Our boys have really reached that "fun age."
I find myself saying that a lot lately. Part of me hopes there really isn't a "fun age" - a period in time during which we find some ultimate enjoyment in our kids that comes and then disappears with the trash and leftover snacks from their most recent birthday parties. For now, though, I commit myself to pushing aside dreading the day these days will be gone, and enjoying - if not downright giggling about - this day when they are right in front of me.
In the case of this story, I mean literally right in front of me.
So let me give you a little background first. Our boys, now 6 and 8, have recently shifted their creative juices into overdrive. Not just in being creative, but also where they are creative. Most days they are not satisfied with simply being funny or animated, but work hard to be funnier and more animated than each other. This reached a rather obnoxious but hilarious tipping point during shower times of all times last week.
Elliott has always enjoyed listening to the radio while he showers. But recently, either bored with or disappointed in the quality of FM content, he's decided to start writing and singing his own songs in the shower. Discontent to sing to an audience of one, each night at shower time now Elliott insists that Ian plop himself down close enough to the bathroom to hear him debut his latest hit. The first night Ian obliged with excitement - like he was attending his first They Might Be Giants Concert. The second night, Elliott attempted to physically subdue Ian and drag him within earshot of his upcoming performance. One can only assume Ian wasn't waving a lighter and begging for an encore the night before. Katie and I eventually convinced Ian to sit close enough to hear Elliott but then sneak off once he started the shower and began singing.
Oh, how that advice backfired. Elliott is too smart to be fooled by the simple minds of parents. He knew Ian would sneak off, so he countered this defense by cranking up the volume. Soon his latest song was bouncing off every wall in the house. I wondered out loud to Katie - somewhat hopeful I confess - if Elliott might lose his voice. I also wondered with genuine concern if our frightened neighbors might call the cops on us for what had to sound like cries of distress coming from our house. (From Elliott - not me).
The next night Ian wised up. Two can play this game. He agreed to listen to Elliott's song if Elliott would hang out close by while he showered and listen to his own creation. What this has evolved into is our house's nightly and very wet version of The Voice. I'm hear to declare that if there are any winners in this contest I don't know who they are.
This all culminated in a very shocking experience during my own shower one morning last week. I'd been in the shower a few minutes when I noticed a piece of paper taped to the glass shower door facing me. The paper was filled with writing. I don't know how I missed it getting in the shower, but there was no missing it now. It was a sloppily hand written document of some sort. Clearly created by a child. One of my children. And after reading a bit of it I knew I had inadvertently entered the set of The Voice.
Here is what I saw:
My shower lasted much longer than I anticipated as I read then re-read the song lyrics. The handwriting made it clear this was one of Elliott's creations. (The fact that I knew for sure he didn't have a beard didn't throw me off his trail). I did wonder a few things as I read through this song: when did he change his name to dudeso monso, the beard issue of course, where exactly are all of his mailboxes, why did he decide it wasn't enough to sing YEAH! 3 times and expand it to 6 repetitions, and finally - the most obvious wonder of them all - who are his other 19 mothers.
I asked Elliott about this one lyric - the 20 mothers. He asked me if I knew how hard it was to find something to rhyme with "all the others." Oh, I said. Well now that you mention it, 20 mothers is clearly the obvious choice.
I'm not sure if this song and all the others have anything to do with our decision to let the boys skip showers the last 3 nights. Surely not. But then again - the evenings have been a little quieter without Dudeso Monso belting out his latest hits.