My oldest son, who is about to head off to college in a few weeks, has been graced genetically with my wake up routine. Slam your fist into your alarm, get out of bed and stagger to the coffee pot, growl at anyone who happens to be standing in the same room as you and oh my hell if you dare to look him in the eyes you are risking life and limb.
I kid you not when I tell you that when it was time to get him out of bed for the last 18 years every single member of our family would suddenly have to go to the bathroom leaving me, unarmed, shivering and the only person brave enough to enter his bedroom.
About a year ago, fed up with doing laundry, most specifically the 6,000 pairs of lacrosse socks that never seem to have matches and are turned inside out when they throw them three feet from the laundry basket and in order to find the ones that actually match you have to turn them right side out, I made a decision.
“I am turning these clothes out, socks included, the way they come into the laundry. INSIDE OUT!” I declared to anyone who was listening. Which was clearly no one. As. Usual.
So for several days, I dared to do the laundry inside out. Every shirt, pair of jeans or socks that actually made it into the laundry basket came out the same way it went in, inside out. For several days, no one noticed. And then came the fateful morning…
I awoke Keenan while everyone else hid in a bathroom. He stormed up the stairs in his usual state of pterodactyl growling at the dogs since they were the only ones dumb enough to be in his line of vision. I timidly pushed a plate of eggs his way and meekly asked, “orange juice?”
“GRRRRRR,” he replied which I took to mean, “yes.”
He ate his food and slowly the other members of our family tiptoed cautiously into the kitchen. Keenan finished his breakfast and got up from the table. Everyone avoided eye contact as he stood up to begin the morning ritual of searching for his keys while blaming everyone within earshot for hiding them from him. He finally found them, as he does every morning, with a pile of his crap where he left them the night before.
He grabbed the socks he had brought up from downstairs and sat down to put them on. He turned them inside out for the third day in a row before putting them on, only this time it hit him. Something was definitely not right. He studied the socks for several seconds, “What is it?”
You could see the rusty wheels above his morning fog-filled teenage brain working. I held my breath as raised his eyes to mine and dared, like only a superhero might, to stare straight at him. He shoved the socks straight armed out in front of him to present them to me and demanded to know, “WHO IN THE CRAP IS DOING THE LAUNDRY AROUND HERE AND KEEPS TURNING MY SOCKS INSIDE OUT?”
I put on my bravest face and I responded, “We hired a new housekeeper. I’ll talk to her about it.”