Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Mom's Victory Over the Space-Time Continuum

I'm mean and sneaky.

This morning, I told my boy, Nick, that I got him up fifteen minutes early so that he could finish his homework. I didn't. In fact, I got him up about three minutes early. I figure he won't notice and I can get away with squeezing time. It's Einstein's theory, not mine. I'm just adding my mom-mass to the equation and changing the time aspect of our morning.

All along, I've been telling Nick to do the next thing, saying I want him to use that fifteen minutes wisely. At first, it went according to his usual time table. One of  the things I've never heard described well is the fact that we can't see time. We can sort of feel it, but we can't really know how it shifts as we flow through it. The one who described it best was the crazy scientist ex-boyfriend in the movie 'Kate & Leopold.' I love science but I don't look at equations and just get it. I hate that about science.

"You're so mean," Nick said from under his quilts before I had even said a word. All I had done was scratch his back a little and pat his leg while he tried to finish whatever he was dreaming.

"You have an extra fifteen minutes to get ready this morning. If you get ready quickly, you can have a half an hour." I pulled the quilts back from his shoulders. He was up and out about a minute ahead of schedule.

After he ate his breakfast, he had accumulated six more minutes. He came back into his room where I still sat with my notebook.

"It's warm in there." He slid both hands under his pillow and began to stretch out."

"It's warm in the shower."

"But it's wet in the shower."

"So, skip the shower and get straight to your work. I gave you the opportunity to have an extra half hour to finish your homework and you're squandering it."

"But I need a shower." In other words, he only heard me say 'so skip the shower blah, blah, blah, blah ..."

It figures. He left and started the shower. I opened the bathroom door a crack, making sure I didn't look in.

"Make it a really quick one. You're running out of time." I could feel the increase in my own mass there for an instant.

I didn't tell Nick that the time I was referring to was the universal time remaining before a random asteroid or galaxy slammed into the planet and wiped us and all our proof of existence into oblivion. I love the smell of Armageddon in the morning.

When he'd been in the shower for five minutes, I knocked on the door and said, "Rinse off and get out. You still have a little bit of that extra time I gave you."

He spent seven more minutes in the shower.

Still, by the time he was brushing his teeth, he had accumulated twelve extra minutes.

"I don't have any socks." I went into his room and looked into his sock drawer. There were at least ten pair of socks in the drawer, just not the kind that he liked. I didn't want to bug Mike in the bedroom as I rummaged around in the laundry pile for Nick's favorite socks. Mike didn't sleep last night, but that's a whole different story.

"Wear these," I said, tossing him a pair I knew he didn't like. Evil, but effective. Increased mass, I tell you. I'd gotten stuck with those socks once. They were the kind that get eaten by the heels of your shoes. I hate wimpy socks. I should throw them out. Somehow I knew he would take less time arguing if I handed him the worst socks instead of the almost good ones.

"Those don't fit."

"Try them." He brought them into the living room along with another pair of socks.

"Mom, these are too narrow." He tossed them at me. Usually, they would have ended up on the floor, but this time, I caught them. Increased gravity too. An added benefit.

"They don't fit?"

That mass wavered for a bit. I'm still not used to how big this kid has grown. He grew a quarter of an inch last week. A quarter of an inch. It adds up to an inch in a month, a foot in a year if he keeps it up. That's got to hurt.

"Okay. Just keep it moving," I said recovering.

When he sat down on the couch, completely dressed and ready to go, he had an extra twenty-seven minutes to do his work, all because of my evil plan.

I let him work uninterrupted for thirty four minutes. I didn't tell him that I was eliminating the time he had at school to hang around with his friends before class. He loves that time.

Just ten minutes before the final bell was to ring, I jumped up, grabbed his notebook, calculator, eraser, sheet of homework, and his pencil and I ran toward the car.

"We have to go. Now!"

He only lagged behind me a minute, not his usual four or five in which he lolls about hugging his dad and watching news on CNN. I guess Mike, in his absence, was in on my plan. In the car on the way to school, I said, "Nick, I lied. I didn't wake you up fifteen minutes early, I ... "

"Mom, please don't talk to me right now. I'm almost done with this page."


Thank you for listening, jules


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