Monday, November 21, 2011



Jesus spent forty nights in the desert. During this time he was tempted by the devil. Each time he resisted, he was nourished by angels. In the bathtub tonight, the Moose was tempted- tempted by my razor. He shaved his right leg, well, mostly he cut up his knee and removed some skin. He then spent twenty minutes applying bandages (they kept sticking to the wrong spots) while wearing his underwear backwards. I pointed out that he might want to straighten out his pants for comfort's sake. He did. I then found him tying tourniquets, three of them to be precise, onto his afflicted leg. I suggested he not sleep with them on since it would impede his circulation. "Oh, yeah, circulation," he said. Then I asked as he got into some pajamas, "What tempted you to shave tonight?" "Oh, I just thought I would try it out," he said. "What do you think?" I asked hoping he had learned something. He was quiet. I tried another tactic, parenting is a war of attrition after all, "How does that feel?" I asked pointing to his injured leg. "Not so good. I don't think I should do that," he said. "Do what? Not shave?" I asked. "Yeah, not shave," he said. "Do you know what shaving is for?" I asked. He sat there looking at me so I told him, "It's for removing hair. Do you have any hair on your leg?" "No, not really," he responded. "Yeah, I don't think you really need to shave. You can always ask me, if you get tempted or if it's a good idea," I said as if he could think of that during his moment of trial.

Levels of Sanity

My husband reminded me that Bill Cosby sold a lot of recordings with the story about his son shaving his head with a reverse mohawk and his "I dunno" refrain. Mostly I anticipate wearing myself out by the end of the Moose's childhood. The Mule, ever the night owl, asked me well into bedtime, "What would you do if you had three boys mama?" My response, "Go crazy." I guess that means I am still sane then if I consider that as a point of reference.

I don't mean to disparage the Moose, he is a most loving child. Each morning as he departs for school, I get kissed and hugged and told, "Have a good day Mama." The Mule trots out the door with a hand wave and a, "Bye Mama!" Tonight I stirred the hornet's nest by taking the Moose Christmas shopping, two shops, while the Mule was at her hula lesson. I threw off his routine and thus his equilibrium. I really must try to be a better mama- focus on the kid at hand instead of my to do list.

Tempted by a shelf

My day also had an unexpected errand. I had to drive to the onsen to pick up my husband's wedding ring. He left it in a locker. My husband was surprised I wasn't upset about the lost ring. I was more interested in what tempted him to put the ring into the locker. He said, "I noticed this nice shelf on the side, just small enough for my watch, cross, and cufflinks. I don't know why I took my wedding ring off- I normally don't, but the shelf just looked so perfect; I put everything on it. Plus it was really high. I mean, I remembered to get my other stuff, it was just the ring- I didn't see it."

Thankfully, we live in Japan, where people are generally shorter than my husband and they do not take things they do not own. At first, the onsen staff said they couldn't find the ring. I asked them, "Please look again on the high shelf, in the tray, my husband is tall." They found it. I should also throw in I was impressed that my husband remembered his locker number. I never remember my locker number, but then I never put my jewelry on a shelf in a locker. The Moose gets it honest- the temptation thing. I just have to remember to swoop in with nourishment (praise?) when they actually resist something.

Taming a Moose

Quite often when the Moose has done something like shave his leg or cut his shirt while he is wearing it with a pair of scissors to see what it looks like, he will tell me, "I was just too tempted Mama." My husband tells me to not squash the "in the momentness" of the Moose. I struggle mightily some days to not loose my cool with the Moose and his temptations, but on other days I have to hide my laughter at the impossibility of taming this particular Moose.

1 comment :

  1. I believe it is permitted to wear a wedding ring in the onsen. At least, it has never occured to me to take mine off. Occassionally I leave my watch on too, to make sure I don't lose track of time.



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