|Getting ready for a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry|
Take Father's Day for example. We skipped breakfast, forgot our stroller, and spent an extremely pleasant and peaceful day at the Museum of Science and Industry. We even entered AND exited the children's area (filled with balls and water and blocks and CRAYONS for God's sake) without incident. In fact, the only two outbursts of unhappy noises from our children were both from SI, once when I forced her to abandon her train watching (this lasted about five seconds until she realized that there were airplanes over her head) and once when she took a massive spill on the Main Street of Yesterday and both knocked and scraped her head on the cobblestones.
She then sat in a big girl chair and ate her bagel like a champ.
So, you see, I have very little patience when my children start acting like anything less than easy children.
I'm a very busy lady. I have to leave the house in ninety minutes to get to a class that I didn't manage to finish my homework for (thankfully it's optional) and upon my return I will have to quick as a bunny do all the homework for tomorrow's class (which has to be turned in online before midnight). So you might be asking yourself, "Why did all that homework wait? Why isn't it done already?"
So glad you asked! For the last three hours, I was supposed to have "study" time. This is the time I have previously referred to as, "nap time."
But, as every time my children are sharing a cold (thanks, M), the don't want to nap.
No, instead they want to torture me. By inflicting horrific psychological torments on each other. This is what I imagine was happening in the room.
|SI and DD's frog- foreshadowing|
DD opens her eyes, making certain that Becoming SuperMommy has left the room. In a flash she has thrown off the soft cotton sheet that was tucked lovingly around her middle, and jumps up to peer over the side of her crib at her sister in the next bed over.
SI doesn't stir. She is a sleepy child, and the morning was full of games and merriment. She needs her rest.
DD laughs at her sister. In a jumble of consonants and squeals, she shouts something that can only be interpreted as, "Come and play some more! I know a GREAT game!"
SI ignores her.
DD shouts, "If you won't come play with me willingly, I'll MAKE you come and play!" She grabs a book off the shelf (requiring a superhuman agility in order to bend her arm in an astounding seven directions between her shoulder and fingertips), and bounces across the bed to take aim.
She throws the book directly at SI's head.
Fortunately for SI, she prefers to sleep on her stomach. Her eyes are safe. But now she's alert- she's just been given a book! Her favorite of all objects! She pulls herself to sitting, leans against the far side of her crib to face her sister, and looks her in the eyes.
From this angle, DD must stay on her very tippy toes to see what SI is doing. With her nose pressed up against the slightly taller edge of SI's crib, she works her legs madly to get a slightly taller foothold. SI grins at her and opens the book.
DD is beside herself with anticipation. She squeals, she laughs, in her incomprehensible half grubling/half English patois she screams, "Read it to me, SI! Read me the book! I know it's a good book! I LOVE that book! Show me the pictures!"
SI doesn't look up. She settles the book onto her knees, and begins pointing to images on the page that DD cannot see.
|DD, unaware of the misery about to unfold|
SI points to a cow, and moos. It's more than DD can stand. As she jumps as high as she can, aided by the springiness of her mattress, her foot slips between the bars of her crib. She comes crashing down, her leg slipping farther between the slats, until her thigh is excruciating pinched not only between the bars but also between both cribs. She begins to scream in pain.
Her doting mother, unable to study well with all this noise coming from the next room, rushes in to see what has happened. It takes a full three minutes of tugging and bending, but she frees DD from the clutches of the evil crib. SI uses this opportunity to hide the book beneath a blanket. Books are not allowed in the cribs during nap time.
As Becoming SuperMommy rocks DD and coos to her, strokes her hair and wipes her eyes, SI stands to peer over the side of her crib. "Mama!" she shouts, "Mama we're not sleeping! See how much more fun it is when we don't sleep?" DD, forgetting the misery of a moment ago joins in the refrain. "We're still awake! We can play!" Becoming SuperMommy lays them both down, shushes them, and again leaves the room. It is now 1:09pm.
This time, SI is the first one up. She runs to the edge of he crib to peer at her sister. "DD! Let's play another game! Let's trade all the toys!"
DD doesn't hesitate. At once she hands over her blanket, her lovey, and the crayon she had cleverly hidden in her pants. SI hands over the treasured book, her lovey, and her blanket, and they both laugh uproariously. They have tricked their mother, they are awake and having fun.
But they are tired, and standing on one's tippy toes is hard work. SI yawns, prompting a louder peal of laughter from her sister. She ignores this and lays down again. All alone in her crib.
DD, who has somehow managed to "win" the trading game by accumulating all of the possessions, gets angry. "I'm not done!" She screams at her sister. "Play more!" SI ignores her.
DD begins to throw the objects at her sister again. First, the blankets. This has no effect, as the blankets only serve to make SI more comfortable.
Then, DD throws the crayon. This hits SI squarely in the forehead, not only causing her to shout out in irritation, but also leaving a blue mark on her face.
|SI, again with DD's frog in the background|
And now, DD throws the treasured loveys.
For almost a minute, nothing. And then it gradually dawns on DD... her lovey has gone where she cannot reach it. She is utterly, profoundly alone. She begins to wail.
"Frog!" she calls, tears and snot streaming down her face, "No, Frog, No! Frog! Come back to me!" Or so it sounds to her. To her mother, still on the first page of her reading thanks to the unceasing noisome chaos, it sounds like, "Fra! No no no no no Fra! Me me me me me me!"
She begins to call to her sister. "SI! Please! Have mercy! Give me the frog!"
Si reaches up a hand to feel her bruised head and shoulder. She can't see the blue mark, but she knows it's there. She slowly sits up and returns to her seat at the end of the bed, were DD must strain to see her. And then she grabs the frog.
As DD watches, wailing and pleading, she spreads the frog across her lap. Lovingly, she dances her fingers across its soft green spots.
DD's wails become immeasurably stronger. "Please! Have mercy! Give me the frog!"
SI lifts the frog to her mouth, and staring directly into DD's face, she kisses it.
In her abject horror and misery, DD devolves into a a baboon,and Becoming SuperMommy takes this as her cue to enter the room once more. It is now 2:21 in the afternoon.
In one swift motion, she snatches DD's frog from SI's grasp, and replaces it with SI's own pink frog. She lays her children back down, and SI's eyelids instantly flutter and droop. DD is inconsolable. Her breathing hitches and she sniffs and splutters as she is tucked back in, her hair stroked, her tears wiped away. And then- horror of horrors- her mother leaves her there.
She stands up as the door closes. "NO!" she screams, "No, Mommy! Come back! Come back! NOOOOOO!"
She looks for something to throw at the door. Surely, a thump on the door would alert her mother to the gravity of the situation as no amount of screaming could. But before leaving, Becoming SuperMommy had taken away the book and the crayon! What was left?
With a Herculean effort, DD flings the frog at the closed door.
And again it dawns on her. Now the frog is gone.
|DD in Becoming SuperMommy's birthday shoes|
Lucky for her, Becoming SuperMommy is just standing banging her head into the wall outside her bedroom door. She swoops in, returns the stuffed amphibian, and once again disappears behind the door.
DD, stunned and relieved, lays down with her frog and is silent. Perhaps even sleeping.
...and Becoming SuperMommy, stands in front of her open refrigerator door, trying to decide if at 3:20 in the afternoon, when she has class in ninety minutes and she has mountains of unfinished homework to do, there's time for her to have a martini.
Instead of a martini? I get to go find out why SI's crying.