Macy is reading The Cat in the Hat to Ellie. Laura is cleaning the kitchen. I am lying on the couch next to Jack Tyler, listening to Macy read and dozing off.
It is the perfect domestic moment. The ghost of Norman Rockwell is floating around the room, painting away.
This is when Jack Tyler decides to stick his big toe in my mouth.
If you’ve never been awakened by the taste of six-year-old boy toe, let me try to describe it for you:
It sucks. It tastes exactly like you think playground toe would taste.
In a spittle-flying rage I emerge from my slumber, wanting to know the following from JackMan immediately:
1) What in the bloody *&*#($&#*() were you thinking, son?
2) Are you aware of how badly your life will be affected if you EVER do anything that stupid again?
(Yes, this is what I said. Forgive me. I was simultaneously wiping sleep from my eye and toejam from my mouth.)
The response of JackMan was as follows. If you know him, you’ll have to imagine the downcast “I’m in trouble” eyes, the slumped shoulders, the tiny earnest voice, and the back-and-forth foot shuffle he does when he realizes he’s made a mistake:
“Okay, Dad. I’m sorry. But what if you’re asleep and the house is on fire?”
I do not know how to be angry at this child.
(For the record, you all have permission to awaken me via metatarsal fire alarm, if it’s a life-or-death situation.)