The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune took direct aim at poor helpless six-year-old Sage last Friday. Heartless mother that I am, I will recount his misfortunes with a stony heart.
MISFORTUNE ONE: Sage and I went down the road to examine some of the first pussy willow catkins of the year. I let him pick three, two of which he promptly lost. Apparently, no replacement catkins could fill the hole they left in his heart.
MISFORTUNE TWO: He fell in love with a large round rock in the ditch on the way home, and I would not carry it home for him. I told him we had plenty of rocks by our house and that he could find one there. If not, I foolishly added, we could always come back and get this one the next day. After a brief protest that the neighbors might take it, he capitulated sullenly and continued the trudge homeward.
I’d gambled that he would promptly forget about the forsaken rock once we got home, and my gamble seemed to pay off when he discovered a dried and sadly seedless sunflower head in the garden. “It’s a UFO!” he announced.
His UFO-induced joy was augmented considerably by the arrival of a half dozen curious cows at our back fence. He generously proffered his UFO for their inspection, and they remained interested in us for a gratifyingly long time.
Even the most enthusiastic bovines can only be interested by two human strangers and a seedless sunflower for so long, though, so eventually they wandered off. Sage casually tossed the UFO after them and turned toward the house.
I thought it was safe to propose going in for supper when, out of nowhere, the rock returned.
“You promised me we could go back for it if I didn’ t find one in our yard, and I didn’t!” he whined.
“Tomorrow!” I said peevishly, supper on my mind.
Seeing me unmoved, he went into Full Pity Mode. “But I’ve already lost so much!” he lamented. “First the catkins, then the UFO!”
Thoroughly irritated by now, I snapped, “And WHO threw the UFO over the fence?”
Sage didn’t miss a beat. “THE COWS MADE ME DO IT!” he wailed.
What could I do with a response like that but dissolve into hysterical laughter?
Sage was not amused. “It’s not funny!” he declared indignantly. “It’s MY body, not YOURS, and I decide what’s funny, and THIS IS NOT FUNNY!”
I tried with limited success to swallow my laughter and therefore minimize the future therapy bills.
Fortunately, he recovered enough from his trauma to deliver the following kneeslapper while we were eating supper:
SAGE: Knock knock.
ME: Who’s there?
SAGE: Two thousand genies.
ME: Two thousand genies who?
SAGE: TWO MILLION GENIES! (hysterical laughter on his part)
Well, I suppose it IS his body, and he DOES decide what’s funny…