Auxiliary Spawn

It took about a week for me to find the fourth rubber spider.  By then, i had adopted a posture of “no response is the best response”, as every flame out on my part led to a repositioning of the spider elsewhere in the house.  If i ignored the rubber spider, it stayed put.
i fucking hate spiders. 
ZZ started dating my daughter late last summer, and he has adapted well to our quirky family.  Right down to the annoying practical jokes. 
For some reason*, he seems bent on making sure i like him.  He contributes as a “citizen of the household”, taking out the trash.  He adds to our raging discussions on social, political and economic issues.  He cooks – magical and wonderful creations spring forth from my kitchen, and there are often tasty leftovers in the fridge.  He tends bar.  Magical and wonderful creations spring forth from my liquor cart on occasion.
Shortly after he started spending time with us, we were awaiting truckloads of trailer park people before a family gathering.  He kept asking “Is there anything i can do to help?”  i thanked him, and let him know i had everything under control.  As soon as the first pod descended upon us, i started ordering him around, making him my kitchen bitch.  He was fantastic, and patient, and learned the fine art of shoveling food into the trailer park gullet…
He’s served as a mentor to The Boy, sharing experiences from his youth.  “Been there, done that, got the Iggy Pop T-shirt**”.  They have bonded on numerous occasions, including shared opportunities to jump out from behind doors and scare the living shit out of me.
He’s been there for me during some late night drama.  Sitting up with me, offering a hug and a shoulder.  Reliable, sturdy and intuitive. 
Last week, ZZ and The Girl let me know that he was working on a present for me.  No idea what to expect, i was a little edgy.  i figured spiders would be involved.  After work on Tuesday, The Girl said – “It’s done!  It’s in the pantry.” 
Opening the doors, i was stunned to find it cleaned, neatly organized and damn near empty.
“Mom, it was frustrating to look in there and see how crammed it was – but we never had anything to eat.  Now we can SEE that we don’t have anything to eat….”
Four trash bags full of expired cans of whatwasithinkingwheniboughtthis, rock-hard partially used bags of brown sugar, fossilized tubes of cake decorating icing.  He even rotated the stock*** so that the stuff that expires soonest is up front.
He’s settled into the role of “auxiliary spawn”.  But what he didn’t realize is that there is only one thing he really needs to do for me to like him…  Continue treating my daughter like a goddess, and we’ll get along fine. 
Oh, and enough with the fucking rubber spiders already…


* Fear?  Fear would be a good reason….
** The fabled “Iggy Pop” shirt is reported to live in my basement, where The Boy has resided.  It apparently serves as host to several million of my departed knuckle grandchildren.  i don’t go down there much.
*** Not that i’m going to be the one using things from the pantry, mind you.