So I was having a particularly clingy morning after a particularly short weekend after a particularly long week, and the husband yet again did not believe me when I told him that his work had fictitiously called me and told me to tell him that he should totally take the day off since he’d been working so hard and they only wanted what was best for him. (He never buys that line, but I keep pitching it.) Since that didn’t work, I turned my attention elsewhere, telling the boychild on the way to school how I needed a playmate to help me put off doing chores I didn’t want to do.
“If I let you stay home with me today, will you play with me?” I asked. “But you have to actually play with me, not say you will and then shut yourself in your room and not come out till suppertime.”
“How much playing?”
“Some. More than a little, but not a lot.”
“Hmmm. What would I have to play?”
“Board games. But ones you like.”
“I don’t like any board games.”
“You could. They don’t all suck. You just don’t wanna play anything.”
“So what do you think?”
“I dunno…I don’t think I can make that kind of a commitment.”
“YOU CAN. YOU TOTALLY CAN AND YOU GOTTA.” (See, that’s where the desperation clingies come out. I don’t know why they do, but they do, and then they subside and we all go about our day.)
“Maybe you should move to Canada,” he helpfully offered after the clingies faded a bit.
“But I don’t want to move to Canada,” I replied.
“Maybe you should try it a few times.”
“I should move to Canada multiple times? Why do I have to do it more than once?”
“To get you used to it. If you keep trying, you’ll probably get to like it.”
“I sincerely doubt that moving multiple times to Canada will make me like moving to Canada more. Can’t I just visit?”
“No, that’s not long enough. You have to move.”
“Hmmm. I don’t think that’s the best option.” I sighed. “I need to just be able to go out and garden, like a LOT, but the ground is frozen and it’s butt cold and stupid.”
“Maybe you should go to St. Louis to the botanical garden,” he offered.
“DUDE, I totally should! I’d go into the Temperate House where they keep the Moorish Garden and I would hide in the bushes in there at closing time so they’d lock me in and I would get to stay there all the time until, like, June, and then I’d come home.”
“You’d starve,” he said.
“Nope. I’d sneak lots of Pringles and cookies and stuff in with me so I could survive that long. And they’ve got lemon trees in there, so I’d get some fruit and avoid getting scurvy.”
“They’d catch you,” he said.
“Yeah, but I wouldn’t be the only one in there. Somebody official would come up to the bush I was hiding in and say ‘Excuse me, ma’am, but we know you’re in there. You’re allowed to stay. We have an outreach program specifically for stir-crazy gardeners that you’re welcome to take advantage of.’”
“Then I’d find out over time that there were other people hiding in there with me by bumping into them while I moved around at night. Once we found each other, we’d play Scrabble and Yahtzee and stuff with each other all night and have fun and then we’d take naps in the sunbeams during the day. The workers would just cover us up with big palm fronds and fern leaves so we wouldn’t disturb other daytime visitors. And then we’d all go home in June. THAT IS HOW IT WOULD WORK.”
“I think you’ve got it all worked out now. But I can still stay home, right?”
“Nope. Scrabble and Yahtzee is the price of playing hooky, dude.”