There was a knock on my locked bedroom door yesterday morning as I was getting ready for church. Of course I knew it was Aaron. What I didn’t know as I opened the door is that I would find him standing there in his underwear……..and a shirt, thankfully. “Well, Aaron!” I exclaimed as I turned to walk back in my room. “You could put some clothes on!”
“But Mom!” he said. “It’s 78 degrees outside! What do you think of that temperature?” So began my day with Aaron. He wanted to discuss the outdoor temperature, as he often does, while standing there in his underwear……….and he thought there was nothing odd about this. What he thought was odd was the fact that Mom was laughing. What was so funny about the outdoor temperature of 78 degrees anyway? I told him that this was a nice temperature, warm but not hot, and he was satisfied with my critique of a 78 degree outdoor temperature. I also told him to please put some clothes on, such as shorts, and so he went back to his room to do my bidding……..and probably to check once again on his weather station clock to see if the outdoor temperature had reached 79 degrees yet.
He was soon back in my room, this time to talk about his Handy Science Answer Book and the chapter that he is just finishing. Or maybe just starting. I can’t keep it straight, but I don’t tell him that I can’t keep it straight because he will then talk ad infinitum in an effort to keep me straight. He wanted to talk on this morning about numbers. “Mom, after a million comes a trillion.” I reminded him that between a million and a trillion is a billion. Oh yes, he had forgotten about a billion. He continued, “And you know what, Mom? Scientists are trying to wonder if there’s a quadrillion.” That’s about how many times I wonder if Aaron will ever get tired of talking about these things, actually. And off Aaron went to find Gary so he could probably tell him about the million, billion, and so forth.
Aaron’s happy day continued, even though he had a hard time eating the ribs that Gary grilled after church. He complained of his back molars hurting, despite having them checked repeatedly. His near-anger vanished as he ate some softer food, but his disappointment returned later in the day when he asked if I would take him to Sonic for a milkshake and I suggested that he try a smoothie that I wanted to make…….one that was supposed to taste like a Wendy’s frosty. He was sullen and unconvinced that this substitute for a milkshake would be any good, but after his first sip I knew that he liked it. In fact, he asked for a second one when the first glass was empty……and his mood lightened when I said yes.
We then watched Zookeeper, the movie that his day group had watched on Friday. This made Aaron very happy. He tried to tell Gary and I what happened before we saw it happen…….and he laughed very loudly at the funny parts……..and he clapped even louder than he laughed as he got excited………and he asked tons of questions……..and it was a very typical movie-watching experience with Aaron. At least the movie was fairly easy to watch, unlike Sharktopus or Vortex 5 or that spin-off of Towering Inferno that Andrea and I endured when she was home a couple weeks ago. A Japanese movie dubbed in English? Please, never again. So Zookeeper was stellar compared to those, and we were all happy despite the clapping and the yelling……..from Aaron, not the zoo animals.
Of course, he talked for the rest of the evening about Zookeeper……..every animal, every scene, every word, every single little part. I could hardly say goodnight between his continual rundown of the movie. Finally, as I turned to walk out of his room, him in mid-sentence or not……he wanted to ask just one more time about the wolf that was in the movie. “Mom, was that a Swiss wolf? Like from Alaska? What species was it? Was it a Swedish wolf?” I just hurriedly told him that I didn’t know because at this point my brain was dying and I was so confused about this Swiss Alaskan Swedish wolf.
I closed…..and locked……our bedroom door. I was in “preservation of the mom and dad species” mode at this point. But Aaron was not done. Oh no. He remembered that he had forgotten one more nugget of information that he had stored in his brain…….and one more question concerning that nugget. He somehow remembered that he had not finished his morning conversation concerning numbers. Yes, he was back to numbers once again……….back to the morning, but thankfully this time with his shorts being worn.
“Mom! I was reading about Roman numerals. Are they from China?”
Oh, good grief, Aaron! I didn’t say that, but I did think that. The words Aaron heard were, “No, Aaron, Roman numerals are not from China. Roman numerals are from ROME!”
“Rome?” he asked. “So Romans didn’t know how to use American numbers?”
I was done. I didn’t care about Swiss or Swedish wolves that might be from Alaska. I didn’t care if he skipped a billion between a million and a trillion. I didn’t care about Chinese Roman numerals. And I definitely did not care whether he went to bed thinking that Romans didn’t know how to use American numbers.
All I did care about was Aaron going to bed………..so that we could go to bed. And therefore I just said yes, Romans didn’t know how to use American numbers. I went to bed and slept, despite the fact that I had given Aaron wrong historical information. I slept with not one twinge of guilt about the incorrect sequence of Roman and American numerology that I had left with my son the night before.
Besides, I’ll hear it all again and maybe I’ll correct this historical mess the next time that Aaron brings it up.