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July 1, 2009

Secret Codes

Here's a riddle:

What makes a bigger mess and more noise than 5 teenage boys sitting my living room amidst the countless half empty fast food cups, Cheeze It boxes, stinky socks and wet swim towels left on the floor?

No, not more teenage boys, that doesn't count, that's a given.

Keep thinking.

Give up?

My husband sitting in the middle of them.

I wanted to go to bed early last night.

At the rate I've been going, that would have been anytime before midnight.

But I sure was hoping to see the sandman by 9, maybe, possibly, like I used to?

I struggled to get everything done by 9.

Not a chance, silly me.

10 came and went.

How ironic is this? I'm rushing to GO TO BED AND FALL ASLEEP ON TIME.

What's wrong with this picture?

The clock got closer to 11 and I finally decided enough already.

I guess because I had been working, I was not paying attention to the party going on in my living room.

I walk out to find 5 boys in the midst of their usual teenage squalor, sharing old comforters, molded into the sofa, lights off, engrossed in a video game.

And right there in the middle of them, under the Winne the Pooh and Tigger blanket, sat my husband.

Equally engrossed and equally oblivious to the female presence in the room.

I think might even have been wearing one of those video game head sets.

Such a Kodak moment this was not.

More like a combination of a scene from Animal House and Camp Rock.

At that second, I realized that members of the adult male species evidently emit a secret signal, which can only be heard by other people with a Y Chromosome.

When I am home, and my husband is safely hidden from me at work in the Gulf, there are rules at my house, and every child within a 30 mile radius knows them.

Pick up your trash, no food in the living room, and if it's a weeknight, you better be as quiet as church mice after 9 pm, or I'll have your little rear ends back on your front porches quicker than you can say 'Taylor Swift.'

I'm still working on decoding the male signal, but loosely translated, it goes something like this:

'When dad is present, all mom's rules are null and void (unless she's mad at me, at which point I'll send out another secret signal letting everyone know to vacate the room quickly.) No need for noise control, trash pick up or any other chore. It's all good. Anything goes.'

I made a half-hearted plea to pick up the food and trash before they went to bed.

I don't think anyone heard me though, I'm still working on that secret language of theirs.

And then I turned right around and went back in my room, resigned to the fact that I was pitifully outnumbered.

I learned a long time ago to choose my battles.

I was just too darn tired by that point to care.

Imagine trying to go to bed, knowing you have to get up early and get ready for work the next morning.

Only imagine trying do that at a fraternity house.

During a keg party.

Well, soda party, no we didn't have a keg.

That's what it felt like.

All I could think about as I went to bed was, if a giant Texas sized cockroach crawls out from their mess, I hope it lands squarely on one of their faces.

Maybe that would get their attention.

Nah. They would probably just eat that too.

Here's the best part though: Moms have their own secret language as well.

Only ours doesn't need a decoder, no translation necessary.

Your spouse gets the female signal decoder ring free of charge the instant he says "I do."

When the alarm clock went off this morning, I rolled over, looked my husband (who was not at all awake after his late night partying) and said, "did anyone pick up all of that trash last night?"

Before I could say another word, he was out of bed and in that living room like he had ants in his pants.

Yep, as it turns out, our secret code is much easier to translate than theirs.

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