"So, how was the party, bubba?" I ask him, as his sister and I walk him home under the full moon.
"Oh, it was great..." he begins, and then launches into a laundry list of oh-so-wonderful things he experienced, as his sister kicks rocks down the hill, seething with jealously.
You see, although they abhor attending parties to which they have BOTH been invited, they appear to be in complete agreement on the fact that the other can NEVER have a better time than they had without them whenever they're invited to separate parties.
So, as he describes the "waaay cool climbing tree," she tells him about the pumpkin spice sundae with caramel sauce she had at the ice creamery while he was gone. And as he shares his new fascination with Star Trek movies and proceeds to explain how each of his buddies clearly takes on each individual personality of the cast in the first movie (not the TV series), she makes sure to one-up him with details of our bike ride to the park to play soccer in the moonlight.
And for every cupcake, hamburger, party game, and goodie bag he puts forth, she's got an equally awesome story about walking Reynita, listening to the frogs at the park, and watching her bike reflectors light up with passing vehicle headlights.
And by 3/4 of the way home, my head is about to explode from the twin terror tête-à-tête...until...he gets to the toilet.
"So, the best part of the night," he says with his trademark smirk, "was their toilet."
"Their what?" I ask, as we round the corner past the house with the magnolia trees so fragrant I feel instantaneously transported back to the Garden District in New Orleans.
"The potty, Mom," he says, clearly translating now for the lesser species and snapping me out of my déjà vu.
"Yes, I understand, son, but what was so great about it?" -- fully aware that I just willingly and wontonly opened the door to a potential flood of boy birthday party bathroom humor...
"Well," he began, cocking his head slightly as he turned towards Saia, "it had all these buttons."
"Buttons?" she asks timidly, also well aware of his penchant for punning...
"Like a command center," he says.
"What were they for," she sidles up next to him.
"Oh, different things," he says, attempting nonchalance, but blatantly laying the bait.
"Did you push 'em?" she bites, so fully engaged now that they can barely put one foot in front of the other.
"Mmm-hmm," he says, smiling.
"Annnnnd?!" she gesticulates wildly.
"It squirted water," he says.
"Eww!!" she gasps. "It squirted water at you?! From the potty?!?!"
Quickly realizing he's about to lose her fascination to disgust, he stops walking to better explain with accompanying hand gestures.
"No, no," he says, "it's CLEAN water, like when you flush. It shoots up this little stream of water to your...(he glances over at me)...butoire (a made up Frenchified word we used when they were little to refer to their bottoms)."
She looks over at me immediately, knowing they were treading into territory verboten. Intent on hearing the end of this story myself -- without influencing the outcome, if possible -- I just nodded my silent assent for them to continue.
She turns back to him, as they begin walking slowing down the last hill, and he continues, "It's a soft spray. It doesn't go inside or anything," which, apparently, was a huge concern for her because it immediately put her at ease.
"Oh, so, what do the other buttons do?" she asks.
"Well, they pretty much all do the same kinda thing...just at...um...different places...and...um...different heights..."
"But what's it FOR?" she finally asks.
And I begin my very short explanation by alluding to that ridiculous toilet paper commercial with the family of bears with pieces of TP all stuck to their bottoms...
"So, anyway... how long were you in the bathroom, bubba?" I break in.
"Oh, I don't know," he said, "but Beckman had to come find me."
"Did you ask Max anything about the toilet? Did you even tell him you liked it?"
"Oh, no," he said, aggressively shaking
his head. "Not one person said anything about it all, but..."
"What?" she prods.
"Well, they all had this weird look on their face when they came out of there the first time."
"So...you know, son," I interject, "those toilets are actually called bidets. They're European..."
And the pun. Did not. Elude him.