Smelly Socks: While the cat's away the mice will play ...

By Anita Spisak
Feb. 7, 2013 at midnight
Updated Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:07 p.m.

The battle scene was set. The living room was off-limits. It was a war of good guys versus bad guys. There were soldiers in my antique secretary desk, Lego knights and policemen lined up on top of an Amazon cardboard box that was cut into to make windows and doors where the bad guys could hide. Colorful blocks were built up to look like a castle.

The motor vehicles were some large Road Ripper race cars, and, oh yes, there was a dragon that was received from a Happy Meal earlier that week. It was a war of bad guys versus good guys, and the good guys always win. So began my extended weekend with Adam and Charlie.

A few weekends ago, Joe and some of the guys he grew up with flew to California to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday for the weekend. I, too, had my own "boys' weekend," planned, albeit with a much younger pair of boys.

We started out Saturday by going to IHOP. Just the name intrigued Adam, and both boys ended up ordering the Rooty Jr. which is a scaled down version of their Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast for which they are famous. From there, we proceeded to an Antique Mall, where Adam just "had to have" a $375 model ship (of course, he didn't get it), and Charlie kind of moped around and wouldn't stop complaining that his "leggies" hurt. I did not get to look at anything I like. We also visited Target, Toys 'R' Us and Bass Pro Shop. We watched "Thor" at least three times and "The Avengers" twice that weekend, even though the movies were always fast forwarded to watch only the battle scenes.

Since it was a boys' weekend, I, the lone girl in the house, was not about to cook. So that weekend, our dinners consisted of delivered cheese pizza one night. The boys ate two slices. I ate the rest. The next night, we had really bad-for-you TV dinners that, besides the smooshed brownie that was supposed to be dessert, were kind of pushed around in their little tray. Finally, on the last night we made the trek out to Bakers Square. That one actually went well. And what boy's weekend would be complete without hot cocoas, brownies, cookies and a pie from Bakers Square. We went to bed kind of late, played games and put together a new figure from the Lego Chima collection. As I said, it was a boys' weekend. Oh, I did get to watch some of my movies and catch up on some of my magazines, but this was when I was already half asleep in the bed at 1 a.m.

What really made it a special weekend was that Sunday, Adam said to me, "Mama, I'm having a lot of fun this weekend," and Charlie chimes in with "me too!" And actually I was, too. The younger version of me always thought I'd have a daughter.

I thought I'd look forward to having spa days and going shopping with my daughter, and although I sometimes kind of envy the moms who are fortunate to do this with their daughters, I acknowledge and accept that I am not nor will I ever be one of those moms. And honestly, I'm OK with that.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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