Other times one of my sons will come into the house surreptitiously while I am typing away at my computer in my home office, hard at work in the medical publishing industry. I note to myself that he has come in. I then note to myself, somewhat alarmingly, that he is sorting through the trash can.
"What are you doin'?" I'll ask.
"me? Oh! uh. yeah. um. I'm just making sure that all the recyclables are being recycled."
"mmm hmmm. and what are you going to do with any recyclables that aren't recycled?" I'll query.
"nothin'." A loud buzzer sounds for the wrong answer. "Nothing" means "something you won't like" in 11-year-old boy-speak.
"Okay, spill it, buddy. What are you guys up to?"
"Really, Mom, nothing!"
The boy goes back outside and has numerous empty plastic bottles lined up outside near the street (in our front yard, of course). He runs back and forth between the hose and the bottles.
Curiosity kills me, so I wander over to the door and watch.... and listen. Turns out they have some sort of pump contraption, originally meant to be used to power up a water laser squirt gun, rigged to these bottles, which they have filled up with water and are blowing sky high into the air with said contraption. It's really kind of genius. I'm a little proud, actually.
I poke my head out the door and all the boys pretend to be busy with something other than rocketing plastic bottles - anything else that could occupy them, such as a passing ant.
"Oh hey, mom. Looks like the grass needs cutting, doesn't it?"
"Hey, guys. That's kind of cool." I observed.
"Oh..whew! We thought you'd be mad at us!"
"Nah - as long as you recycle all the bottles when you've finished and as long as no projectiles hit anyone or any neighbor's property, you're good to go."
"Cool!!!" the tone changes, "did you see that last fire blast?!!!"
I take a deep breath and head back inside. Not much today. What concerns me is when I hear any of these words in hushed, conspiratorial tones, either alone or in combination with other words:
Why, oh, why, I ask myself, can these neighborhood boys not pick someone else's house for this stuff? Why is it always my house? I guess I should be grateful that I always know where my children are... except that one time my son's friend's mom came to pick up her son from a playdate and I couldn't find them... but that's another story.
(Note, in this first video, my son's correct use of an adverb in the heat of the moment.)