Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pokemon and crushes

I found my sweet little Benjamin taking care of his cousin Riley in the kitchen this morning. I had been wondering who he had been talking to—counting backwards with the microwave timer and prattling on about all sorts of things—and it was sweet to see that he'd made oatmeal for the two of them (complete with a sprinkle of chocolate chips to make it "special").

"Oh, hi, Mom!" he said when I popped into the kitchen where he was on a stool, wiping out the microwave. "I put too much water in this bowl and it kind of exploded all over the place, so I'm just cleaning it up!"

I helped him finish cleaning it up so he could get down to business (our mornings are rushed sometimes and he needed to be eating, not cleaning) and he sat down by Riley to eat his breakfast.

"Oh, you do have to take me to school today," Benjamin said (I'd told him this last night but he didn't believe me). "Rachel is at orchestra and Miriam is at choir—on a Wednesday!"

Due to fall break their extracurricular schedules collided; ordinarily orchestra and choir don't fall on the same day.

"But don't check my pockets, Mom. Never check my pockets," he added.

"Why not?" I asked. "What have you got in there?"

"Nothing," he said. "Maybe some acorns. I am an acorn collector, you know."

"Oh, I know that about you. I do," I said. "But you wouldn't happen to have any Pokemon cards in there as well, would you?"

"Yes," he sheepishly admitted.


We've been having a disagreement lately about whether or not Pokemon cards are allowed at school (and from this story I'm sure you can tell who is in what camp). Somehow he keeps coming home with more and more of them, the shrewd trader that he is. He weaseled a single card away from a friend one day but I made him leave it at home because Pokemon cards are not allowed at school.

But his sisters informed me that he had brought another Pokemon card home from school.

"I don't understand how you keep bringing these cards home," I said. "What are you trading for them?"

"Cash," he said.

"You're taking money to school now?" I asked.

"NO!" he said. "I thought you said who are you trading with. I traded some feathers that I found on the playground to Kash for a Pokemon card."

Sounds like they both got robbed to me.

Somehow he ended up with three cards, which was the number he had safely tucked away in his not-to-be-checked-by-Mom pockets this morning.

I picked him up from school this afternoon because I wanted to be sure he had checked the lost-and-found for his lunchbox (Miriam was helping him look for it when I arrived at the school), but unfortunately it wasn't there. We did, however, run into his friend Cambria with her mom, looking for some lost mittens. Cambria may or may not be the friend who gave Benjamin his very first Pokemon card (she is).

So while we may not have come home with a lunchbox, we did come home with a couple of extra friends (Tayah came over to hang out with Rachel as well).

While we were walking home, Benjamin pulled out a whole stack of Pokemon cards from his pocket.

"How many cards have you got there, buddy?!" I asked.

"Nine," he shrugged.

He traded his three previous cards to a friend for nine cards!

Am I a terrible person because I refuse to get into this whole Pokemon card craze? I just refuse to buy them for my kids. (To be fair, I also never bought Rachel or Miriam Shopkins (though they also ended up with a collection of them—how?!).

Anyway, at dinner Grandpa asked, "Who had a friend over today?"

"Benjamin did!" Zoë chirped.

"Uh, no I didn't," he said.

"But Cambri..." Zoë began.

"She's a crush, not a friend," Benjamin corrected.

This boy. So sweet, so sour, all in one tidy not-so-tidy little package. 

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