In order to get into preschool, my sons were required to follow a two step command. At the age of fourteen now, I want to know what the hell happened.

Yesterday, I asked Kyle, “Hey, you going downstairs?”

“Yeah.”

“Can you bring this down and put it on the coffee table? Thanks.”  And I handed him a red Netflix envelope. A two-step command, not any more complex than, “Pick up the blue truck and put it in the toybox next to the wall.”

Yet, less than twenty minutes later, I went downstairs to find the very same Netflix envelope not only on the floor, but on the floor under his desk with one leg of his chair resting on top of it.

That’s right, Netflix. We’re those people.

I mean, how is this possible? How did we become those people? How does a bright red envelope not only end up on the floor, but on the floor with a desk chair paperweight on top of it? Did Kyle think the envelope might try to escape? Fly away? Unionize the cats? (The movie was Norma Rae.)

I really don’t want to know what goes through the mind of a fourteen year-old boy, because I’m afraid it has way too much to do with fourteen year-old girls, although I do wish I could bottle that loping, unhurriedness with which they do everything. It’s as though they live their lives on the inside of a lava lamp. Perhaps that’s the trouble. It took him so long to get down to the basement he forgot his two-step command.

Fortunately, the DVD wasn’t damaged, but still, I’m wondering with some trepidation: Do colleges require two-step commands?

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