Returning from an errand with my mom, I tried to collect my boys from my parents’ house, but as the TV was blaring cartoons, neither boy was interested in moving, much less leaving to have a boring lunch and a boring nap. I clicked off the TV.
Me: Time to go. We need to eat lunch.
Evan: But I want to stay with Papi and Grandma. Papi said I could.
I looked at my dad, who shrugged.
Me: We’ll be back for dinner. Come on. Let’s go.
Evan: I would rather stay here.
Would rather? I better start dumbing down my language. There I did with the word, dumbing.
Me: Aren’t you hungry? We’re having hot dogs.
Sean: Hot? Hot! Hot!
Sean grabbed Papi’s hand and led him down the hallway to the foyer. I looked over at my mom for help.
Grandma: It’s fine with me. We don’t have any plans.
Evan: I’m fine. You can go now.
Sean: (from the door) Hot! Hot! Hot!
Me: If it’s all right with you. Seanny’s hungry.
Grandma: And wants hot dogs.
Me: Bye, Mom.
I ran to catch up with Sean and my dad. Sean had banged on the door until Papi opened it, and then Sean pulled Papi to the car and then banged on it. I clicked the doors unlocked. My dad put Sean into his seat.
Sean: (pointing at the floor) Ra! Ra! Ra!
Papi: Roar! Good job, Seanny.
Me: No, it’s ra, not roar, Dad. Here Sean. Here’s the rocket!
Sean: (reaching for the rocket) Ra! RA! RA!
My dad grabbed the rocket and started to play with it, causing Sean to whine and yell RA louder. My dad whooshed it into Sean’s hands.
Sean: Ra! Hot!
Me: Ok. Ok. Bye, Dad. See you in a couple hours.
I jumped in the car. I rolled down the back windows.
Sean: Bye! Bye! Byyyyyyeeeeee!
I drove off, trying to sing “Rocket Run.” It was pretty awful if I do say so my self. But Sean liked to try counting down with me, by repeating “two, eight.”
Sean: Two. Eight. Two. Eight. Two! T- Brathr? Brathr? (looks over at the empty car seat) Brathr!
Sean started to cry about half a mile away from my parents’ house. The red lights took forever as I tried to reassure Sean that Evan was fine and at Grandma and Papi’s house. AND WHY is that idiot not typing the damn code for the gate?! And where is Tinker Bell when you need her?
We pulled up the driveway with a crying Sean, desperate for his brother. I plunked him down on the coach, turning on the cartoons as I was desperate for some sort of quiet. Sean stopped crying to watch; while, I made his lunch of hot dogs, cheese, and raisins. We ate on a towel, watching cartoons, pretending we were on a picnic. Sean discovered the joys of raisins and marshmallows dipped in ketchup. I was just glad he didn’t offer me any.
By naptime, Sean was too tired to care about Evan and fell fast asleep.
When Sean awoke, he was greeted by the usual cheerful excitement of his mom. I cuddled him, played with him, got him juice and a snack. For forty-five minutes, Sean was the only child, relishing the attention. But then he remembered that Evan usually wakes from naptime before he does.
Sean: Brathr! Brathr!
Sean looked around. He toddled to the bedroom. He looked up at the top bunk.
Sean: (pointing to the top bunk) Brathr!
Sean climbed the ladder and jumped into the bed to wrestle his sleeping brother awake. But there was no brother. Seeing that he was looking down on his mommy, Sean played and teased me with smiles. Then he remembered again. He lifted the pile of comforter to see if his brother was hiding. But he was not. So Sean got down.
Sean: Dada? Dada?
Sean toddled to the office, grabbing his daddy’s hand. He pulled his Daddy out of the office and to the front door, where Sean tried to open the locked door.
Sean: Dada? Mama?
The husband and I exchanged looks.
The husband: Let’s see where this goes.
I unlocked the door. Sean opened it, dragging his daddy behind him. Sean pulled his daddy to the car where he banged on the door.
Me: I guess he’s ready to go.
The husband: Ok, Sean. Let Daddy put on a new shirt and shoes, and we’ll go.
The husband let go of Sean’s hand and ran inside.
Me: Seanny, we have to get shoes on. Shoes. I need to get my purse and the diaper bag. Come on.
Sean: WAIT! NO!
He grabbed my hand and walked me to the street. He looked both ways and walked into the street. Still holding my hand, Sean started walking down the street towards Grandma and Papi’s house, where Evan was, as though Sean was in a car.
Me: Come on, Sean. Let’s get ready. It’ll be faster if we take the car.
I scooped up Sean and got us ready, leaving five minutes later. It turns out Evan didn’t miss us one bit.