Our suspicions started over the weekend when in the middle of the 75th or 76th load of laundry, your dad had a worrisome inquiry.
“Weird question, but have you put away any underwear for the boy?”
In retrospect, I had not. Although we had washed approximately 5 jackets that you had put in the laundry after one wearing, fished one rock, three crayons, a roll of tape and a baseball from your pockets, and inexplicably found a swimsuit in the hamper. In February. But no underwear had made an appearance.
I checked the closet, wondering if stray pairs were there. No skivvies. Under the bed? Nada. In your drawer? Pair after pair of clean, folded boxers and briefs. Curiouser and curiouser.
So Monday morning, when you came into breakfast, I asked quietly. “Son, we noticed this weekend that we had not washed very many pairs of underwear for you. Are you wearing underwear?”
“The same pair more than once?” Dad asked.
“Are you wearing some now?” I pressed on.
“YES!” came the indignant answer.
“Awesome. Then can you show me the band please?”
You made a big show of confidently looking, and then feigned shock when of course, no band was found.
“Oh! I guess I’m not! Huh!”
After being sent back to your room to re-group and a second band check, off to school we went.
This morning, same scene.
“Did you remember underwear?”
“Let me see the band.”
Now I know at 9, you don’t get to make a lot of choices. You have to go to school, you have to do homework, you have to take showers. I won’t let you have a cell phone, something that sends you hurling to your bed weeping at the inhumane cruelty of it all.
But if you’re going to make a stand for individuality and freedom of choices, let’s not make it on this particular issue, OK? You’re not old enough for me to show you the tragic scene in “There’s Something About Mary.”
Suffice it to say, this is for your own good.