I tucked Tristan into bed and he was fussy. He kept asking to hug me, but what he really wanted was for me to hug him. After hugging him about five times I finally got a stuffed toy for him to cuddle while he was falling asleep.
I just grabbed one, not really paying attention to what I was getting in the dim light. It was a stuffed ghost that Julius got from the anaesthesiologist once when he was having surgery around Halloween. Predictably his name is Casper.
So, I tucked Casper in with Tristan and he squeezed him tight and made that cute little "happy noise" that I love. Then he got a puzzled look on his face and said, "Casper have penis??"
I said, "Ummm... huh?"
He pulled Casper out from under the covers and showed me the part of Casper that was sticking out at the bottom. It's the trailing tail of the ghost.
He asked again, "Casper have penis??"
I said, "No, definitely not. Casper is a ghost." I realized moments later that was totally the wrong answer when he sits straight up in bed with a wild look in his eye.
"Casper ghost bad boy!"
"No, no," I reassured him. "Casper is a good boy ghost."
"Casper bad boy..." And then he poked him right in the eye. Because I guess that's what you do when you have a bad boy ghost in your bed.
* * *
Julius was watching a plastic triceratops trudge slowly across the top of the coffee table.
"Mom, can you believe this thing still works? We haven't had to change the batteries even one time!"
I answer, "Amazing, yes."
Tristan slides off the couch and knocks the dinosaur off the table. It falls to the ground and its head pops off and rolls across the floor.
Julius bellows, "Tristan, stop! You're ruining it. That's an ANTIQUE! It's like two years old!"
I'd hate to hear what he calls his dad and I.
* * *
I refer to Julius as my "unpaid summer intern". Mostly what he does when he's staying at the office is go fetch stuff off the copier, check the mail and use up office supplies unnecessarily.
His favorite place to sit is behind me in my chair. Anyone who knows how big my butt is will not believe that this is possible, but it is. I generally sit far forward in the chair because I'm short and sometimes my feet don't go all the way to the ground. So he wedges himself in the gap between me and the back of the chair.
Many times it's inconvenient and sometimes annoying, but several times I've talked him into "fixing" my hair and scratching my back which is nice. Yesterday my grandfather came in and asked what that was behind me and I said, "A mole. I really need to get to the dermatologist and have it removed."
While I was hunched over working on a problem, Julius sat quietly back there and after a while said, "Mom, I have to ask you a question."
"Okay, go ahead."
"How do squirrels kiss?"
I wasn't sure I heard it right. "How do squirrels kiss?"
The sinking feeling started settling in, but I plowed ahead anyway saying, "Squirrels don't kiss..."
"Well, then how do they have babies?"
Just then the phone rang and, honestly, I have never been so happy to answer a phone call in my life.