Now I have a stealth ironer in the house. I will attempt to enter the bathroom and find all available space taken up by the fully extended ironing board, the still-warm iron attesting to an effort only recently abandoned. Which one of my family has become averse to wrinkles? Not Jon. He wears what are essentially pajamas to work every day, except Fridays when he gets to swan about in a lab coat which is permanently crumpled and stored somewhere at the hospital. When I ask the kids I get blank stares and shrugs and "I dunno." Perhaps it is one of the other random high school kids who populate my bathroom on weekday mornings, availing themselves of our hair straightener. Maybe one hair straightener is not enough and they are using my iron to straighten their hair. I should make them sign a release when they come over: THE UNDERSIGNED ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PATIENCE CRABSTICK, MR. CRABSTICK AND THEIR HEIRS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY BURNS SUFFERED ON THE PREMISES.
Speaking of teens and hair, Seamus, my youngest, and the only "real" child in the house, is turning into an adolescent. He's eleven and in sixth grade, and has suddenly become obsessed with his appearance; his hair, in particular. He now demands "boy" shampoo. Boy shampoo, as defined by Seamus, comes in a tube rather than in a bottle. Okay, I can buy shampoo in tubes, although there seems to be a 200% markup on tubed shampoo. Whatever. Seamus even insisted that we provide boy shampoo for Ian at school, even though Ian himself shows zero interest in hair products and would wash his own hair with drano or maple syrup if that was what happened to be in the shower with him. Seamus' current hairstyling system is to mash it all down flat on his forehead with his fingers, turn his head slightly to the left and then sweep it dramatically to the right, causing his hair to swirl about his head a la Justin Bieber. No amount of haranguing will dissuade him from going for the Justin Bieber look. We had this conversation yesterday:
Seamus: Mom, Miss L doesn't like me.
Me: Who's Miss L?
Seamus: She's my English teacher! (Whoops. Bad mother for not already having my children's collective nineteen teachers' names memorized--and that doesn't include Ian's professors.)
Me: How do you know she doesn't like you?
Seamus: Because today I was doing this--demonstration of the hair-mashing, head sweeping thing--and she said, "Seamus! This is English class, not hair class!"
Me: Maybe you shouldn't mess with your hair during class.
Seamus: But we weren't even learning anything!