One day. I would like to go one single day without someone in my orbit making a poor life decision.
“Stop squirming,” I order my four-year-old son, who should be at preschool, but who’s been banished for the week because of lice.
Heaven forbid we have one issue at a time.
Adding to my list of issues? Being that mom who can’t get her shit together while Levi Flipping Wilson is watching. And not only watching, but actively engaging in trying to help. “Hey, bud, I bet I can hold still longer than you can. Wanna see?”
I know my agenda on any given day will include interruption for something my children do that I never would’ve expected in a million years, but that’s a lot easier to deal with when I don’t have an audience.
Especially an audience made up of one famous man whose songs get me through the day—and night—when I don’t have enough free focus to read or listen to an audiobook, and who keeps stealing glances at me like he’s trying to figure out what kind of rabid creature I am. Normally, customers aren’t allowed back in the stockroom with me, which is where I dragged Hudson when I realized what he’d done to his nose, but leaving Levi out there with the customers who’d figured out who he was seemed like a bad idea.
Especially when his date skewered me with a look that clearly said get him out of here or I’ll burn this place down.
It’s a bookstore.
Not taking chances.
Especially if there was a reason they were looking at maternity and early childhood development books. His date doesn’t look pregnant, but god knows that’s when pregnancy is hardest.
Hudson finally stills, and I manage to smear a little more Vaseline gently around his nostril. “How did you get a marble in your nose?”
“I pushed hard.” He beams. “I gots stars in there too.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and count to two, because I know if I get as high as three, he’ll find a way to suck the marbles deeper into his sinus cavities, and I don’t know how a doctor will get that out without having to cut his nose open, and oh my god, he’s four and he’s about to be disfigured for life because I thought he’d actually sit still and listen to Yasmin reading books for neighborhood storytime while I re-stocked a few shelves.
“How many stars?” I inquire through clenched teeth.
“Four. Or maybe seven. Or maybe one. I forgets.”
“You are so lucky you’re cute.”
“Do you have a vacuum?” Levi asks.
I twist my head to gape at him.
He shoots a help? look at his date, then shrugs at me. “If he won’t blow it out, maybe you can suck it out. Like with one of those sucky tools the dentist uses.”
“That’s…possibly not a terrible idea.”
“Happens on occasion.” He grins, which makes my heart basically stop because he’s stupidly gorgeous.
I could stare at him all day, but I have a preschooler with marbles up his nose to attend to.
“Mama,” Hudson says, “look.”
He scrunches his nose, which makes his nostrils swell, closes his mouth, and blows, and one shoots out and lands on Levi’s shoe.
My son has just snotted my favorite musician’s Italian leather loafers.
“I win! I holded still!” He breaks into his preschool dance routine, but the poor kid got his moves from me, which means to a casual observer, he probably looks like he’s having a seizure while choking on a piece of gum and tripping over barbed wire.
Levi Wilson, however, is not fazed. He squats down to Hudson’s level. “Rematch.”