Hi everyone, I hope all is going well wherever you may be. Sorry I haven’t updated the blog in a while, but now I’m back to share my latest magazine article with all of you. Today, I’m going to give you a brief glimpse at some of the hijinks my mom went through raising her three hellions.
A Day in the Life of Tina Dickens
Tina Dickens stood in her kitchen enjoying the peaceful morning. She breathed in the quiet, savoring the silence of a world half asleep. Unfortunately, the silence was trampled by the patter of tiny running feet.
Her youngest son, Chase, flew through the kitchen wearing a floppy, pirate hat and black eyepatch. Without slowing he whacked his mother with a plastic sword yelling, “Avast!”
Tina grabbed for him, but he was already out the other side of the kitchen giggling as he ran. Shaking her head she turned back and continued preparing breakfast until Corey walked in a few moments later. Always her mild mannered middle child, he took a seat at the table and said, “Morning Mom.”
“Morning,” she replied. “BJ up yet?”
As if on cue her eldest son shuffled in looking bleary eyed. He made a few indistinct grunting noises that Tina always liked to pretend meant, “Good Morning Mother. Don’t you look lovely on this fine day.”
Before she could reply Chase ran back through the kitchen swinging his sword above his head. This time Tina snatched him up and sat him at the table saying, “You better watch out. Pirating is a hanging offense.”
Chase smiled up at her then he turned to BJ and said excitedly, “Ahoy!”
BJ stared blankly at his little brother for a few seconds before asking, “Why’re you dressed like a pirate?”
“Because I can’t find my ninja stars.” Chase replied as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.
Corey laughed, and BJ rolled his eyes. Tina set out their breakfast and smiled, wondering if anyone else had a child that lived every day as if it were Halloween. The boys scarfed down the food and ran off to play in the woods, and Tina got ready to do some yardwork.
After working in the flowerbed all morning, Tina was trying to catch some reading time when the boys came back in. BJ seemed to have the makings of a black eye. Corey’s knee was scraped, and Chase wore the sinister grin of one proudly guilty. Tina stared suspiciously over her book, “Do I want to know what happened?”
Their eyes darted back and forth from each other, each seeming to calculate the severity of the beating the one who tattled would receive. The math apparently didn’t work too well because BJ finally spoke up, “Umm, probably not.”
Tina shrugged, “Fair enough. BJ, put some ice on that eye if it keeps swelling. Corey, put a Band-Aid on your knee. And Chase, uh, just stop grinning like that and don’t do whatever you did that made you grin like that in the first place.”
Once her boys ran off to doctor themselves and stop grinning, Tina turned back to her book and continued reading.
The sewing machine hummed as Tina’s hands deftly followed the intricate pattern of the quilt. She concentrated on the blurring needle and didn’t hear Chase enter the room until he asked, “Where’s my football helmet?”
“I think it’s on your dresser,” she said without looking up.
He ran from the room then yelled, “Where’s my thick jacket?”
“Hall closet,” she called back. “Why? Its ninety degrees outside.”
“Corey told me to find body armor. I’m gunna prove I CAN catch an arrow.”
“Okay,” Tina muttered distractedly continuing to sew.
After a few moments she looked up from her work. The sewing machine fell silent, and her brow furrowed as she replayed Chase’s words in her mind. Leaping from her chair she shouted, “Boys!”
I wonder if I can check myself into a mental institution? Tina thought to herself. Not for long. I just need a break, like a weekend off sort of thing. What if they decide I’m actually crazy? They might not let me leave.
Her train of thought was broken by the sound of shattering glass in the kitchen. Everything fell silent then a small voice echoed from outside, “We weren’t shooting at each other!”
She sighed, I might not want to leave.
Tina stared angrily at a broken window.
Tina continued to stare angrily at a broken window.
With the window patched, bow confiscated, and supper finished Tina began slipping on her boots as she called for the boys, “Food’s ready.”
The three boys came out of the bathroom carrying cleaning supplies. Tina stood and said, “Go ahead and eat. I’m going to the barn to feed. I’ll be back in just a few minutes.”
BJ pulled off a pair of rubber gloves muttering, “I hate cleaning the toilet.”
“Well, that’s the new punishment for murdering my windows, William Tell.” Tina said walking out of the house.
Screams greeted Tina as she opened the front door. She looked up at the second story banister and saw BJ and Corey crouched behind the railing holding a rope, and at the bottom of the rope a red faced and screaming Chase dangled upside down by his ankles.
“What’re y’all doing? Let him down!” Tina shouted.
Lowering his brother to the floor Corey spoke quickly, “We were just teaching him to not throw temper tantrums.”
“Yeah,” BJ chimed in. “He got mad while we were playing. Out of nowhere he yelled, ‘Avast!’ and hit me in the head with his stupid sword.”
Tina pointed at the ground, her voice cold, “Come down here right now.”
After untying Chase Tina sat all three boys on the stairs. She stood glowering down at them but didn’t speak for a long moment. However, Tina Dickens had a talent of saying absolutely nothing while somehow managing to seem louder than the angriest shout. It was like being punched in the eardrum with a fist full of silence.
Her boys almost seemed relieved when she finally said, “Well, what do y’all have to say for yourselves?”
They cowered under her glare, but eventually Corey spoke up, “It was kinda your idea.”
“My idea?!” She asked, anger bleeding into her voice.
Corey nodded, “Yes ma’am, you said this morning that pirating is a hanging offense.”
Tina opened her mouth to speak but found no words. She didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry.
Tina Dickens was nodding off while reading a book in bed when her husband, Jeff, came in the room drying his hair with a towel. Crawling into bed he whispered, “Sorry I’m late. Got bogged down at work.”
She nodded sleepily in reply and laid her book on the nightstand. Jeff leaned over, kissed her on the forehead and asked, “How was your day?”
Switching off the lamp, Tina snuggled her head into the pillow and answered, “Just the usual day here in paradise.”
(Authors note: This story is of course dedicated to the one and only Tina Dickens. Love you, Mom. Sorry for all the gray hair.)
I hope you enjoyed seeing the world through my mother’s eyes for a little while. Even if you didn’t maybe you can find a little solace in the fact that you didn’t have to raise me and my brothers. But if you enjoyed the story and want to be the coolest kid ever, why don’t you share it with all your friends on Facebook? Just scroll down and hit the share button below.
P.S. You didn’t hit the share button did you? Don’t lie to me. I’m watching you…
P.S.S. No, seriously, I’m watching you and what you’re doing is really weird. Now, go share.