The little boys got along swimmingly the other day. They walked around the park clutching each other's hand. My mommy buttons almost burst. A bystander even stopped me and referred to them as "good boys." I smiled and thought how wonderful it is to hear the good things.
The six of us gathered around the dinner table. We said grace before diving into our meals. Minutes later, Connor requested a bathroom break. He jumped out of his seat and abruptly spun around and raised his arms. He rested his palms on the wall and spread his legs apart. He planted his feet firmly shoulder width apart. He gazed over his shoulder in my direction. To the casual bystander, this scene may appear odd. Connor resembled more of a hooligan preparing to be frisked for weapons rather than a seven-year-old boy simply needing to use the potty.
Let me explain...
Weeks ago, we noticed a sharp decline in our nightly dinner struggles with the boys over vegetable consumption. The boys seemed to devour their veggies with nary a complaint. For a while, my naive self imagined the boys had turned a corner and realized the health benefits of ingesting leafy greens, but a nagging suspicion forced me to look closer. I began to notice a correlation between increased bathroom visits during dinner and clean plates. Hmm.
Instead of confronting the boys, I want to catch one of them red (or green)-handed. I waited patiently until the next boy requested a restroom break. I watched him walk into the bathroom and slide the door closed. I sensed my moment. I burst into the bathroom just in time to see said son tossing broccoli florets into the commode.
After that, trips to the bathroom were scrutinized closely. We checked pockets, socks, shirts, underwear even, for stashed veggies. (Believe me, drug smugglers could learn a thing or two from the stealth tactics my boys used to secretly run veggies into the bathroom!)
Now, the boys are back to eating veggies the honest (and hard) way. They begrudgingly pile carrot sticks and Brussels sprouts onto their forks. They wrinkle their nose and gaze in my direction. I imagine the wheels are turning in their head and it's only a matter of time before they think of something else.