Cell phone rings. Ringtone is "Return of the Mack," so I know that it's my husband. (This is an inside joke. My husband pronounces our last name "MACK Linchey," versus "Mick GLINCHEY." I went years without commenting. Oldest child was not so circumspect: "Dad, you're pronouncing our name wrong." Mack is also the name that he gives the hostess when he puts us on the waitlist at restaurants. Reason: if you write Parnell a certain way in cursive, connecting the R to the N and making the second L smaller than the first L, you get Pamela. This has happened more than once: "Pamela. Pamela, your car is ready." Forty minutes later, my spouse complains about the cruddy service - and notices his car sitting there, where it's been sitting for forty minutes. Waiting for 'Pamela' to claim it. True story.)
Me: "Hey. Why are you calling me on my cell at work?"
Husband: "Um, because I didn't pay attention to which number I was dialing. Here, your youngest child wants to talk to you."
[Shuffle . . . shuffle . . . click. Deathly silence. On account of how someone hung up on me.]
I hit redial.
Husband: "Sorry about that. He wanted to tell you that he lost his tooth."
Me: "Yeah, I figured. Put him on and let him tell me himself."
[Shuffle . . . shuffle . . . no click.]
Parker: "Mom, MOM. I LOST MY FIRST TOOTH. AT SCHOOL."
Me: "Congratulations, buddy."
Parker: "IT CAME OUT AT SCHOOL. AND THEY PUT IT IN A RED TOOTH CHEST. AND [mumble, mumble] BLOOD."
Connor: "Hi, Mom. Parker gave me the phone."
Me: "Ohhhhhkay. Why? Is he bleeding CURRENTLY? Profusely?"
Connor: "No. It's stopped. He just didn't have anything else to say to you. Also, I wanted to tell you that there's a surprise waiting for you at home. And I wanted to tell you about it and read part of it to you."
Me: "Ohhhhhkay. But wouldn't it cease to be a surprise, then?"
Connor: "It's a card. A ginormous one, by the way."
[Oh, good - more ginormous cardboard - I'll store it with the History Fair and Science Fair backboards.]
Connor: "We did acronyms with the letters of our mom's names. And timelines."
Connor: "Yeah, yours is shaped like a K."
[He then proceeds to try to recite the text on the card from memory.]
Connor: "Wait, that's not it. Um - uh - let me just get it."
[More shuffling. He reads the card to me.]
Connor: "And then there's the timeline shaped like a K, and next to it you die."
Me: "EXCUSE ME?"
Connor: "You know, a die. Like dice, but singular."
Me: "Oh. A die."
Connor: "Right, that's what I said."
Me: "Um, why a die?"
Connor: "I have no idea. I just drew one."
Can't wait to see my timeline - which, apparently, references that (entirely non-existent) period of my life when I was a hardcore craps player.