.

becks said...

wow! i really wish i would have seen that! it sounds like something my brothers would have done. its kind of nice to have a heads up about what my kids will do when i have kids. (which is in the very far future!) i hope i will handle them just like you do!

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Get that kid an audition for the touring production of URINETOWN!

Lyle said...

That is classic, a true gem. Back to back whoppers. Thanks for the vicarious parenting experience. So far, I've never caught any of my three boys taking a wiz outside or squirting pee at large flying insects.

Elizabeth-W said...

Love it!! As a parent of only girls, I know I am missing out on some choice life experiences (and so are my girls).
Yesterday as we were leaving church, a boy about 13 came rushing out behind us, jumped up on the wall that held small shrubs, and then leapt over that onto the grass. My older daughter looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said with a sigh, " Boys...." all exasperated-like.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Remember Mo on The Simpson? "Hey is there an I.P Freely here? Hey everybody! I.P. Freely!"

AzĂșcar said...

This was so awesome.

Lorien said...

c'mon. Tell the car story. Tell the car story! but you'd better do it as another entry so nobody misses it.

compulsive writer said...

And now I'm waiting for the second installment. Or maybe it should be called the prequel.

I will never look at a "cup" in quite the same way again...

Geo said...

Aieee!!! This is too good! Does "Bob" know he's been exposed (so to speak) on the internet?

You could sell movie rights . . . .

Leah Jean said...

Oh my gosh. That's priceless. "Bob" is gonna have a fun time swapping stories like this with his uncles when he's older, Julie. Like that one where they danced naked around the mailbox until the concerned neighbor called. Oh, priceless....priceless.