As Mason approaches 16 months, he’s hitting what I’ve always thought of as the “fun age.” For the next few months, he’ll be a constant source of hilarity as he explores, learns, and expands his vocabulary. Think of it as paying forward the Terrible Twos. He loves fruit, especially apples and oranges, and is equally happy to bite and spit out the skins of either one. He refers to both apples and oranges as “apple,” and it’s fun to hear him say it (sorry about the Flash trash):
He’s also learning the whole toy-snatch thing from Moptop, who is well into her Terrible Twos, and we sometimes despair of her ever getting out of them. While she annoys him quite often, he has learned to reciprocate — he got into a rather unpleasant mode yesterday afternoon, and bounced a plastic block off her head, and now all he has to do is hold his hand behind his shoulder to get Moptop to cut loose with that ice-pick-in-the-ear shriek. But when she ’s cranky and sitting on M.A.E.’s lap, he’ll come over and wiggle his fingers at her feet and go “tick-tick-tick” (tickle). Now that’s funny.
The Boy and Snippet weren’t going too far through the afternoon, and (after a morning run to repair two chicken house furnaces) I found myself with a little time to start clearing off the bank out by the road. There’s still a fair amount of snow laying around, but I either had to work around the snow or not get any of it done. I made both more and less progress than I expected — I got most of the small junk cleared out, but the bigger logs were immobile and I decided to come back with the chainsaw later. I hacked the vines off the trees and will whop them back with rake and weed-eater in the next day or so.
As I was working, Mrs. Fetched drove up and placed me in the middle of one of her & The Boy's power-squabble games, an act that I deeply resent. “You need to go up to the house. They’re not to take Mason anywhere,” she said. I think she was mad because The Boy didn’t dedicate enough time to helping her with the chicken houses — but that should be between them, why drag me into it? But the orders were given and, in her mind, that meant they were to be carried out or it was my @$$. I hiked up to the house.
“We’re taking Mason to my dad’s,” said Snippet. “He doesn’t smoke or drink” — yeah right — “and he hasn’t seen Mason since he was like a few days old.”
“Mrs. Fetched said no,” I said. “That’s all I know.”
“Well, we’re taking him,” The Boy snapped. “He our son and that’s that.”
“I guess you don’t give a care that your mom will be all over my butt if you take him, huh?” He had nothing to say about that, but Snippet went off on a tangent.
“I’m tired of him calling you ‘Daddy’!” she snipped.
“I never asked him to. I think he’s trying to say ‘Granddad,’ because it comes out different than the ‘Daddy’ he uses for The Boy.”
That mollified her somewhat, but The Boy was unmoved. I told him to call Mrs. Fetched and wait until everyone reached an agreement, but of course she wasn’t answering her phone. She tends to be incommunicado when at the chicken houses… or any other time, for that matter. I grabbed my phone and stormed outside to deliver a blistering voice mail, then saw my car sitting there. Hm… I’ll just pull a fuse or something, I thought, and opened the door.
The Boy had inadvertently left the “key” to the whole problem right there in the ignition. I pulled it out, pocketed it, then stashed it off my person. They bundled up Mason and assured me they would be back by 9 (yeah right), and out the door they went. A minute later, The Boy came back in and went upstairs. A couple more minutes later, he came down and Snippet came in with Mason.
“Where’s the key?”
“I don’t have it,” I said, which was technically the truth. I emptied my pockets for him. “Your mom might have come and got it.” Snippet bought this, but The Boy is a professional liar and could see an amateur at work.
“Fine,” he said at last. “We’ll leave Mason here if you give me the key.”
“I’ll help you look for it,” I said, and he left. I again pocketed the key, dropped it on the floor of the car, and “found” it for him. They left… and their idea of “by 9” is 11:30. Whatever. At least The Boy wasn’t drunk — he has done that before; he gets one screen a week and yesterday morning was his screen, so he’s clear until next week. I’ve seen him come home hammered and confident he won’t get caught. On the other hand, one more violation and he’s in the clink for 90 days; he just has to stay clean for six more weeks and he’s done.
One encouraging note: he told me, “after I get done with this,” and said something that wasn’t some variation of “I’m going to drink an entire 30-pack.” He needs to grow up, not bang heads with Mrs. Fetched, and they both need to leave me out of their power-trips.