Smelly Socks: A holiday for the boys, but not for Mama

Nov. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Veterans Day: A day for honoring all those who served our country - and also a day off for the boys, but alas, not for me.

You see, as much as I look forward to having them both home with me for the day, I also feel a little bit of dread because it means that they will be on each other's nerves, over each other's shoulders and on top of one another when boredom sets in - and trust me, it will.

By the end of the day, they will end up wrestling and fighting each other on the floor with some punches that are intentional and some that are not.

It started out innocently enough, with both of them creeping quietly downstairs on that Monday morning and turning on the TV while I was still sleeping. Like I said, it was nice - until a little screaming match erupted over the remote control and ended with Adam getting bonked in the head by Charlie with one of the remotes.

As it turns out, Adam started watching some obscure Patrick Swayze movie about a trucker hauling some illegal guns (I know, don't ask), and Charlie wanted to watch one of his cartoons.

They started fighting for the remote control, and before I knew it, I heard wailing and high-pitched screaming. Needless to say, Adam won this one, but Charlie was about to win the next battle.

Little boys like to tease their littler brothers, and Adam is no exception. After the remote control debacle, Charlie gave up on the TV and started playing quietly with his cars. Adam, not content to let his little brother play quietly, decided he wanted to play, too. But Charlie, who is very possessive of his toys and personal belongings, doesn't like anyone upsetting his patterns and strategies of play.

Of course, Adam knows that and knows how to push his button. Lo and behold, another battle erupted. This time, Adam was the instigator in this fight scenario. I must declare that Charlie came out the winner.

Having had enough of the fighting, I decided that I couldn't be cooped up with them anymore in the house, so I took them to the local mall, where we visited the newly opened Lego store and marveled at all the ATVs and boats at Bass Pro.

I also gave them a choice of lunch at Noodles and Co. or lunch at home. Which do you think they chose? As we were eating our lunch, it started snowing. Oh, glory be, the boys were excited. The first real snow of the season, and it was coming down fast and heavy.

The first question out of their mouths, at pretty much the same time, was "Can we build a snowman?" Now, there's never enough snow when the first snow falls to build a proper snowman, but I must say, the boys did a great job with the resources they had.

They worked together, and though it only stood about 2-and-half feet tall and it was decorated with some leftover charcoal for the eyes found in the Weber grill outside, it was made with pride, love, teamwork and a lot of sweat.

Once the snowman was built and the newness of shoveling the patio and making snow angels in the 1 inch of snow that had fallen had worn off, it was back inside for hot cocoa and a movie and again getting on each other's nerves. They actually did stop bickering in time for dinner, but I think by then they were all tuckered out from not only the day's activities but also by their constant fighting.

I finally had had it by 6:30 p.m. when I made both of them take a bath and go to bed. Needless to say, they were in bed by 7:30 p.m., sleeping by 8 p.m., and I was recharging by 8:30 p.m.

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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