Monday, February 27, 2012

Memorization, Memory and Mug

"Mom, what is his number?"

J poses this question to me on a regular basis. Daily. I was on the couch the other day looking into the kitchen as my able boy- I mean he was riding a bike at 3, can left hand lay up, I mean.... on and on. But here he was looking to me for his friend's phone number that I have extracted from the cell phone directory a ga-zillion times.

It isn't his fault, necessarily, we put him in this modern tech world where phone directories are custom built. But I couldn't help but look at him with a lan line in his hand and feel... pity....

Back in the olden days-when I was growing up, it took just two or three times of looking at the ward directory, or opening the phone book and I had my BFF's numbers engraven in my brain. Those numbers are still engraven in my brain.

Becca. Chelsea. Maren. Cindy. Yeh, maybe I couldn't rattle it off to you if put on the spot but if you just put the phone in my hand and my fingers to the dials- they remembered; as if on auto-pilot.

"Jaden". I said from the couch. Where do you think that number or ONE of their numbers is?" he stood there, helpless. Looked at the directory. the phone book. then to me.

This is a complication for our kids, too. The parents have cell phones. So, in their minds, their like: "I have to memorize a house phone number, the mom's AND the Dad's. Oh, and their MOM"S and Dad's work number?"

Our kids see our cell phone directories with fax numbers and work phone numbers and they simply dig in their heels and rebel. Sure, they are tech savvy. They are not intimidated by technology in the classroom! Heck, they will teach Gma how to start up a blog and a business online in their spare time. If they can remember that there are such things as 'Grandma's'.

Lest, I be too one sided- I have to admit I am lazy in the phone number dept. and memorization as well. If I am obtaining a new phone number, or someone needs mine, I have often said:

"Here let me just call you."

I call their number, it's in my phone who I called. And since I am so enormously in a hurry, I can go back and 'Save' their number and they can do the same with mine when they have the time. This has been a bad habit of mine. And sometimes I get so lazy I let it go and DON'T save the number. The memory span for the phone has lapsed and then that means:

1. I can re-ask the person. Which reveals my laziness to the person.


2. Go to the cell phone bill and try to guess.

Have you seen your cell phone bill lately? How much time I wonder is "wasted" trying to figure those things out? Which is what they are hoping. But I just didn't expect to have to go to law school to undertsand the terms and conditions, let alone the cell phone tallies of my bill.

J.'s first Econ. 101 lesson occurrred after Padre exited Verizon wireless sometime back before Christmas. We were locked in on errands with Padre on a Saturday. J. had an early game across town. To conserve gas, we combined our trips. Like in the old fashioned days. Or at least it felt old fashioned.

I had a bit of nagging feeling that mayyyybbeee, it wasn't a good idea. Why? Well, I think I need to explain Padre a bit.

He is very... t h o ro 'ugh'... in his shopping.

- He is NOT going to be swindled by say the fact any new phone you need today will require your first born.

He is determined. If you aren't prepared for the elements such as a summit attempt to climbing Mt. Everest; you are screwed if you go with Padre on a Saturday.

Like I said, it was winter. But, if you can believe, the sun was shining and the temperatures in the car were getting up higher than it was in August. Like the guy who thinks he should shed his coat in a snow storm cause he's hot, I was peeling off layers of clothing as I sat languishing in the front seat while Padre was in Lowe's. I even had the windows rolled down.

My tongue was so thick, my mouth so dry. I tried to make contact with J. who was in the middle seat.

"Son?" I said weakly. No answer.

He had been complaining earlier but the dehydration and dillusions had set in. We'd been to Verizon. Learned about the evil sales people there and the 4 different options with all the bells and whistles with each package by the time Padre had gas filling the car.

J. had endured the taunting/tantilzing aspects of Padre discussing an Ipad as Padre talked the amazingness of them only to learn it could take a summer for J. to earn the money to OWN one himself.

"Mom! he complained while was still coherent, "Papa just does that to make me jealous!" he cried out as if in physical pain.

I poo-poo him on this. And told him to wake up and smell reality. He is a kid.

But now, as my child lay listless in the back of the car, I tried to summon the courage of a Navy Seal. Luckily, Padre always has a mug of Coca- Cola with him. This is part of his ritual. His daily routine, his mantra. Like an alchemist he mixes just the right amount of ice and pop. And it gets better as it melts- somehow.

I am not a big pop drinker and everyone sips out of Mug behind Padre's back. It becomes communal. He has purchased many mugs, just so this very thing would not happen. We could have our OWN mugs. But we can't re-create his concoction.. It still makes him livid. Unless, of course you are a grandchild,Under the age of 1 and then Padre just thinks it is child abuse if you tell him to not let the kiddies nurse on his mug of Coca- Cola.

Summoning all of my strength, I reached for the big yellow mug with its signature red straw; a heavy duty one that he can 're-cycle'. i.e. clean and re-use. But the mug has its own spot in the car. Sandwiched inbetween the divide of the driver's seat and the passenger's is a "nook" for his mug.

(yes, I know it's sideways. I have tried a bazillion times to turn it)

You have to be careful to not cross your legs incorrectly and knock Mug over. Spills have happened and it isn't fun to stick to the bottom of the car or fun to hear how you mowed over his favorite straw with the bottom of your shoe.

My hands finally reached the mug. I took it to my lips and sipped, a long refreshing gulp. As the caffeine quickly took effect, I was able to turn, lean over the seat and put the straw to J's lips. Faintly he felt for the straw like a person feeling around in the basement for the light switch in the dead of night.

slowly, he too, began to regain consciousness. The last few drops of sugar syrup were drained from Mug. We sat up and by the time Padre came to the car, looking like he were talking to a pre-tend friend with his wireless headset, a faint smile came to our lips. Home! We could be going home!

Padre slid into the cammander's chair and started the engine. Like an airline pilot he went through his several checks. Air conditioner on, check. Sunglasses put on, normal glasses put into case on arm rest. check.



"Now where's my mug?" he asked perplexed.

I immediatly looked into the back seat where mug sat next to J. He handed it to Padre who put it to his lips to find it... empty... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Well, great!" he said. He no doubt was looking forward to that sip.

"Well, at least it is only 15 minutes until home. Sorry! I will fill it up for you."

"You say you don't like pop!" he is incredulous that I would say one thing and then do another. Which has some validness to it.

"I know! I was desperate! And it tasted soooooo good!" I begged for forgiveness.

"We are almost home, we can get more!" I reassured putting my hand on his arm.

"We are not almost home I have to...." and then he went on to tell me of several stores, errands and things on his list.

I felt like someone who has not acclimated to the short amount of oxygen available on top of Everest. And was getting whatever sicknes that induces. I was showing signs. My pulse weakened as I began to add up the hours and possible stops along the route. Confusion and dissyness set in. thankfully my seat belt was still on, or I could have slid down off the seat like butter on a hot cob of corn.

I gave an apologetic look to my son. And swallowed hard, blinking out into the blinding sun licked my sunburned lips.

Because of bball J. was in better condition than me and was able to summon whinning, and complaining that did feel like mental frostbite under the conditions. I think I mumbled something about children, food and dehydration to Padre. But then I was gone.

Thankfully, that little boy's compaints got us home. Padre was intent that he finish his errands. As we drove home I tried to engraven the saying into my head like those phone numbers. "Do Not go on Errands with Padre. Do Not go on Errands with Pad. Do Not...."

I hope I can remember! I was in a comatose state of mind.

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