Every Sunday, Diana leaves the boys in my capable hands while she goes downtown to fight battle against pairing red wine with fish.
Last week, she left at 10:30, and by 10:35 Elijah and Luca were bored out of their minds. Bored leads to fighting. Fighting leads to me yelling. Me yelling leads to them crying. Them crying leads to me feeling guilty. Me feeling guilty leads to me taking them to Five Guys for burgers. Everybody wins.
Since Diana has the car, we have to walk the mile to the El, take the El downtown Evanston, and then walk a few blocks to Five Guys. This description took twelve seconds to write. To execute, took 14 hours.
The boys were delightful at Five Guys and made epic messes.
After eating the buns and cheese and pickles from their burgers, we threw the ground beef into the trash and started the trek back to our house. The El ride was uneventful and ¾ of the walk home was a fall masterpiece.
But about three blocks from our house, Elijah stood upright and stiff.
“Dada! I have to go to the potty!”
“Yep, Five Guys will do that to you.”
“I have to go to the potty NOW!”
I told him that making a number two in the alley was not possible. If only because there were currently witnesses walking their dogs around.
I instructed him on how to walk when you have an urgent need. “Walk very slowly. If you walk fast, you’re toast. And concentrate. Mind over matter. Mind over matter.”
Elijah did as instructed, but I could tell we were at the seconds count stage. “Hurry,” he moaned.
Luca, in an act of brilliant brother sabotage, decided to lay down on the sidewalk. “Get up get up get up,” I instructed. Luca, with an almost imperceptible smile, rolled over onto a pile of leaves.
I yanked him up off the ground and placed him on my shoulders. I trotted towards Eli.
“We can make it!” I declared.
“Never mind,” Eli said sadly.
Matter had won the battle over mind. I held my breath and put my hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone.”
“Dada? Can you not tell anyone about this?”
“Sure,” I said. Knowing full well I would betray him.