Ender: I don’t want you to wash my bum ever again!
Jane: Jesus, Ender, you have no idea how much I want to never have to wash your bum ever again. Ever. And you know when that will happen? When you start pooping in the freakin’ toilet!
Cinder: Don’t believe her, Ender! She’s obsessed with cleaning your bum, and even after you’re totally toilet trained, she’ll be putting you under the shower until you’re four or five because she does not believe in toilet paper.
Jane: What the… First all, you can’t not believe in toilet paper. Look–toilet paper. Right here. You can’t not, pardon me for using a double negative, believe in it. You can believe in not using toilet paper. Which, incidentally, I don’t not believe in–we buy and go through so much toilet paper–but you try cleaning THIS with toilet paper, you little…
Cinder: Mom? While you were doing your toilet paper rant, Ender took off. I bet he’s plopping his poopy bum down on the couch right now…
It’s one of those moments, right, when you ponder–what to do, throw something heavy at the smart-ass 10 year-old and then chase after the poopy three-year-old or… but before you have time to process, because this is my life, the telephone rings. And it’s the CEO-VP-GC-analyst-insert-your-favourite-acronym-or-title here I’ve been stalking all week and need to talk to right now. And the phone is on a different floor, of course, and I’m up to my elbows in toddler feces…
If I’m lucky, my Flora will get to the phone and say,
“I’m sorry, she can’t come to the phone right now, can I take a message?”
But if this day continues to unfold as it has, Cinder will get to the phone first, and, the mood he’s in, will say,
“Sorry, she’s up to her elbows in shit. And in a piss-bad mood, so I don’t know if you want to call back. And she’s been calling you a rat-fuck bastard all week because you haven’t called her back yet.”
See, but although the universe has a wicked sense of humour, it also sometimes knows that at this particular point in time the last straw will really be the last straw, and if it throws you one more curve ball, you–and when I say you, I mean me–will tear its very fabric into pieces and bring about the end of life as we know it–and so, although it is Cinder who gets to the telephone, what he says is,
“Yes, she’s been waiting for you to call–hold on just a minute, she’ll be right here!”
Followed, granted, by,
“Mom! It’s that guy who hasn’t called you back all week!”
but he doesn’t call the guy a rat-fuck bastard, and that makes him golden, and I get to the phone, and I get the interview that will make me meet deadline and be golden with the editor. And then, I clean the poopy bum. And the poopy couch. And then, after kissing Cinder on the forehead for answering the phone properly, begging Ender to please-for-whatever-gods-he-may-ever-choose-to-believe-in-sake-to-tell-me-next-time-he-has-to-go, and making sure Flora is in the house (sometimes, I lose track of whichever child isn’t causing me angst at the moment…), I restock the bathroom with toilet paper.
Because, a. I believe in toilet paper. It exists. I don’t just think it exists. I know. b. Whatever my smart-ass 10 year-old son is trying to make you think for evil purposes of his own–I believe in using toilet paper. And by all the gods I don’t believe in–I can’t wait until Ender does too.
And, playing here today: