It was “take your kid to work” week for our family this week. I usually have an entourage with me when I show up to my workplace, but Eric just gets that joy only once or twice a year. He took Caleb with him Tuesday so I took Evan with me.
I work with my mother two half days a week. She makes legs and arms — a prosthetist.
Yeah, I know.
The whole afternoon we were there, Evan was creeping on her. We were the only ones in the office after 3:30, so he would sneak to the back and record his creeping on my phone. He was trying to scare her while she was working and she was completely oblivious to him.
While he was doing that, Eric called. He said he felt like a loser dad because he “accidentally made Caleb fall into the gross water outside the bookstore”.
Caleb was sad because his new tennis shoes got dirty and he was worried because he was wearing Evan’s socks. Eric promised him that Evan would never know.
Catastrophe averted, there was only a little guilt and maybe the hint of an odor from the questionable puddle water.
No. Big. Deal.
Evan got a brilliant idea. He had found a big box and asked me to tape it up and tell mom she had a shipment. She would come up and open it and he would scare her and it would be SO COOL!!!!
So, I put him in the box, got the packing tape and started closing the box. All of a sudden my mom showed up, as if out of nowhere. I jumped about ten feet and she asked me what on earth I was doing.
I am not, nor have I ever have been a good liar. My response went something like, “I’m just breaking down this box”. With the packing tape in my hand. And my kid in it.
Somehow she caught on and left to go to the back. We decided to go on with the prank and decided to just change our story a little. So I finished taping the box.
The next thing I knew, the messer became the messee. (Yes. My life is an endless string of Friends references)
I looked up to see my mother rounding the corner with a dolly. She asked if I needed help taking the box to the dumpster. We then loaded the box onto the dolly and talked about how we needed to throw it away and get rid of it. We drove it down the hall, through the workshop, out the back door, down a step, down a hill and a curb to the dumpster.
We were having a good time and I know Evan well enough to know he was having a blast too. We stopped at the dumpster and were trying to figure out how to get the box over it (it was empty — trash had just been picked up) without dropping it. We kind of bent over and pretended to start lifting the box when a passing car stopped.
What happened next is still a blur. It all happened so fast and I only had two thoughts. One was, “I’ve gotta get the tape off that box” and the other was, “please let this be someone we know”.
It was not someone we knew.
Now, whenever you actually need help lifting something at work, nobody ever stops. Of course this guy stopped to help me throw away my son.
The guy got out of his car all smiley and started walking toward our heavy box TO HELP US PUT IT IN THE DUMPSTER.
I zoomed over to the box and peeled the tape back so fast. Evan popped out with a huge smile. He said, “I thought I was already in the dumpster! I’m on the ground!”
I am not sure what exactly mom told that poor guy, but I walked over and he had a half smile on his face. You know the kind where you’re like, “these people are nuts and I just want to get the heck out of here and I will NEVER help people again”. Yeah, that was him. He forced a giggle and quickly got in his car.
Oh yeah. Mom and I were laughing hysterically by this point. That probably didn’t freak him out at all.
The first thing I did once I got inside was call Eric. I told him that stinky, possible sewage water on Caleb’s shoes, shorts and socks really was OK. In fact, I wouldn’t even mention it. At least he didn’t get caught throwing away his son.