Ancient History

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When a child is born or adopted the mother should be given a Bingo card to fill out.

This card will feature 25 squares. Each square features a cliche she is expected to experience—an Erma Bombeck moment. When it happens, she can fish a crayon out of her purse and slash an X on the space.

Watch flushed down the toilet? Satisfied slash.

Vomit-in-hair? Slashslash.

Babysitter cancels five minutes before Big Fancy Date, so important you are wearing control top pantyhose and eyeshadow? So important you got your long black wool coat out of the back of the closet and ran the lint roller over it twice? Worthy of the red crayon slashityslash.

Ryley has made me reach for my crayon many times. I don’t keep it in my purse anymore—it’s tucked behind my ear. When I do get my Bingo I will thank him first, after God. This past Friday he got me one step closer to claiming the Bombeck Trophy.

After popping the last sliver of waffle crust in his mouth, he mumbled, “so, mom, where is my costume?”

I considered his question. I had no answer. I had a question.

“What costume?”

“The costume I need today! For my presentation!”

I had a few more questions, like “What presentation? What kind of costume? Do you know how much trouble you are in?”

“I’m the boy from The Ghost-Eye Tree. I need a black hat, a black coat, a black shirt, and black pants. And props.”


“I need a bucket, a cat, a cow, and a girl. .”

We did the best we could with little notice. His pants and shirt were navy blue. His hat was black. He wore the vest from his Han Solo Halloween costume. A cat couldn’t be located, the cow was four-inches tall and stuffed, he had to settle for a hand-drawn picture of a bucket. No girl agreed.

Off to school he went.

Some moms may disagree with how I handled The Costume Ambush (the official name on the Bingo card). Ryley didn’t get away with it. He got lectured, he got the look, he watched me shake my head, tell his father, and was informed it was never to happen again or I wouldn’t help him.

If moms have a Bingo card, what do kids have?

A Get Out of Jail Free card.

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