“Remember to smile, Tom.” I even put a smile on my face and twisted my fingers in the corners of my cheeks for emphasis.
“Why?” Tom grumbled.
“Because when you stand there looking pissed off, you scare people!” I lectured. Seriously, people have come up to me and whispered, “Why does your husband look so upset? He’s scary!” My husband isn’t scary. He really is harmless, he just tends to look pissed off half the time. I think that’s just the way he looks. Who knows?
“I’ll smile if want,” Tom said.
“Do you want to scare off all my friends?” I asked. We were going to dinner at my friend Amanda’s house.
“I won’t scare anyone off!” Tom insisted.
I frowned at his shirt. “Is that what you’re wearing?”
Tom peered down at his shirt with a skull on it. “Yeah. Why?”
“It has a skull on the front. Suppose she thinks we’re crazy?”
Tom was confused. “Why would she think I was crazy for wearing a skull? There’s nothing wrong with this skull.”
I sighed. “Couldn’t you wear a nice polo or something?”
Tom made a face. “Hell no. You know I hate wearing polos!”
This is true. I have no idea why. He claims polos are too preppy for his liking. And he refuses to wear sweaters too. Most of his shirts have sayings on the front. (My favorite? The one that says Save The Trees! Wipe Your Ass With An Owl!) But still, he’s getting older, therefore he should wear more appropriate shirts. But he refuses.
“You can’t wear a shirt with a skull on it,” I said.
“Fine! I won’t!” Then Tom thundered up the stairs. When he came back down, he was wearing his Chuck Norris t-shirt.
“Tom,” I said, groaning. “Do you have to wear that?”
Tom was genuinely surprised. “What’s wrong with Chuck Norris? Chuck Norris rocks. Every man loves Chuck Norris.”
“Not every man, Tom,” I said. “Not every man loves Chuck Norris.”
Tom pointed at me sharply. “You take that back.”
I sighed. Tom was giving me a headache. “Fine. Wear Chuck Norris.”
Tom was pleased. “Thanks.”
“I’m going to shower.”
“Why?” Tom asked.
“Uh, so I smell nice.”
“Who cares what you smell like? It’s a casual dinner.” He lifted up his arm and sniffed his pit. “Ahhh. I smell like a man.”
“Just…put on some deodorant,” I insisted before going upstairs.
After my shower, I popped my head into Tommy’s room. “Remember to be on your best behavior. I know she doesn’t have kids your age but just remember to be nice. Okay?”
Tommy nodded. “I will.”
“And don’t do that thing where you chew on your clothes,” I added.
For some reason, Tommy has started to chew on his clothes. And if it’s not his clothes, it’s a rolled up piece of paper. It’s disgusting, really.
“I won’t,” Tommy said, annoyed.
“And…no talking about farts and butts and boogers,” I said.
Tommy giggled. “Mommy! I won’t!”
As I was brushing Natalie’s hair, I reminded her to be good.
“I be good,” she promised.
“I’ve heard that promise before,” I said. She’s told me she’ll be good and the second I step into a store, she’s acting like a wild animal that desperately needs to be caged.
“If you don’t like what she makes, eat it anyway,” I warned Tom on the drive over. Tom is one of the pickiest eaters around. He doesn’t like pot roast. What guy doesn’t like pot roast? It’s a delicious hunk of meat (as is John Krasinski. Sorry. Had to throw that in there.)
“I’m not going to eat something I don’t like, Amber,” Tom said, rolling his eyes.
“Yes, you will. I won’t have you insulting her,” I said sternly.
Thankfully Tom liked what Amanda made. So did I. She made this chicken sandwich thing that was delicious. Plus pasta salad, which Tom just loved.
“Why can’t you make stuff like this?” Tom joked as he took a bite.
I kicked him lightly under the table. “Why can’t you make stuff like this? Why should I do all the cooking anyway?”
The kids also behaved, thank goodness. And someday I’ll probably have her family over for dessert. Not for dinner because A) I don’t know what to make that would feed that many people and B) I don’t want to poison them.