Last night, I dragged The Daver and The Guy on my Couch outside to play with the two smaller kids – the big one, Ben, was off doing his chores. While Daver hid out in the tree-house with Amelia, Alex and The Guy on my Couch began to play a rousing game Alex called “Goomba,” which was, to the best of my knowledge, Dodge Ball with a Mario theme.
I sat nearby, weeding my rose garden, cursing myself for spraying anti-fungal shit on it too soon in the season, listening to them play.
After a half an hour, my eldest, Ben, burst out of the back door of the house like he was being chased by a particularly vicious washcloth.
“Oh. Em. Gee.” he sputtered, punctuation clearly evident in his speech, “THERE you are.”
I laughed at his vehemence, “Where’d you think we were?”
“I. DON’T. KNOW.” He staccato-ed out.
“Did you think we’d been abducted by alien ghosts or something?” I asked playfully.
“Mom,” he looked at me, hand on his hip, dead serious. “I’m SO over ghosts.”
He went over and got on the swing-set as Daver took Amelia up to bed. (Big) Ben and Alex continued to play their bizarre game, giving each other 1-Up’s whenever they’d get hit with the ball. Dave soon joined me on the patio, my roses long weeded.
“I can’t believe you’re going to spoil my kids,” Ben semi-hollered from the swings.
Without missing a beat, I replied, “It’s called payback, my son.”
(He’s referring to a conversation I had with him threeish years ago wherein I told him how excited I was to spoil his kids when he got older. I listed out, in no particular order, all of the various ways I’d planned on spoiling his kids rotten. He finds it hilarious.)
(I’ve learned, for those of you playing along at home, that certain kids on the autistic spectrum will vividly remember conversations and events that occurred many years ago and bring them up in conversations as though they happened yesterday. I only wish he were so dedicated to remembering to wash his hands after cleaning up the cat boxes)
He hollered happily, “Oh MOM! You can’t give my kids candy all the time!”
“We won’t,” Daver teased. “We’ll do pizza too. Lots of pizza.”
“Oh DAD,” Ben giggled before he yelled, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT.”
“Uncle Ben will buy them tons of video games, too,” The Guy on my Couch chimed in. “Especially the kinds you don’t want them to play.”
“BIG BEN,” my son hollered, laughing so hard he nearly toppled off the swing, “NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT.”
“Before you drop your kids off, I’ll buy them each a five pound bag of sugar and dump a can of Mountain Dew in it,” I contained. “I’ll give ’em that to drink before you pick them up!”
“What if my wife doesn’t like that?” Ben giggled, still swinging.
“I will be the one choosing your wife for you, Ben,” I said, as sternly as I could. Dave and Big Ben burst out laughing, “THAT’S gonna go over well,” Daver said.
“Sorry I can’t date you,” Big Ben chimed in, “My Mom says your name is stupid – and I can’t date girls with stupid names.”
The laughter woke up the birds trying to sleep in the big pine tree in my backyard.
“Okay,” my son said, still laughing, “What if my wife doesn’t want kids?”
“That’s okay,” I reassured him. “You can BUY kids off eBay. Or the gypsies.”
He laughed and laughed and laughed.
“When I grow up, I’m going to work at Band Back Together dot Com with you guys. And then I’ll tell the REAL story,” my son countered.
“We got editors for that sorta thing, Boy,” The Guy On My Couch (Big Ben) bantered.
Back and forth we lobbed it until it grew dark and the wind began howling, indicating that it was, at long last, bedtime for kids.
“Alex,” my son said conspiratorially to his brother as they walked into the house together, “be careful. Mom might make you buy kids.”
“I want a Yoshi – not babies,” Alex replied.
Touche, my (second) son.