The Greatest Inventor Of All Times

You know when you are hauling groceries from your car to your house and the weather is miserable and you really really don't want to have to make several trips, so you laden as many bags as you can on your arms and in your hands as humanly possible until it feels as though the bags are threatening to rip off your limbs and you can't feel your finger tips any more?

Last night. That.

I stood outside my retina-burning yellow front door, balancing a jug of milk on my hip while bags filled with groceries hung off both arms and several fingertips and stared at the door knob, knowing I couldn't twist it without losing my entire load. I momentarily debated setting everything down to open the front door but then I remembered I had children inside of the house so I made an adult decision.

I kicked the bottom of the door and shouted, "Open up now or I'm not feeding you for a week."

I expected someone to quickly rush to the door to help me like I've trained them to do. Instead I heard the faint sounds of shouting.


So I kicked the door a little harder, yelled a little louder and winced as I lost all feeling in my fingers as the heavy grocery bags started to turn my fingers a fun shade of purple.

The shouting suddenly stopped and seconds later, just as I was vowing to never grocery shop again, the bright yellow door swung open and Fric looked sheepish.

"Sorry Mom," she said as she just barely caught the milk jug before it fell to the floor. "We didn't hear you knock."

"Ya, because you two were fighting," I accused her as I gracelessly dropped all the sacks at my feet and watched a rogue can of tomatoes make a break for freedom.

Frac walked in and scooped up the can and grabbed a few bags. "No, we weren't fighting. We were ARGUING."

Right. My mistake for not differentiating between the two as I was having my limbs amputated by groceries.

"And just what were the two of you arguing about," I asked as I started cramming boxes of cereal into my messy pantry.

"Oh you know, just who was the most important inventor of all time was," my daughter responded.

Right. Because doesn't every pair of siblings have that argument? I know my brother and I totally used to fight over that very same historical question.

Oh wait. We didn't. We were too busy fist fighting and hauling each other around by a plunger attached to our abdomens. My children are weird and I'm oddly proud of that.

"I see. And just who is in the running for greatest inventor of all time?"

"Well I have a soft spot for Madame Curie but over all I think Leonardo DaVinci rocks," Fric offered as she opened the fridge to put the apples away.

"Uh huh. And who does Frac think is the greatest inventor of all time?" I asked right before stuffing a rogue Oreo cookie into my mouth. (What? There was only a few left in the bag. Someone had to eat them.)

"Nikola Tesla," he shouted from the laundry room.

"All very good choices," I replied as I tried to hide my cookie breath. "So why the arguing?"

"Because Frac only thinks Nikola Tesla is the best because the Oatmeal said so," my daughter huffed.

"And Fric only thinks Leonardo DaVinci is the best because she liked the movie Ever After!" my son countered back.

"Wait a second. How do you know about the Oatmeal?" I asked.

"Jeez Mom. I can read. And there's this little thing called the Internet. Maybe you've heard of it," my fourteen-year-old dead panned.

"Don't be cheeky. I just didn't know you read the Oatmeal." I stood there, kind of rocked for a second. I keep forgetting my kids know about the Internet.

"Ya, I read the Bloggess too. She's funny. You should meet her," he offered. Sincerely and innocently.

"I'll get right on that, I promise," I said as I stuffed the last Oreo into my mouth.

I have no idea who Jenny is, or why her and Deb are kissing me. Also? This may be the WORST picture of me ever.

"So settle the argument Mom. Who was the best inventor of all time in your opinion? Tesla or DaVinci?"

Crap. I hate when they come looking to me for intelligent answers. Wasn't it enough I gave them life and Honey Nut Cheerios?

I stalled for time by pouring myself a glass of milk and ran through my memory banks about everything I knew about each of the men in question.

They stood in front of me, blonde wildebeests, waiting for me to pick a side. As though my answer would be proof positive I loved one more than the other. I held up my finger to signal to wait as I chugged back my glass of milk.

I really hate milk.

Swallowing the last drop, I turned around, put my cup into the sink, took a deep breath and then turned back to face them.

"Okay, first," I pointed to Frac, "you need to know you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Even if it's from the Oatmeal. Whom I adore. Do your research and back it up with facts. Preferably found from somewhere other than Wikipedia."

Then I pointed to my daughter. "Secondly, seriously Fric? Ever After? You do realize of all the sources on DaVinci, that may be the very worst one, ever? Have I not taught you to have better tastes in movies than this? What next? You'll be quoting Nicholas Sparks for literary purposes?"

They took a second to alternately look indignant and slightly ashamed but only for a heartbeat.

"Fine. But who do you choose?" they asked.

I looked at them, their big blue eyes mirroring one another's, their father's face shining through each of their reflections and I shook my head.

"You're both wrong. The greatest inventor of all time was..."

I paused for dramatic effect...

"The caveman. He invented the wheel."

Simultaneously, as though they choreographed it, they both rolled their eyes at me and whined, "MOOOOOOOM."

"What? What's wrong with the caveman?" I asked as they walked away to resume helping put the groceries away.

"Just think of how different life would be if they hadn't have figured out that wheel? Betty Rubble never had it so good!!"

Where's a pigeon with laser beam eyes when you need one?