When you have a yard sale, sometimes you just have to let go of the past. You fill boxes with crap that meant something at one point but you haven’t looked at it in three years and vacation is a week away. That bad boy ain’t paying for itself, so something else had better.
So imagine my dismay when Ethan began sobbing hysterically in the back seat of the truck as we were leaving to take our yard sale items to our friend’s house for the community yard sale the next day. Ethan never cries and he was out of control.
K: Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you crying? How can we help you?
E: WHY do we have to sell the CEMENT MIXER?
K: Uh, what?
E: THE MIXER, MOM. (insert body wracking sob) Why do we have to sell the CEMENT MIXER?
Before you wipe a tear from your eye for the sadness that is my dear, sweet, feeling six-year-old, I’ll remind you that when I made 2,500 pounds (you read that right) of cement for the shed floor, that “sensitive” child watched 4 hours of Scooby Doo in lieu of helping me. To my knowledge, this was not only his first time declaring his undying love for the mixer, it was also the first time he had MENTIONED THE MIXER EVER.
K: We need the money and we don’t need the mixer anymore.
It was a cheap shot but having done family marketing research on my family, I’ve determined that crying poor is a very effective way to shut down the “I wanna” train.
E: But we PAINTED THE MIXER.
Nate: We could paint a NEW MIXER, E-fan.
E: It won’t be the SAME.
Nate: I have four dollars. I could pay someone to paint it the same.
K: (because I am a bitch) Ethan, you could buy the mixer. Do you have $100?
Nate: I’ll give you my $4 and then you’ll have $100 and can buy the mixer.
(sidebar: I love Nathan more than life itself)
Ethan: Mom, why don’t YOU make some money if we need money?
If you live within 200 miles of me, that gust of wind you heard at 7:42 p.m. last night was my husband’s swift intake of breath at that exact moment. This did not deter my precious little heir in the least.
E: If we need money, why aren’t you selling more shirts? You haven’t had a craft show in a long time. You aren’t even TRYING to find more craft shows to do.
E: (sobbing yet remarkably unfazed and emboldened by the truth) All you do is relax and be on your computer. You should find a show so we could keep the cement mixer forever, just to look at.
K: Relax? This is what relaxing is? Because l feel like if this is the definition of relaxing than I’m done relaxing.
E: I’m just saying if Mom sold more shirts we wouldn’t have to sell the mixer.
Derek tore him a new one for being fresh and we arrived.
We got to our community yard sale location and Ethan climbed into the back of the truck and draped himself across the mixer so Derek couldn’t untie it and take it out. It was kinda like Greenpeace trying to ram the fishing boats in the Pacific Northwest, except without a noble goal of the saving of endangered wildlife. At that point Dan came out and offered him all manner of treats as salve for the wounds that are the crises of our childhood. With a wailing “No, thank you” he held firm in his defense of the plight of the mixer. I was proud.
He wailed all the way home and from his top bunk. We now found ourselves drunk with parental power and the ability to send our children to therapy for the most mundane things. Plus, we didn’t have enough stuff for the yard sale.
D: We should get rid of The Baby’s toddler bed. His mattress doesn’t fit and we’re going to move him in with the boys anyway. When are we going to do another yard sale anyway?
K: But we put him to bed already. Ah, screw it.
We turned The Baby’s light back on. He was still awake. I cleaned a spot on the floor and with his chubby little hands gripping the sides of his mattress, we lifted it out of the frame and onto the floor. And had the floor been free of toys and the mattress found a level resting place that would not have resulted with him rolling off the side of the mattress, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have cried himself to sleep saying “bed.'”