Okay! Time to write my article. The wife is working nights, which means I’m home with the kids, but how hard can it be? The readers need to hear my blockbuster commentary on… wait… no, honey, we can’t have pancakes again for dinner. Because we had them last night. Because we have to eat different things. Because that’s how we stay healthy. Because being healthy is good for you?
Okay, back to the article. No, no little guy, we don’t hit the cat with a wooden spoon. He doesn’t like that. Actually it’s a miracle that this cat wandered into our house a few Halloweens ago (a black cat, no less) and he’s been so good with you kids. I’m not sure if I’d be able to sit stone-faced like this cat does when a one-year old cracks him across the face like that, let alone an animal with five knives in each hand.
Where was I? Oh yes, the article. Well, it seems like… oh boy, something just came across the news… he did what… seriously?! How is that okay? How is that even legal? Does it even matter? Do I need to start building a bunker in my backyard?
Focus, Eric, Focus! You’ve got to write this column! What’s that? You have to go potty? Okay, I’ll open the door for you. Gotta keep it closed, you know, or your little brother runs in here and tries to eat the shampoo. For a brief second, I wonder what effect that might have coming out of his backside… I have to admit, it’d be funny to watch bubbles come flying out of there. All done, kiddo? Did you wash your hands? Okay, go wash your hands. No, don’t get a drink, you need to… no, don’t just run the soap under the water, rub it in on your hands!
So now you’re running the soap under the water and rubbing your hands on the water instead of the soap. We’ve got a rebel, here. What? Oh, dinner… I hadn’t even thought about it, really… do you want this? How about this? Oh come on, I know you like this… no? Well then… peanut butter and jelly it is. At least there was fruit involved, once upon a time? And peanut butter… there’s protein, everyone’s always going on about protein these days, right? And look, the half sandwich you now refuse to eat works great for feeding your brother. At least most of the peanut butter makes it in his mouth and only part of the jelly is now being used as hair product. That’s a win in my book.
Bath time! Youngest first: sit down. No, sit down. It’s slippery. You’ll fall. Sit…. sit… please don’t eat the soap. Oh, that’s nice, you like getting your hair washed… for about 15 seconds, and then it’s back to trying to crawl out of the tub, wet and slippery like a greased up, giggling watermelon. Throw on a towel, get the diaper, jammies, bottle…. and bedtime for one. Now, it’s bathtime for two. Good job getting undressed, but you forgot to do the shirt… no, you can’t climb into the tub with your shirt still on… no I’m not getting in the tub with you… don’t splash. Okay, don’t splash too big, keep it in the tub… why did you splash out of the tub? Tilt your head back, I need to wash your hair… no, back… now it’s in your eyes.
Let’s finish this quickly: towel, jammies, bed? Not so lucky. No, we can’t watch TV. No, I’m not going to give you a treat for going on the potty. Well, maybe a little treat. Oh, you don’t want that treat, well excuse me. What’s that? It’s about bedtime? I couldn’t tell from the oncoming tantrum. Upstairs, turn on the fan. You don’t want the fan on… because you’re too warm? But… you know what, forget it. Fan off, read a book, tell a pretend story about volcanoes (volcanoes are this month’s obsession, last month was planets) give her a blanket… she doesn’t want that blanket. Give her another blanket. Not that one, either. Give a hug and kiss, move to leave, get accused of not giving a hug and kiss, give another hug and kiss, and leave despite the protests that last about 10 minutes before she’s asleep, too.
Silence. The house is at rest. Head, meet pillow, but before I fall asleep… wasn’t there something I was supposed to write?