Scene: Afternoon. In a desperate swipe for peace and quiet with a croupy, non-napping toddler, Mom has resorted to watching the Coco Cam after seeing it advertised on twitter. This is a 24-hour peek into a random stairwell in the offices of Conan O’Brien’s team. Cameron is seated at the other end of the table reading chapter two of The Prodigal God, which is the book we’re reading for our church small group right now.
Suddenly, a dancing taco appears.
Mom and Maddie begin giggling. The giggles attract other siblings. Eventually the noise grows louder.
Everyone but Cameron: HAHAHAHA! IT’S A DANCING TACO! HAHAHAHA!!!
Cameron: I want to see!
Mom: You’re almost done, Cam. Just finish the chapter and then you can watch with us as long as you want.
Cameron (sulking): Sometimes I feel like the older brother…
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’”
Scene: Family Sitting at IKEA’s restaurant, taking advantage of the “Kids Eat Free” promotion for the holiday weekend.
Ben, looking out window: Mom, what is that blue and yellow flag?
Mom: That’s the flag of Sweden. IKEA is a Swedish company, so they fly that flag to remember their country.
Ben: Oh, wow! Cameron, that’s the SWEDISH flag!
Mom leaves table to take Andrew to the bathroom.
Ben: Dad, I can tell that this is a Swedish restaurant. You know how?
Ben: ‘Cause all the food tastes weird.
Scene: Kelly in kitchen, prepping for Sunday lunch with friends. David on laptop at kitchen island, prepping Sunday School lesson. Pandora is serenading us with big band tunes.
David: You know, there’s a whole version of “Mack the Knife” by Ella Fitzgerald where she claims to forget the words to the second verse and then scats the whole thing. It’s terrible.
Kelly: WHAT?! It’s Ella. She scats. It’s what she does. It’s not terrible.
David: I’m saying it’s terrible. And then Frank Sinatra covered it, which is even worse.
Kelly: I think you need to go to an all-Ella Pandora station and then you will gain an appreciation.
David (over top of Kelly’s last comment): HOSANNA!*
Kelly begins giggling.
David: Did you just say that I should go to an Ella concert?
Kelly doubles over giggling.
Harry Connick Jr. comes on, singing “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”
David: I like Harry.
Kelly: Mmmm, me too.
David: He’s so smooth. I used to want to be him.
Kelly: I used to want to marry him. (slight pause) And now look at us! I guess we both got what we wanted.
Riotous laughter from both.
David: What? HOSANNA!*
*Editor’s Explanatory Note: Hosanna means “save now.” Google Docs prompts you to “save now” when you hover over the save button, so David yells “HOSANNA” when he saves his documents.
Maddie, patting Mom on the arm: Mumma. Mumma. Ba bee bee mmm dada um no baybee buh buh bee bee bee bee.
Cameron: Mom, I know what she’s talking about. She’s talking about bees. I’m really good at understanding her.
The “This Makes (Some of) It Worthwhile” Edition
After a looooooong day of exasperating behavior, distracted obedience, and generally frustrating conduct, the boys are beginning to see Mom’s nerves become completely frayed.
Cameron ventures out on a limb…
Cameron: I’m sure glad we have you, Mom. Without you this house would be a disaster.
The “Maybe You Shouldn’t Say Exactly What’s On Your Mind Every Time” Edition
Scene: Mom and boys praying before breakfast the morning after Cameron threw up in the middle of the night.
Andrew: Dear God, please let Cameron stay safely away from us today. Amen.
Scene: Ben and Cameron drawing in the schoolroom one afternoon.
Mom: Wow! What beautiful drawings!
Cameron: Mom, I really think I’m exceptional at drawing.
Scene: Bedtime. Jonathan is half-undressed.
Jonathan: Hey, Mom. Remember that superhero named Nakedman?
Editorial note: For you doubters, Nakedman IS TOO real, he is almost four and he makes a nightly sweep of our upstairs around seven-thirty.
Scene: Front hallway. Jonathan emerges from the bathroom.
Jonathan: Hey, Mom? I am Spiderman and can you please zip my pants?
Scene: Family driving in van, listening to old Caedmon’s Call album.
Jonathan: Hey guys, I am playing this song and I am Yoda. And know what I am playing the guitar on? My STAFF.
Editorial note: For those of you who are wondering, the song was “Faith My Eyes,” sung by Derek Webb. Derek should be proud.