I heartily subscribe to Bill Cosby’s theory that all children are “brain-damaged.”
Case in point. Cameron is trying to refine his pitching skills since doing a little pitching for his Little League team. And to bring honor to the family since David called him out for not being good enough. “Cameron. We’re a PITCHING family. You need to learn how to throw a better fastball.”
(Editor’s Note: I’m not sure how David came up with the designation of us being a “pitching family” as opposed to an “outfield family” or “catching family,” given the fact that David was the only one who pitches, unless you count my years as a slow-pitch softball pitcher. I was good, but I don’t think it’s enough to determine our family’s course in history.)
So in his quest to acquire speed and accuracy, Cameron has taken to throwing a tennis ball in my living room, using a leather chair as a target. I’ve put the kibosh on this more times than I can count. And I haven’t been subtle about it either. “CAMERON! DON’T THROW THE BALL IN THE HOUSE! GO OUTSIDE WITH IT!”
Despite the chair being in front of four windows, we’ve managed to escape disaster. Until this morning’s high-pitched tinkling crash. You HAVE to be brain-damaged to think that any good is going to come from throwing a golf ball in the house. I’m sure with a golf ball he attained his target velocity, but his aim hung him out to dry. I didn’t witness it, but I’m sure it went down awfully similar to the scene in Bull Durham where Nuke throws a ball right through a plate glass window.
After I dispatched Cameron to his room for some heavy-duty cleaning, I went over to find Justin and Alex, who had ran like cowards into their room, throwing Cameron completely under the bus, taking turns putting a recorder down their pants. Brain. Damage.
This comes on the heels of a very bad week where Justin shattered the glass door of the microwave because he was mad at the DOG. Yes, because beating on the microwave with the toy that she chewed on (that YOU left out), is the perfect way to exact revenge on her. Because she insists that the table scraps she begs for only be served at a suitably warm temperature. Being without a microwave is going to cause her a world of hurt. Brain. Damage.
Shortly after the window was broken, after the shards of glass were cleaned up, but before we secured the scene with duct tape (Boy, nothing says class like the bottom of a window plastered with duct tape…it’s ok, it matches the bedroom screens they tore up earlier in the summer. Except plywood, maybe. At this point there may be crack dens that are in better condition than my house.), Alex decided he’d play Wizard of Oz with his doll near the hole in the glass. Given my youngest child is five, I didn’t think it was a Code Red emergency to tape up the window right away. I thought they’d all have the good sense to stay away from it. I didn’t take into account brain damage. Soon Alex’s right index and middle finger, and his left pinky were covered in blood. Brain. Fucking. Damage.
Yesterday’s actions were equally brilliant. Barry decided to junk an ottoman/toy box that long ago had a big gash of leather ripped on the top of it. That was tolerable, but what pushed it over the line was when he traced a mystery smell to a piece of rotting fruit inside of it. So it was waiting by the garbage cans to be taken to its final resting place on trash day when Justin and Alex decided to drag it over and push it into the swimming pool. “There’s a lot of ants in it,” Alex said, as I fished out its water-logged remains. Ants were apparently not an effective deterrent to incite them to just leave it be. Brain. Damage.
If you need me, I’ll be researching lobotomies as a potential solution. Not sure yet if I want one for me or for them.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012