Good morning, everyone. It is not my honor, nor my privilege - but it is my duty - to say to you “happy Monday”.
I can’t believe it’s already Monday. The weekends are just getting a little to quick for my taste. It felt like just yesterday we were palling around at the biergarten like we had all the time in the world. A few naps and a few dinners later, here we are ready to begin another work week.
The coffee situation this morning is dire, having enough beans in the bag to make exactly 1.2 pots of coffee. I imagine I looked pretty ridiculous making a second batch for only 0.2 pots of coffee, handling the meager pile of brown powder like it was a life saving drug. Don’t worry about us, though. We just need enough coffee to hold us over until Marissa takes Rodney on a fun little errand across the street to Moka for a bag to tide us over. Rodney will happily accompany her for their kids sized mango smoothie, the crown jewel of Rodney treats.
A radioactive orange and yellow smoothie stuffed into a kid sized plastic cup, topped with a little piece of wrapped candy. And before you even take the cup from the drive through window, Rodney will already be barking orders. “Dadda,” he says. “Take open the candy please? Take off the wrapper please?”
And so you take off the wrapper, setting the piece of candy back on the lid for him to enjoy between fruity mango sips. Later, Rodney, not understanding the intricacies of how smoothies melt, will hand it back to me when the smoothie runs out of liquid.
“It’s OK dude,” I say. “I’ll put it in the fridge for later.”
But there’s never a later. Rodney almost always forgets about it, or even asks for something else. That melty mango smoothie is mine.
I don’t think I’ve ever used this platform to rant about Rodney’s high maintenance snacking situation. As of late, it’s kind of gotten out of control. Occasionally, we’ll send him up to his room for quiet time with a little bowl of his favorite snacks - a tiny bag of paw patrol fruit snacks, some snapped Pocky sticks, and maybe a single marshmallow or a few pieces of candy corn. Rodney has done everything in his power to make this a regularly expected condition of quiet time in his room.
“I have paw patrol fruits?” he’ll ask with a wilting voice. And once he gets your attention, he’ll raise the stakes, adding And pocky. And two lil’ marshmallows. And candy corn.
“No,” I scolded. “Rodney, it’s 9 in the morning. You’re not even supposed to be up yet. You can’t have any snacks yet, especially before your breakfast.”
If we resist his advances for room service, Rodney settles for kitchen grazing. The best time to hit me up is when I’m cooking, since I’m manning the kitchen and I’m in a good mood. Rodney asks for stukjes of cheese or bread off the cutting board, cherry tomatoes, and off cuts of carrots. Over by the pantry, he can usually get away with asking me for a few goldfish crackers out of our family-sized bin. If, god forbid, nobody is in the kitchen to hold him accountable, he’ll get the honey bottle of the lower shelf and dab a few drops on his finger.
But the most cherished staple in the domain of Recker family stacking would easily have to be Marissa’s sparkly toast. A piece of toasted bread swiped with butter, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon sugar.
“Did you know that one morning on the way up to my office to start work, he asked me for sparkly toast?” I told Marissa.
She laughed. “The nerve,” she said. “He’s just getting way too confident.”
Sip. How is your morning going? And, more importantly, how was your weekend? Ours was brief but relaxing. Surprisingly, it was kind of nice not having to work around a Sunday football game. Yesterday was probably the only day this weekend I felt like I could just hang around on the couch in the afternoon, clicking around YouTube with Rodney.
Later that day, I enjoyed a beer on the couch with Marissa in her studio, in celebration of a successful virtual gallery weekend. At four o’clock, she signed off her virtual booth for the weekend. Upstairs, directly above our heads, we heard a thump and a clatter in the dining room.
“That’s just Rodney,” I laughed. “He’s setting up water bottles around the house and knocking them down with a Frisbee.”
I played a few rounds of improvisational Frisbee water bottle bowling. He reserved the toughest trick shot for me, standing up a water bottle on the other side of the living room. I stood at the top of the stair case, crouching so I’d have a clear line of site at the target.
“OK, let’s do this!” yelled Rodney. I gave the Frisbee a gentle toss, and it floated across the room. It bounced off a leg of the fish tank and rolled into the water bottle, knocking it over. Rodney pumped his arm and shrieked. “WOOOOH!” High fives were exchanged. After checking up on him, I rejoined Marissa in the basement, leaving him to tackle another trick shot involving stacking two half empty bottles precariously on our napkin holder.
Marissa put Rodney to bed. As we grabbed evening drinks out of the fridge in the kitchen, we exchanged Rodney stories.
“You know how I’ve been telling him bedtime stories at night?” I began. “I found that he’s a lot less scared of them if he can set up the whole premise with characters that are very familiar to him. I told him a story about the paw patrol rescuing his Corgi, who had been lost at the biergarten.”
“Oh, that’s nice,” said Marissa.
“When I was done, I was like, ‘did you like that one, dude? Bet that was better than the scary story I told you about the dragon who guards treasure in the mountain’, but I barely expected him to remember.”
But Rodney did remember. The two scary stories I told him were, evidently, burned into his little memory bank. “Yeah!” he quickly blurted out. “Or the one about monkeys in my closet.” His eyes were watery, like he was holding back a painful memory. “Dada, I don’t like mmm… mmm… monkeys in my closet, that makes me pretty nervous.”
That’s fair. Scary bedtime stories are an acquired taste, and until then, I’ll bide my time with Nick Jr. fan fiction.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day, everyone.