Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Pony Has Left The Paddock

My poor little Pony. Adolescence is hitting him hard. He has become the most forgetful boy on the face of the earth. More forgetful, even, than his father. I will send him out of the room on a specific mission, and he returns five minutes later to ask what it was I had sent him for. IF he returns at all. The Pony denies these lapses in consciousness. He says I didn't specify. Or that I never told him. Or that he didn't hear me. Or that he was not paying attention because he was reading/playing a game/watching TV.

I know that The Pony's body is betraying him, concentrating all resources into preparing him for the world of adulthood. Changing him from a pony to a horse. I know. That's not how it works. But I was reminded of the time the #1 son sarcastically informed me, upon passing by the neighbor's pony in a field, "According to YOU, that pony has been a pony for the last seven years." Indeed. And so it had. #1 learned a lesson that day about the nomenclature of our equine friends.

My heart went out to my Pony today. I sent him across the vast expanse of The Devil's Playground alone, to seek ink for an HP Deskjet 940C. I showed him the little laminated card. Explained that he needed a number 15 replacement cartridge. Black ink. No color, no frills for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's work. The Pony confirmed that he could remember "15", that he did not need the card, and that he would take a look at the computer games before rejoining me. He does this most weeks. We meet up on the paper towel aisle, or the soda endcap. I told him I was going to get the puppy food, and then proceed along the back of the store. Just like every week. Off he went.

It took a while to find the Ol' Roy Hearty Loaf of puppy chicken cans. Ol' Roy had been shoved to the back of the top shelf. I moved two aisles over to pick out a chew toy. I played chicken with a woman on the Drano aisle, allowing her to force me onto the streaky footing next to the 3D yellow triangle of spillage. I stopped twice to cross off items on my list. I looked over my shoulder for The Pony.

No Pony.

He never takes that long. I began to wonder if he was having trouble finding the ink cartridge. I considered backtracking. Then thought better of it. Just when my apron strings were stretched to the limit, my pocket started ringing. It was The Pony.

"Um. Hello? Mom?" (like somebody else would answer)

"Yeah? What do you need?"

"Did you forget me?"

"Noooo...where are you?" (I could picture him standing out front, near tears. Because just last week I almost left him at Academic Team. But that's another story)

"Uh. I'm here at the books. Waiting for you. Where are you?"

"Oh. I'm between the soda and the chips."

"Oh! You said you'd wait for me in the books."

"No. I said I was going along the back of the store."

"Okay! I'll be right there!"

Poor Pony! It doesn't help that he carries a book or Kindle through the store, reading as he walks. Maybe I should ban that constructive activity from now on. It does interfere with him grabbing a case of soda and flipping it over in the cart so the bar code is on top.

I bet he's really glad I talked him into taking his phone with him today.

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