Papa and Nana (my mother and father) live down the street from us. Right down the street. Ten houses down the street - same side of the street. Are you with me? They moved to town when Papa retired from 25 years in higher education as an engineering professor.
Last year we were thrilled when Papa agreed to come over to the house everyday at 3 pm to watch the three younger boys until their 14-year-old brother got home from school. This means Papa is responsible for a 5, 8 and 11-year-old for one hour.
My 14-year-old has been telling me for months that Papa doesn't really watch the boys. As Zach puts it, "Papa is merely present."
Today - Zach had some supporting evidence to that effect.
As I walk into the house today at 5:10 pm, I am greeted with a pungent odor. Zach is sitting at the computer in the kitchen.
Me: Why does is smell like poop in here?
Zach: (Slowly and deliberately turns his head to me) I've been trying to tell you for forever that Papa doesn't watch them.
Me: (pause) Oh my God. (pause) What happened?
Zach: So, I get home and I walk in and the place smells like it is burning down. Ethan is in the family room and has vacuumed up half a quilt. He can't pull it out, the vacuum cleaner is hot, and smells like it is going to explode.
Me: And where is Papa?
Zach: Papa is in the kitchen watching TV.
Note: The kitchen is open to the family room. It is impossible to be in the kitchen and NOT know what is going on in the family room. That is, unless you are Papa.
Me: So what did you do?
Zach: Well first, I stopped the impending house fire by turning off the vacuum cleaner and yanking the blanket out of it. Then I got Ethan and Zayd outside doing something else. THEN I asked Papa if he noticed that Ethan almost burned the house down.
Zach: He said, (insert heavy middle-eastern accent here) "Yeah... I guess I noticed something smelly..."
Zach: And then he said "Bye Zeki" and left.
OK. So maybe Zach's right. Papa isn't watching them.
He obviously isn't smelling them either.