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9to5to9: Calgon take them away – far, far away

Submitted by on Monday, 10 November 2008 No Comment

Some days I don’t understand why the authorities frown on duct taping kids and locking them in the closet.

Days like today.

Days when Big Guy rousts me at the crack of 9 a.m. with an ear-shattering “Cousin’s coming over at 10!” and the screaming doesn’t stop for 12 hours.

I’d actually awakened three hours earlier to Little Guy’s insistent thumps on my chest. “I’m hungry. Want bwekfes. Gimme cake.”

Happily, Little Guy agreed to resnuggle after bwekfas. I thought I was clear for the morning, because we usually free float through Sundays on the sofa bed.

That was before the cousin alert came. Arrggghh. Jump out of sofa bed, jam three people into clothes and make sofa bed disappear in less than an hour. Sounds do-able until you factor in Little Guy, who’d rather run butt naked all day.

Clothing accomplished, cousin at the door. Roughly 4.6 minutes of peace followed until Little Guy decided to have the vapors as faster trains kept bumping his loaded-down engine on the railway that had replaced the sofa bed as the living-room centerpiece. I realized noon was nearing and Little Guy hadn’t eaten since bwekfas.

Lunch accomplished. Roughly 4.6 minutes of peace followed until I tried to check my email for the first time all day. Computer and caffeine withdrawal were weighing heavy. I made coffee, but no one heard a Tweet out of me until 8:30.

As I scanned my inbox, I remembered I’d promised Little Guy blueberry pie. He’s been asking all week, though I don’t know why. He tends to love pie mostly in theory, so I feared I was wasting my time. But a promise is a promise.

I went to the kitchen, where water from the refrigerator dispenser mingled with mud from the backyard. I saw a green cup on the table and knew who did it: the kid obsessed with green. “BIG GUY!” I wailed. I wasn’t using my indoor voice.

He slunk in as I glared. “What happened here?”


“Did you have an accident? If you did, you need to clean it up.”

Sincere head shakes. “Not me.”

“Hey, are you finished with your water?” Cousin asked.

Big Guy shifted to default “busted” tactics, blaming me, Little Guy and global warming for the muddy flood.

Mopping accomplished, roughly 4.6 minutes of peace followed. Then Big Guy mentioned that he’d “borrowed” a game from Cousin’s bedroom Friday night when she wasn’t around and he had no idea what Little Guy had done with it.

Hysteria from normally sane Cousin. “How could you? I love that game. I can’t believe you took it out of my room.”

Big Guy blamed Little Guy, Dad and global warming for the lost game. Hysterical Cousin had to leave without it. I shuttled the guys to my room and turned on Noggin, hoping it’d trick them into a nap.

Roughly 5.6 minutes of peace followed as I tried to make the pie. In case you’re wondering, crust recipes from cookbooks older than I am, that call for “lard or hydrogenated shortening,” don’t work with zero transfat Crisco.

Little Guy sneaked out of the bedroom, whimpering “I’m hungry.” That might or might not have been true. He says “I’m hungry” these days when trying to avoid sleep, so it’s hard to tell.

I can tell you, though, that there was no peace for the rest of the evening.

The Great Broccoli Imbroglio saw both guys griping about vegetables in macaroni and cheese. Little Guy wanted his separately; Big Guy didn’t want them at all.

Little Guy did head-spinning switches between loving and hating baked chicken, adoring and abhorring macaroni and cheese and desiring and despising blueberry pie. Big Guy heckled. Little Guy never touched his pie.

At 8:50 p.m., I finally Tweeted: “The guys quit screaming for first time today about 4.6 minutes ago. Only sound now is fingers on keyboard. Lovin’ it.”

The full moon is four days off. I think I’ll eat the rest of Little Guy’s blueberry pie and add duct tape to the shopping list.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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