Tommy comes storming into the family room where I’m sitting with my book, trying to forget that I have small minds to mold and little bodies to keep healthy. He’s all in a huff, and then I see Laurie running right behind him. ‘Lord, here we go’, I think to myself while also wondering ‘why can’t they just pick up a book and get lost with me?’ Oh yes, I remember, because they’re lunatics.
“MOM, WHY IS SHE ALWAYS BUGGING ME? EVERY SINGLE DAY SHE IS BUGGING ME! SHE WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Now in his defense, he did just spend a couple of hours with her rolling Play Dough, watching Minecraft video’s online, and even playing a couple rounds of Candyland. He even let her help him unload the dishwasher. (Though I think he only allowed that so he could boss her around.) I couldn’t blame him for being sick of her. Laurie talks a lot, and she asks a lot of questions. And unfortunately Tommy’s been blessed with my lack of patience.
“I JUST WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU!” Laurie screams in her defense. It’s a crappy defense, but it’s all she’s got. I can’t blame her, either. With Tommy being back in school, she’s stuck playing with little Jack all day. Or she’s stuck playing with me which I know she doesn’t like cause I’m all about playing ‘who can fold the towels the straightest’ and ‘pick-up ponies’ and ‘which vegetable tastes the best?’ Yeah, I just realized how bad I suck.
I turn on my impartial judge voice and say, “Maybe it’s time you take a break from each other for a little bit. Laurie, you go find something to do and leave Tommy alone. After supper you can play in his room again for 1 hour and then it will be bath time.”
This seems reasonable to everyone except…well…the kids. They both groan. One falls to the floor. The other bursts into sobs.
“BUT I NEVER EVER GET TO GO INTO TOMMY’S ROOM!”
“BECAUSE YOU SCRATCH YOUR BUTT!”
“I SAW YOU DO IT, YOU GROSS BABY!”
“ENOUGH!” Now they’ve got me screaming, “Laurie, you’ll get to go to Tommy’s room later. Tommy, everyone scratches their butt, but if it will make you feel better I’ll make her wash her hands before she goes in there. Capeesh?!”
They both mumble under their breath and start to walk away when Tommy says, “I don’t think everyone scratches their butt.”
“WELL I DO!” then I actually scratched my butt to prove my point.
This makes both of them laugh through their teary eyes. I think for a moment, ‘Damn, I’m good.’ But then Laurie copies something Tommy was doing and it all starts up again.
“STOP COPYING ME! JEESH, YOU RUIN MY LIFE!”
“NO YOU RUINED MY LIFE AND I HATE YOU!”
“HOW COULD I RUIN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU’RE THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!”
“YOU’RE THE WORST PERSON IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!”
Tommy slams his door in Laurie’s face, but then quickly changes his mind, throws the door open and pops his head out, “I’VE GOT TWO WORDS FOR YOU! SHUT AND UP! SHUT UP!”
Laurie, who is actually Queen of the Last Word, screams at his door, “AND I’VE GOT TWO WORDS FOR YOU! YA AND EW! YOU!”
And that was it. He was in his room. She went to her room. I went back to reading. All was well.
Now that I think of it, a lot of their fights end this way…in silence! Perhaps I should get them to argue more often.
“Oh Toooommy! Laurie just put her finger up her nose and then touched your side of the kitchen table.”
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