First things first, I did not marry a Zombie. I mean I dated a few and there were certainly some good times, though I did grow tired of role-playing Zombie and Screaming Human so much. If I said they were insatiable it’s because they seemed to be always hungry – for me! But, not in a good way, if you know what I mean. But, I digress.
The day of my anniversary came and I was ill-prepared for it. The anniversary I was prepared for, the day itself I was not.
As fate, destiny, providence, luck, chance and synchronicity conspired to have that day be the same day as the boys’, Archibald (not his real name) and Mortimer (not his real name, either) picture day at school. The boys love the attention of getting their picture taken. Archie has learned to give the big cheesy smile and Morty, who loves the attention, can’t quite seem to grasp that a picture is literally a reflection of him. So, he tries to “ham it up” by making goofy (technical term) faces.
Nevertheless, the day started off innocently enough. Sort of. I awaken at approximately 6 am like I do every morning, even on my days off. I did not have to be in to work until noon. But, I awaken early to get my coffee and watch a few minutes of the news and weather before I get the little buggers up. However, on this day, as I stumble out of the bedroom into the kitchen, I notice some “movement” on the couch in the living room. I can’t quite see what is making movement, but I do notice that all the seat cushions are piled, or arranged, on the couch.
The “arrangement” is like a seat cushion pyramid. Odd, I thought, at such an early hour. Did aliens invade our home during the wee hours of the morning and decide to build a replica of the pyramids on the couch? Are the aliens friendly enough not to disturb the people living there and bypass all the treats in the refrigerator and go straight toward the couch just to exhibit their master building skills? What if it isn’t aliens, but ZOMBIES, who are building a sanctuary from humans so that they can then use it as a home base and terrorize all civilization from OUR COUCH?
I check on the boys’ room and Morty seems to be snoring, er sleeping, comfortably. But, Archie’s bed is empty. The plot thickens.
As I move into the living room, I hear a faint giggling sound. Not even aliens, and especially NOT ZOMBIES, would giggle. They might snicker or even chuckle a little, but definitely not giggle. I start poking and prodding the cushions to determine if there is indeed intelligent life habitating there. More movement. More giggles. And then when I remove one of the cushions, the life form springs to, well, life. “Daddy, this is my fort. Don’t disturb my fort. I’m officially declaring this my primary residence and have notified the Post Office, the local police and the closest Domino’s, that I now live here.”
I have been forewarned.
“Um, ok, do you want cereal or waffles for breakfast?”
But, wait a minute. I haven’t even had my coffee for breakfast. First things first. Plus, it’s 6:15am. The little bugger/alien/zombie on the couch should STILL BE IN BED.
“Go back to bed for half an hour. It’s way too early for you. The early bird might get the worm, but you don’t want worms for breakfast, do you?”
“NO, I WANT TO STAY HERE IN MY REFUGE, MY SANCTUARY, MY ABODE, MY HOME. Just don’t call me Quasimodo.”
“Back to bed, Quasi. Oops, I meant Alien.”
“Don’t call me alien too. I AM A ZOMBIE!”
The zombie, formerly known as Archie, reluctantly trudges back to his room and I proceed to make my coffee and wake up. But, today is my fourteenth wedding anniversary and SMM (Sergeant Major Mommy) is still in bed which mean I can prepare my card and gifts for her to surprise her when she wakens.
In the meantime, I hear giggles coming out of the boys’ room. I figure, it’s not very loud, so MAYBE everything is ok, Archie is just amusing himself in a seven-year-old way.
I drink my coffee and relish a few moments in front of the TV. The clock keeps ticking until approximately 6:45 when it becomes the time to officially wake the little buggers and wake SMM up. I have heard random giggles, but still not very loud.
I check on the little buggers and Archie is underneath Morty’s covers. Morty is still underneath his covers, too. Morty knows that Archie is a rabble rouser, but Morty chooses not to let his rabble be roused cause he would like to stay in bed.
I ask what you would like for breakfast, cereal or waffles, and they both repeat in unison, WAFFLES! At least, now I know.
My surprise is ready to spring on SMM and I enter the bedroom and she is still sleeping until I say, Happy Anniversary, honey and she springs to life. Well, that’s a relative term, she turns over and mumbles happy anniversary to me, leans up to give me a kiss and then turns over again.
I trek to the kitchen and discover that the waffles have inconveniently left the building. Oh no. I have to break the news to the little buggers as gently as possible if I am to remain alive.
Morty takes the news in stride. He likes his cereal and it is usually not a big disappointment not to have waffles and have cereal. Archie erupts like a Zombie on fire and explodes out into the kitchen to discover if I am, in fact, lying or if he will HAVE TO EAT something else. He rips open every cabinet door and almost tears the doors off the refrigerator looking for his waffles. In a frenzy, when he can’t find them, he turns to me screaming and crying, “WHERE’S MY WAFFLES?”
You would think I just told him that he would have to be in school every day for the remainder of his life! Which, of course, he will, but he doesn’t know that yet.
In a moment of clarity and enlightenment, I offer an alternative solution, Dinosaur Eggs, which are oatmeal and real Tyrannosaurus Rex’ dinosaur eggs. I don’t even know how they got the dinosaur to lay the eggs or how they saved them for 65 million years. But, I don’t care. All I care about is feeding my Archie.
Breakfast is served. SMM eventually gets out of bed and begins preparing the lunches. She discovers my surprises I left for her, we kiss, and then get back to the task at hand, getting the boys ready for school. After all, we have all day to celebrate our anniversary, but only thirty more minutes for the boys to brush their teeth and get dressed. Don’t forget, today is picture day, she smilingly reminds me.
The teeth get brushed and lunches made and packed. It’s time for getting dressed. I get the underwear, socks and pants out of the drawers. I usually let the boys pick out their own shirt. Ok, I could let them pick out everything, but they wouldn’t get to school AT ALL if we waited for that. SMM gets the shirts and hands them to me saying, “You need to iron these first.” The shirts are a baby blue, denim-type of material that really need the ironing thing. I mean, even I can see that. The bad news is that I am the “iron-er” in my family. SMM, has not only never done any yard work, she has never ironed anything ever. What can I say, I still love her.
I iron the shirts and bring to the boys to put on. SMM tells them that these are their “picture taking” shirts.
The Zombie Apocalypse begins.
The zombie, formerly known as Archie, explodes and starts running around the house daring us to catch him. The zombie, formerly known as Morty, starts crying and screaming at us, “How do you expect me to wear THIS? The other kids will laugh at me. The teachers will laugh. The janitor will laugh. Do you not love me anymore? Have you not considered the emotional damage a careless act of perverse consumerism could affect my whole life?”
SMM and daddy (me, moi, numero uno, big daddy, Mr. Right) spend the next 15 minutes chasing, consoling, calming, comforting, pleading, begging, lying, promising anything to get the little buggers/zombies to wear these nice shirts so they will look nice when they get their pictures taken.
7:58am. Time to get coats on and head out to catch the bus. Archie is still complaining. Morty is still crying. Archie walks out with daddy right behind. I stoop to one knee and tell him how proud I am of him and that his shining personality will certainly shine through to the pictures today. He replies, “Not with this shirt.”
Morty comes out, still vocalizing his disapproval of the shirt. He threatens to boycott law school if he has to wear this shirt. I say, that’s nice, but law school is still a couple of years away and, in the meantime, he will look nice in the shirt when he does get his picture taken.
In a moment of Divine intervention, the bus comes before Morty files a civil claim against his parents for malfeasance.
The boys get on the bus. Daddy retires to the house to find SMM and begin the anniversary festivities. We’ve survived the Zombie Apocalypse.