Susan's Blog

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mysterious Brown Thing

Under the table and dreaming.
–Dave Matthews Band

After dinner, Max and Ben were working together in the playroom on an RPG (Role-Playing-Game) program. Max has taught Ben how to use this simple pixel-based program to create different adventure-type video games (the blocky ship sails to the brown-patterened sand; the gnome-like boy gets off the ship and walks into a cave and ends up among elves, that kind of thing). The ugly synthetic rubbery music lives in my head, I hear it so often. But I love them playing together. It is endlessly delightful for me to look in and see them, one a miniature of the other (bulky black tee shirts, army cargo shorts, long hair). Nat is not interested but I hope one day he will be because it seems like something he’d like, too. There is a soothing simplicity to the characters and props; there is a lot of going back and doing the same thing. And I’d love for them all to play together, needless to say.

Ned and I were together in the dining room talking about some good news I had and how we should celebrate. Our laptops were open and we were laughing at something from behind our screens, which is one of our favorite modes.

Suddenly, “Mom!” It is Max’s voice.

“What?” I am already alarmed, because why would Max call me when they were doing the RPG together? If Ned is home, he is the one they call to show them things and ask questions, because the bulk of their conversation and questions are technological and technology is right out, as Monty Python would say. And Max is very unlikely to call me about something, period. He usually justs sucks it up. I am not happy about that but over the years I have learned how and when to draw Max out, and leave the rest to him.

“Something under the table.”

My stomach twisting, I say, “What?” even though I had heard. In this house, it could be anything. We have a termite contract and a separate quarterly all-pest contract, a bat no-entry guarantee and more. But there’s always something, especially in the summer…

“What?” I say yet again. They point under the table.

“It’s brown.”

“Brown?” I crouch and see nothing. I move closer.

“Ben says he saw a smaller one like it somewhere else.”

“A smaller one somewhere else?” It seems all I can do is repeat things to comfort myself, a la Nat.

I lean in, doing my Brave Mommy act. I see a small, brown thing, about the size of half an almond. No legs, no eyes, no hair, no antennae. A big roach egg? But no, those are pale (you shouldn’t know from it, but I do, 405 South 41st St., Philadelphia, my honeymoon apartment otherwise known as The Roach Motel. I actually witnessed what must have been a female roach laying an egg in panic and then running away from me. Some newlywed memories you just never forget).

Knowing it has no legs or eyes emboldens me. I peer closely at it, going up several notches in my sons’ estimation. A rat turd? But it has lots of white dots. I gingerly pick it up.

It is not a larva. It is not a legless bug. It is not a huge rodent turd.

It is a crushed, partially melted Sno-Cap. Ben had eaten them at the movies yesterday when we saw Evan Almighty, which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite its flaws. But I am all about enjoying-with-flaws. But never mind…

If I were my dad, I would have further stunned and horrified them by eating it. But it is not Atkins-friendly.

“Ben! It’s a Sno-Cap!” I’m laughing, with relief, and besides, how the heck did it get there? Yet another mystery of Life with Messy Boyz.


Very funny post. I am taking my devoutly religious 8 year old to see Evan Almighty this weekend, at her insistence. But first, she had to look up in her bible to see who Evan was.

I’m not too religious myself, so I’ll load up on the Sno-Caps.

Thanks for the tip!

— added by Drama Mama on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 11:27 am

Add a couple of cats, a few more kids and yea, you get those things all the time. They are known by their acronym U.L.O.’s or Unidentified Lying Objects. I’ll go no further, you’ve inspired me, I must blog on this….

— added by LIVSPARENTS on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 4:11 pm

That held me in suspense the whole way through. Great story!

— added by Someone Said on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 6:26 pm

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