The boys kept yelling “frank ‘n’ beans!” when they were changing clothes while we were in New York last week. Maybe they do this every time they pull down their pants at home, but if so, I don’t hear it amid the drumming, yelling and twittering of Feathers and Omelet. In the minuscule apartment, however, the frequent outbursts were quite noticeable.
Eventually I realized that “frank ‘n’ beans” refers to a boy’s privates, and that shouting it serves as a warning not to look as the boy briefly exposes his genitals to put on what I hoped was a clean pair of underwear, not the pair that had toured Chinatown the day before.
I pretended not to know what they were yelling about. It’s been a long time since I’ve wiped any butts or bathed anyone in the bathtub. In the last couple of years all three boys, even Porter, have grown quite modest. Honestly, I was quite curious as to how everyone was maturing down there, and I wanted to check out everyone’s frank and beans. I figured that as the mom, if anyone was sporting signs of sauerkraut, I had the right to know.
At first the guys were fixated on whether their brothers were trying to see their manhood, but it didn’t take them long to notice me trying to sneak a peek.
“Mom! Frank ‘n’ beans means don’t look. Give a guy some privacy.”
I found that hypocritical, as these same complainers have been known to track me to the bathroom to ask for lunch money. As the least modest person in the universe, however, I haven’t let it get to me.
The next time I came out of the bathroom I yelled, “Two miniature fried eggs,” just before I ripped off my robe to slap on my bra.**
I can’t always be one of the boys, but I can try.
** Look at the FIRST cute bra I’ve been able to purchase for my tiny tits!
It’s a Wacoal Petite and Viola at Bloomingdales in NYC helped me. It was very expensive ($48) but so worth it for my ego. All my other bras are flat triangles with straps.
Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Virtual Book Club #5
When you have twins, people always ask you if they’re identical. Drew and Porter are not. Now that they are in the fourth grade, their differences are more pronounced than ever. Porter weighs ten pounds more, is two inches taller, and looks like me and Finn. Drew is skinnier and pale, and everyday the cleft in his chin resembles Bill’s even more.
The differences go beyond looks. If my posts seem Porter-heavy, it’s because he’s always cooking up an experiment, asking a jillion unanswerable questions, or pointing out the inherent injustices in life.
But with Drew, it’s steadier. I imagine that this must have been what it was like to raise Bill. No drama. Follows the rules. Does chores without asking.
And it’s this last item that starkly demonstrates their differences. The boys have duties around the house, and failure to perform them results in fines. Most mornings after the boys leave for school I check their rooms and see who’s fallen down on the job.
Drew gets style points for neat pillow stacking.
Porter’s bed features half-price Target bedding in colors guaranteed to calm a child down at night, but he didn’t even fake making it up. Minus $1
They must leave their floors neat:
No complaints here.
Porter’s floor reflects his diverse interests, but a floor is where you walk. I’ve told him it’s permissible to shove everything in the closet as a quick cleaning strategy but he has not exercised even this minimum amount of effort. Fine $1.
Because male Glamores are hardwired to leave drawers open, I require them to close their dresser drawers each morning:
Porter has lost another dollar. This failure is even more egregious when you consider that I rarely have time to fold clothes and put them in anyone’s dresser, so the boys generally grab clean clothes straight from their laundry baskets in the “dining room.” Porter could have gotten dressed for a week without ever needing to open those drawers. The fact that they have been opened makes me worry about what’s inside.
So I know he is capable of living an uncluttered life. Whether he goes broke learning to do so is another issue.
Hey! This Thursday, November 13 I’ll be appearing at Milestone Books in Vestavia City Center between 5 and 8 pm to sign copies of the book The Mothering Heights Manual for Motherhood, in which my essay “I Love You Like The Crazy You Drive Me” appears. I’ll also be doing a reading at some point during the evening, and if I find out an exact time I’ll post it. I’d love to see you there.
Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Wednesdays: Bible Club, Smelly Van & Pink Thong