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business time


(*Note: I wish I could claim the term Business Time, but it came from these genious men from New Zealand who call themselves Flight of the Conchords. If you're at work or have children around, proceed with caution. Not racier than something you'd see watching network television, though...)

One of my brothers, City Boy, has a hilarious and disturbing memory from our childhood. The whole family was on a trip together, the three of us kids long since tucked into our polyester-sheeted hotel beds for the night. City Boy was having a hard time falling asleep, when he heard my mom trying to talk my dad into Business Time.

Dad reminded her that three children were sleeping mere feet away, and tried to dissuade her. But my mom usually gets what she wants, and this time was no exception. Panicked at the direction things were headed, City Boy began to silently pray. “Please God, please, please help me fall asleep. Please help me sleep RIGHT NOW.”

When the whispering and giggles continued, City Boy tried to silently beam messages to Dad. “Dad, come on, just tell her no. Be a man and stand up to her…Oh crap, he’s caving…Dad, for the love of God, tell her NOT TONIGHT!!!”

It was a lost cause. City Boy put his pillow over his head and now simply prayed that it would all be over soon. I’m not sure how old he was, or why he didn’t think to just say, “Hi folks. Yep, it’s me. Your son. Right here next to you, WIDE AWAKE.”

At least that’s what Oldest Son and Middle Son do. We are remodeling our house and currently there’s no trim up, which means even when the cheap, hollow-core bedroom doors are closed, there’s gaps in them. Which means Business Time needs to be handled in a quiet and refined manner. No whooping like a rodeo cowgirl who just won another round (Hi family reading this in South Dakota, Utah, New York, Florida, Maryland, Alaska, Nebraska and Montana. Umm, sorry for that image.).

In fact, more than once Shawn and I have simply been snuggling and swapping some goodnight kisses when Oldest Son calls from his bed, “Yeah, guys? That’s not happening tonight. I’m still awake, so you can just forget about it.”

The other night Shawn and I were right in the middle of Business Time (the kids put to bed a full 20 minutes ago) when we heard the bedroom door open, then close. 

We froze. “What was that?” I said, staring at the door.

“The wind,” Shawn said.

“Really?” I said dubiously, pulling the covers over me. “Do you really think it could’ve been the wind?”

“Yes, it was the wind,” he repeated dumbly, as if by saying it he could make it so.

“But. There are no windows open in the house, how could the wind have opened the door, and then shut it, Shawn? There’s no way that was the wind.”

Shawn, a soon-to-be high school science teacher who fully understands weather patterns and physics, covered his head with a pillow. “Oh my GOSH!!!”

“We just completely traumatized one of the boys,” I said. “I think you better go see who it was.”

“There is no way I am leaving this room,” he said.

Next morning, Shawn, unable to face whichever child we’d damaged, left for work before the boys even woke. Men are cowards like that sometimes.

“So… Who walked into our bedroom last night, boys?” I said while getting them up for school the next morning.

“Me?” Youngest Son said quietly, slinking down into his comforter.

“Ugh! Were you guys doing it again while people are awake?” Middle Son called from the top bunk, disgusted.

“Sweetie, why did you come in our room without knocking when the door was closed?” I said to Youngest Son.

“I went to the bathroom and I saw your light on, so I came to say Hi,” Youngest Son replied.

I braced myself on the side of the bunkbed. “And what did you see?”

“I saw you naked on top of Shawn.”

Oh, dear.

Oh, my.

Oh, deardeardeardearmotherfreakingdear.

That is just not something a boy should see, now is it? I wish I could buy some sort of mental cleanser for the child. I STILL have the Polaroids of my parents that me and my brothers found (hidden in a corner on a high shelf in my parents’ bedroom) decades ago seared into my brain. I fear I’ll be crossing over to heaven, and while other people see fields of wildflowers and their first loves, I’ll see those Polaroids. Don’t ask me how someone rigs a Polaroid camera to take images during Business Time, but they figured it out. So I know how much Youngest Son wishes he’d never opened that door.

Thankfully, he has adopted a sense of humor about the whole thing saying, “I’m scarred for life,” which is how we know he’s okay. And he’s assured us that he now understands like never before, when a door is closed, KNOCK.


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Reader Comments (24)

At least you didn't have the Polaroid rigged up too.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeniseM

These were naughty children looking for Christmas presents!! I was mortified and hid in the bedroom for 2 days--and secretly yelled at my husband--cause I thought it was a bad idea, in the 1st place. We burned the pics shortly , there after. Although, I have to admit, it was a turn-on!! Hell is having a child who is a writer!! What will she come uo with next??!! Lucky she is so cute!! Love, Mom

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMom

I wanted to cancel Xmas if I remember right!!

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMom

and, ask my children, what it would mean to cancel Xmas!!

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Mom, I must say, you and Dad are good sports. But, may I make a suggestion? Ix nay on the urn-on tay. I'm glad you think dad is a real tiger, but I'm not sure I need to know that...I am still your child!!!

Love ya, hon.

October 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterMegan Ault Regnerus

We are going to have the BEST time the next time we get together! FavAuntie & I are going to print out these archives and go over each post with the entire family...just to get the facts straight, of course.

And, Mom? How DID y'all rig that Polaroid anyway? I'm just asking as a photographer.

BTW: I'm sure that that image will come back to haunt Youngest Son at the most inopportune time, say, in about 10 years.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrotherJohn

BroJohn took my comment! Not fair!

That was the funniest post yet. Suggestion: lock your door during Business Time. While I believe youngest son has learned a valuable lesson, I know how devious the other sons are and I also know one of them has a good camera in his possession. Just sayin'.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaveAuntie

Oh, I needed that laugh today. Thank you! I love like crazy that your family is commenting and still making your Mom's transgression an issue. FUNNY :) Really funny!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Yeah! You bet. Glad you're still checking in, Kim :)

October 15, 2009 | Registered CommenterMegan Ault Regnerus

you are so awesme, I want you to write about me. does your mom tell you stories of me? I am thinking of starting a reality TV show. Amy and stu plus two . You can b my writer. What do you think? we will be millionaires soon. love you meaghan you moms friend for life amy

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Megan, you made both consenting adults in my hh weep we laughed so hard at this post, as did a number of us in the office. This fantastic piece of writing makes you BlogHer of the Week! http://www.blogher.com/blogher-week-minor-catastrophes

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Stone

I always read the Blogher of the week. This is the only one that made me laugh out loud. And then your family's comments made me laugh even harder. You're a great writer. Keep at it! Congrats!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWillful Woman

So hilarious! We found it easier to put a lock on our door rather than risk interruption.

Now that our kids are older (teenagers), we just assume they close their bedroom doors and turn up their iPods. Otherwise they risk their ears being seared by their Mom who is quite talkative during *business time*.

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPop and Ice

Willful Woman: Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement!!

Pop and Ice: We now have a lock on the door :)

October 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterMegan Ault Regnerus

okay, this was hilarious. i can't wait for hubby to get home so i can share this with him. The video was amazing.

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNettalyce

Oh My. That the funniest thing I have read in a while. Although I now have images of peaking into your bedroom.. weird.! I think its hilarious that the older kids talk about it like it happens often.. haha Good Job Guys!

Nettalyce: Thanks! I sure hope your hubby thought it was as funny as you did : )

Chris @ Marriageconfessions: You think YOU have images of peeking in the bedroom now? Imagine my poor family reading all this garbage. My deskmate at work was reading the post when he hollered, "Oh Gosh, I didn't need to have that image planted." I knew exactly where he was in the piece...Thanks for stopping by!

October 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterMegan Ault Regnerus

I loved this!

Hoever, it did give me a rather disturbing flashback from my own childhood ;)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaven

Thank you for brightening my evening, heck my whole week. We've got my in-laws staying with us, and combine that with the fact that we gave them our bed and are on an air mattress in a room across the hall, well, there's just not a whole lot of action around here. I surely did enjoy reading about yours though.

I am convinced that someday one of our kids is going to be struck blind when he walks in on us. It's nice to know that maybe he will retain his sight.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMara

Maven: I've talked to many people about walking in on their parents, and seems like most have some sort of disturbing experience with this. Thanks for stopping by !

Mara: We do the whole air mattress/give up our bed thing around here too. I can attest that your children will not go blind, but they might blog about it someday :)

October 25, 2009 | Registered CommenterMegan Ault Regnerus

Had to come and check this out and was not disappointed! Your post of the week honor was well deserved. Congrats!

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Oh, deardeardeardearmotherfreakingdear...that story was really funny! I think many of us have similar tribal stories to share....thanks for sharing with us!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ Parkes

I remember once Rob and I had just finished and I rolled over to see Elise standing beside the bed. She was about two. I asked her how long she'd been standing there and she said, "A while."

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