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How long before they grasp “special”

Submitted by on Monday, 15 December 2008 No Comment

The guys get that Halloween is special — it doesn’t happen every day.

They understand that Christmas is once a year, despite Big Guy’s recent pleas to extend it and Boots’ fears that he’s missed it.

Much beyond that, they’re having trouble getting the concept of “special” and that’s a problem.

Maybe it’s because we make too many special things — balloons and decorated cakes — routine events. Maybe it’s because we had “special” two nights in a row this weekend, and by the second night they’d assumed that a “special” sleepover with a cousin was a norm.

Whatever the reason, night two turned ugly. Head-exploding, kid-crying, child-shrieking ugly.

The trouble started close to bedtime, as most serious trouble does around here. We’d navigated the day playing games, painting and baking cookies. The cookies might actually have kicked things off, because they diverted the cousin’s attention from the guys. How dare she pay attention to something besides them.

As I cleaned the kitchen, a riot broke out in the living room. Boots screaming — that’s his default position when he’s tired, and his normal bedtime was closing in — and Big Guy shouting at Boots to be quiet. As if raising your voice to get someone to be quiet is going to help in the long run. Not that I’ve done that.

That storm passed, but a bed-wrestling bout blew in. Even that wouldn’t have been as bad if it hadn’t involved deliberately scattering sheets, blankets and pillows.

Bed straightened, children wrestled into it, inevitable jockeying for position then alleged quiet time. Except flying elbows and poked ribs kept that from happening. Meanwhile, my blood pressure climbed at the thoughts of work going undone while I refereed.

I started throwing threats. “If this doesn’t stop right now, one of you is going to sleep on the patio, one in the garage and one in the bathtub.”

“I want the garage!” Big Guy claimed, making me wonder if he knows the Santa presents are hidden there.

It was another example my weird sense of humor working against me. When my aunt said “eat it or wear it” when we were kids, we didn’t think she’d really dump pancakes over our heads but we weren’t quite sure so we ate. Seems the guys have my number.

Next time they won’t. Next time, the first rising of a riot is going to send a guy to his room and a cousin out the door. Which will, of course, end the evening in tears, lengthen that particular riot and send my blood-pressure even higher. And it also might require help from SWAT.

I’m hoping it will be a short-term loss, long-term gain.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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