Moms know it’s difficult to spend a weekend away from home being someone other than MOM. As much fun as conferences and conventions are, there’s always that voice in the back of your mind saying, “Your kids are home eating glue right now.”
It’s not that you really believe your husband will run an errand and forget to take the kids with him. Or let them play with power tools in the garage. It’s just that when you call home to check on your kids it goes something like this:
“Hi, buddy, how are you doing?”
“What are you doing?”
“Watching Mythbusters with Dad.”
“Did you take your bath?”
“Did you get dressed?”
“Did you have breakfast?”
“What did you eat?”
“Gummy Bears and pudding.”
“Put you dad on the phone please.”
Really, I understand that staying home with Dad is, by definition, an entirely different experience than the every day routine with Mom. And that’s okay. The occasional bowl of Gummy Bears and pudding won’t do too much harm.
But the other day I came home from a long day working at a convention to discover a strange sight. I walked by the turtle enclosure and did a double take. There were corn chips in the turtle’s food dish.
“Who gave the turtles corn chips?!”
To my surprise, my husband answered. “I did.”
I looked from him to our turtle, Roger. (Molly, our girl turtle, is in hibernation, but Roger is too sociable for his own good.)
“Why?” I asked.
“He wanted them.”
I arched a brow at Kory. “Did he ask for salsa, too?”
He gave me a look only an engineer possessed of a quiet but devious sense of humor can. “No.”
We had a brief discussion on turtle nutrition, but I was too tired to hop online and see if corn chips were deadly for box turtles. Apparently, they aren’t.
I dumped the corn chips out of the dish, and the next time Roger surfaced, I fixed him a lovely salad. (Kory teases me mercilessly about my dedication to turtle dinner presentation.)
Roger trundled over, investigated his salad then walked right over the top of it. (He does this all the time and it upsets me, which I tell him, but he doesn’t care.) I figured he wasn’t hungry, but a few minutes later I walked by the enclosure to find Roger digging in his substrate. I leaned closer to investigate and discovered he was eating a piece of chip I’d missed. I texted Kory this picture of Roger and his chip crumb and told him, “Our turtle is addicted to junk food. I blame you!”
I guess next time I call to check I’ll have to ask Roger what he had for breakfast too.