The many uses of belts

I just don't understand.

How come kids can't get dressed properly?  If I can see your underwear, you are NOT dressed.  I hold out a belt and ask (dumbly) "Whose is this?"

"Oh yeah, that's where my rope went!  Thanks Mom"

"Rope?  What do you mean?  This is a belt."

"Yeahbut we used it for tying onto William so he could drag us around the playroom"

As he stands there with his drawers hanging, I can read the label on his underpants.  They say HANDMEDOWNS.  I took a deep, cleansing breath and said

"I'm calling a family meeting.  Get your brothers, collect all your 'ropes' and meet in five"
He skips half the stairs on the way down and yells "Mom's mad!  Get in here now!"


After collecting all the belts - which number greater than the amount that's overdrawn in my checkbook - I lay them carefully on the floor next to a pair of slacks.
"Does anyone know what this is?"  I say as I hold up a black belt.

"Yeah, it's what I use to hold my sleeping bag"

"This one's beary's belt, to hold his pants on"  Beary is a stuffed animal.

"Oh hey, there's my door holder - I use it to prop open the cupboard door so I can wedge both doors together and lock my room.  By the way on an unrelated subject, Mom, I don't know why but the cupboard door is off it's top hinge.  I didn't do it."

"OOH, my whip!  I've been looking for that!"

"OK, OK, God gave you two ears and one mouth....lets listen, Mom's turn to talk.  These" I say as I do my best Vanna White, "are something very miraculous.  You see, they hold your pants up, like so"
I stood and showed my belt that I was wearing.

I'd like to say they oohed and ahhed right then and there, promising to use this wonderful new tool, but they simply stared straight at me, blinking with blankness.  Good thing I had the display pants at the ready.  I picked them up, began to demonstrate the fine art of threading a belt though the loops. 

"Hey - Do you think that's why those are called belt loops?  Because they are for a belt?"
I beamed.  They were catching on!   I gave my best mommy shine and patted smartie on the head.  "Yes, That's right!  Now, I'd like to see you all wearing one.  Beginning today.  No more seeing your undies."

"But what about when we wear our basketball pants?"

"Yeah, they are just elastic"

"or our pajamas?  Do we have to wear one then?"

"How's beary going to keep his pants up?"  Now it was my turn for the blank look.....really?  The bear that I have to clamp in the garage vice while I hook the shorts on a pulley to get them on his stuffed body?

"Well, then, how will horsey drag us around?"

"Great Mom, now I can't lock my door!"  Child stands and flails his arms disgustedly at me and walks out.

Kid D scouts around the chaos, looks for his opening, and in a flash, grabs an armful of belts.  Running, he shouts "Let's go guys, we won't let her get our toys!!"

The rest run off in laughter to belt their brothers together and commence some sort of sumo-body-wall-slam event. 

I sat there in silence.  I began to cry, weeping tears of sorrow at my lack of mothering skills.  Right then, coming from the shadows comes hubby.  He slides his arm around my shoulders, brushing a kiss on the top of my head, says "Honey, it's hard to take you seriously when you're wearing your shirt inside out and backward".


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