Archive for September, 2007

Blue Gloves Vs. Lions

For this story, you need to know that I always wear gloves when I wash dishes. I hesitate to tell you this because I know you might not consider it masculine. If it helps, they’re blue, not yellow.

I know it probably doesn’t help because, whenever people come over to Garnet’s house while I’m washing dishes few can resist making a remark, especially when they see Garnet sitting in the living room, eating bonbons and reading a magazine.

But I put up with the abuse. It’s not nearly as bad as having my fingers crack and bleed, which is what happens when I do dishes without gloves. (My skin is really dry.) Plus, with gloves, I can use hotter water for rinsing.

You also need to know that the name of the street that Garnet, Sparkle Girl and Doobins live on ends in “way.” For purposes of this story, Garnet suggests “Placeway” as suitably generic.

As Garnet and Sparkle Girl were riding along one day, Garnet made up a song about Sparkle Girl called “The Princess of Placeway.”

After she finished singing it, Sparkle Girl said that, if you made up a song about Doobins, you would have to call it the “The Prince of My Way.”

This is true. Often, Doobins roars when things don’t go his way.

One of the things I’m learning about Mr. Doobins, though, is that he’s not always being a beast when he resists.

I used to think that he was just being ornery when he made a ruckus about not wanting to go to a festival or a party with strangers. It has become clear, though, that such things genuinely shock his system.

In this, Doobins and Sparkle Girl are quite different. Drop Sparkle Girl down in the midst of 75 strangers, and her response is, “Oh, my! Seventy-five new people to give me attention.”

Garnet and I can both be iffy in social situations. So, sometimes, we tussle over who stays home with Doobins. Of course, each of us pretends that we are doing the other a favor.

“I know you’ve really been looking forward to this, so I’ll keep the boy.”

“Oh, no. You haven’t had a chance to get out in a while. Go ahead and go. I know you’ll have fun.”

One thing that I like when it’s just Doobins and me is that we almost always get along well. Apparently, this is not unusual. I have heard from more than one person that a boy is less likely to act up when his mother isn’t around.

Doobins’ latest pleasure is the Roman gladiator game on the Playmobil Web site. He is happy to take on the first-round opponents – men armed with swords. But he doesn’t like to battle the lions that charge at him in round two. So after dispatching the men with swords, he calls me in to take on the lions.

The other day I was washing dishes when the call came.

I took off my blue gloves and set them down on the counter.

I went into the other room, sat down at the computer and killed the 16 lions that had to be killed so that Doobins could move to the next level.

I went back into the kitchen. As I put the gloves back on, I wondered what the men who fought real lions would have thought of a man washing dishes in blue gloves.