I am tossing up the white flag.
I am not going to fight the truth anymore.
My children have gained complete control of my life. I no longer have the strength to fight it.
They have outwitted, outsmarted, and outplayed me.
They have lodged a well planned attack of psychological warfare in order to get away with~well, pretty much everything over the last 48 hours.
The weekend started out okay...I was looking forward to a nice long one, with everyone, including Nick, at home. We really had no specific plans...and that was fine with me!
On Friday night, after trying desperately to find something for dinner that everyone liked, I made the call to go out. It is something we rarely do, knowing full well the potential for disaster.
We traipsed into the restaurant, really the only one in town, and were greeted pleasantly(I love that) even though I surmised that every waitress watching us follow the hostess to our table prayed silently that we were not being led to her section.
The first booth would prove too small for the 5 of us..."Could we sit at this table?"
"Will you need booster seats?"
"No.Yes." My husband and I answered simultaneously.
Our waitress, I'll call her "Sue," stood smiling at us, never indicating a shred of frustration.
"I guess for Tyler."
"I want one, too!" Kiki whined.
"You really don't need one. You're tall enough." I explained.
"I'm show-it?" Ty looked dejected.
"You are growing every day! Lets see if they have chocolate milk!"
Sue brought a booster seat, Kiki pouted.
Now, here is Kiki's secret weapon: She doesn't just pout. She can summon full-fledged crocodile tears instantly. I have never seen anything like it. Her voice wavers with the shake of a soap opera actress. Like she's going to have a break down, but holds her composure and valiantly attempts to be strong. I gets me every time.
Sue brought another booster seat. Tears vanished. Kiki wins. (Thanks, Sue).
"Can you bwing colowing books?"
"Can I get gum?"
By the way, Nick's eye had now swollen to the point that it was hard to look at,(see prior post), much less hard for him to hold open, and he was trying to push his millionth loose tooth out with his tongue, he said he couldn't help it. He just sat quietly, looking a bit weird, the silent victim of this motley crew.
"Wine for you, Mum?" Sue asked, smiling sympathetically. Sue was a mum, too.
"Please." I answered without hesitation.
"White or red?"
Our dinner went smoothly: hot dogs cut, taken out of the roll, ketchup replaced, Tyler flirting with every female that passed our table, multiple trips to the rest rooms, one spilled glass of wine(my fault), fights over the coloring books, gumballs from the machine bouncing across the floor, they were the "reward," you know. Dinner out. I was beat.
By Saturday Poor Nicks eye was worse. Icing, Benadryl...nothing was making it better. He looked like Rocky. Now there was a blistering rash on top of the swelling. Lovely. All he really felt like doing was playing his Nintendo...he knows he is only supposed to have it for an hour every day, but he really couldn't do much else, and it was the last days of vacation...I wasn't about to have him out doing yard work or folding clothes...after all, he looked awful. Nintendo would be played ALL day. Nick wins.
Ty and Kiki are masters at knowing when I am distracted, and I was watching over the eye situation like a hawk...
"Can we go outside?" They asked in sweet, harmonic unison.
"Yes. Just stay in the front with Daddy."
"Okay!" They skipped off, Kiki in her crazy knee socks that she insisted on wearing, and Ty with his shoes on the wrong feet. He insists he likes them like that.
Insisting. That is one of their strongest suits. I could argue with Kiki for an hour about why striped knee socks and crocks weren't the best look, but she would insist that it's "adorable," and really, it is. Kiki wins.
Tyler will struggle for 20 minutes to put his own shoes on. He adamantly refuses help, and ultimately, end up with them on the wrong feet. I could argue with him to let me help him, but, in order to avoid his two-legged tantrums, I back away. Tyler wins.
This past Saturday was particularly beautiful. Since Chris was home, I was able to take Casey for a walk. I consider Casey one of my children, and firmly believe he needs one on one time with mommy, just like the rest. The walks are perfectly timed at 25 minutes, everyone wins.
I should have known that 25 minutes is EXACTLY enough time for at least ONE of my children to destroy something.
I came up the driveway, happily out of breath from keeping up with a happier dog, and then saw the devastation.
You see, Tyler LOVES "boy" things. Twains and twucks, wace-caws and dirt. When any two are combined, Tyler is in absolute rug-rat heaven. And there is plenty of dirt in my front flower planter. At least, there WAS. Now it had turned into Tyler's demolition derby, and my once even flower bed was now a mountainous, messy field full of constwuction vehicles and twains. Dirt was EVERYWHERE! Over the steps, down the front walk, in piles on the stone walls of the planter itself.
And Tyler in his mismatched sneakers and brand new sweatshirt was COVERED.
He looked thrilled until he saw me.
"Are you happy at me? Or mad?" He asked.
"TYLER!!!!!What did you doooooo?!?!?!??"
"I was gonna build a bwidge! But you came home too fast." He said, trying to cry, but not as successfully as his sister. "I'm saw-wee."
"No Tyler. You are NOT sorry. You are sorry I caught you!"
I knew I was over-reacting a bit, but c'mon! I now had to clean THIS mess AND clean the inside of the house AND do laundry AND worry about the EYE. UGHGHGHGHGHGH.
Tyler went about his business, and hopped on his scooter with Kiki.
Later in the afternoon, I went to the grocery store. Feeling pretty proud that I got out of there for less than $100 for once, I was looking forward to going home to my now clean house, and the calming scent of the dryer drying my LAST load of laundry.
The house was pretty quiet...I could hear Kiki playing dolls with Stacy in her room, Nick was still buried in his Nintendo...Chris was still out working in the yard.
"I'm SAW-WEEEE!" I heard from upstairs. I dropped the bags and ran, two steps at a time, to the room that was unmistakably his favorite. The Bathroom.
Why is it his favorite? Because it has two sinks that he can fill by putting washcloths over the drain. Because it flushes. Because he can open drawers and find toothpaste and hair gel and Vaseline to use as "paint" on the mirrors. And because he has discovered that he can "wash" his trucks and trains in the toilet.
He was soaked. The floor was soaked. But doggone it, his vehicles were clean. They had to be! I had spent an hour before scrubbing the toilets, tubs and sinks.
"Tyler! You know better!"
He did. And went to his room without another word, as I fished out 27 mini-trains, trucks and various excavators from the toilet bowl. Gross.
As I sat on the floor in front of the clean-again toilet. Tyler appeared in the doorway.
Darn it, he is cute.
He slowly approached me.
"Are you happy at me, yet?"
"Yes, Tyler. I am happy at you. But DON'T DO THIS AGAIN!"
Then he pulled out his weapon of mass destruction.
The poochie is a kiss that Tyler invented and named. He gently took my face in his hands and kissed my nose.
"There. THAT makes you happy. Huh, Mama?"
"Yes Tyler, Poochies make me very happy."
Off he went. Tyler wins.
The last in this sequence of events is the one that I finally realized just how smart and calculating this mini team of bandits were.
You see, they use tactics that I like to refer to as, "MacGiver-ing." Meaning, they build gadgets out of household things to get a hold of items that may very well be out of their reach. For example, Kiki often uses here headbands as lassos to hook my hand mirror, or lipstick, or necklaces from my "hiding" places. Nothing is out of her reach now.
The other day I walked in and she was standing on an ottoman, with a long hook made from Tyler's train tracks, trying to get the remote control that had slipped down behind the t.v.! Clever!
They have now become accustomed to stacking stools upon each other in order to get into the DVD cabinet. They know that THIS is a NO-NO.
I was fixing dinner and Kiki came into the kitchen...
"Mom, You are so beautiful."
"Well thank you! That is so nice to say!"
"Dinner smells DEEEEE-licous!"
"Sheesh, Kenz...that's good! If we all eat a good dinner, I have a surpr..."
"Wats!" Tyler exclaimed.
I appeared at the top of the stairs to find Tyler sitting in a pile of DVDs.
"KEEEEEEEK! You were supposta distwack her!"
OOOOOOHHHHHH! NOW I get it. They are like a mini Bonnie and Clyde!
"What are you doing!?"
"I wanted to watch Thomas!"
"SO you sent your sister up to distract me?"
Kiki started crying. The gig was up.
I cleaned up the mess. Put the stacked benches back. Wordlessly,(I find thats most effective) I went back to making dinner.
I turned around to footsteps.
It was Tyler.
I bent down to his open arms...
Life is normal again, Nick and I spent Sunday morning in the E.R...turns out he has poison ivy on top of the black-fly bite...the meds seem to be helping, Chris and I are back to work, Kiki is off to school, and Tyler...well, Tyler is playing happily in...my planter dirt.
I wish for every mistake I have ever made, or will make in the future, I could fix with a poochie. Or soap opera tears. Or a big, fat, swollen, blistering eyeball.
In any case, they know what they're doing. Good for them. But, I am gathering strength, and I am onto their game plan...
Bring it on, kiddos. Mommy is making a comeback.
Thanks for reading.