Thursday, July 10, 2008

If you should find me crouching n@ked... a dark corner, muttering incoherently, covered in filth, scribbling manifestos on the walls with crayon stumps...let it be known that it was the children who drove me to it.

I tried to get him back to sleep, when he woke up after only 25 minutes of napping, causing me to leave my lunch mid-bite and my novel-in-progress mid-scene, and started screaming as though his pudgy little toes were being eaten one by one by a hideous monster with needle-sharp teeth. He popped up, giggling maniacally, every time I tried to get him to lie down again. Fine. We'll get up.

Twenty seconds later, give or take, he is a puddle of screeching fury. "Jabber, what happened?"

Jabberwock bursts into a screaming fit of equal or greater proportions. "He's touching my jet!" he wails. At least, I think that's what he was saying.

"So what did you do to him?" I am shouting now, too, since it's the only way to be heard. Oh, did I mention I am trying to pee at this moment?

"NOTHING!" Of course. Why do I even ask?

"MOM! Monkey's climbing the step stool!"

Oh, shit. This is not the step stool Monkey regularly climbs, the one the kids stand on to brush their teeth. This is the three-step huge step-stool that Jabberwock and I had been using to paint the mural in his room while Monkey was at daycare this morning. I hurry up and finish up in the bathroom and rush into the bedroom almost in time to catch Monkey as he pitches off the stool onto the floor.


"Stay up here!" I shout to Jabber, over the screams. "I can't handle you two being together for a while, and I'm going to try to nurse him back to sleep on the couch!" Monkey is convulsing in tears. Jabber protests his banishment with tears, but I give him a squeeze and head downstairs.

We settle into our spot on the couch, Monkey eagerly latching on and even closing his eyes. I hold my breath. I slowly raise a hand to nudge the touchpad on my laptop, hoping maybe to add a sentence or two to my draft. Eyes fly open angrily. "UNH! UNH!" Monkey begins beating me about the head and chest, pushing me away from him.

Now he doesn't want to nurse. He wants a cup of milk from the end table. He takes a sip, screams. Now he must have my coffee. I deflect him, and he throws himself on the floor. He demands pretzels, which I give him. He takes a bite, throws the rest of the bowl down. Screams. Jabber comes downstairs, shouting about how he promises he won't fight with the baby. Five seconds pass, and he is pushing Monkey over for getting too close to a block tower he built. Monkey screams, go figure.

In search of revenge for this loss of his baby dignity, Monkey does several devastating turns about the living room--a small but deadly tornado. He settles on the cord for my laptop, which he grips in both hands while glaring at me defiantly.

"Monkey, no! No, No, No!" I calculate quickly. Which can I reach first, Monkey or the keyboard? I leap toward the keyboard, just managing to push Control-S before he yanks out the plug, sending my dead-battery craptop into an instant blackout.

I sigh, start up the computer again (this will take about ten minutes, if I'm lucky), and check outside. Sigh. Still raining. This is going to be a looooong haul till bedtime, folks!


Shana said...

Ack! Did he ever go back to sleep? And I thought you were getting a new laptop?

I hope you all survived the afternoon! ;-)

liss n kids said...

My new laptop ships tomorrow. Yay! The sun is out, now, so maybe we'll head out for a walk or something. David should be home soon...I hope!

Amy Mullis said...

Take notes! Take notes! Today's temper tantrums are tomorrow's Chicken Soup stories.

Anonymous said...

I'm not laughing, really, I'm not! Okay, maybe just a little because it's all too familiar!

CDP said...

I have had more than one of those days. Once, when my children were that age, we were all sick, and the weather was miserable, a friend with grown children told me that "childhood goes by very quickly, but some of the days go verrrry slowly". Exactement.

Beverly said...

This might not seem helpful to you, but it helps me.
Sitting down to nurse, I'll think, "He's not going to fall asleep. He's going to nurse for awhile, wake up and fuss for the rest of the day."
Then if that happens, I feel smart. If it doesn't happen, I feel fortunate. "Expect the worst" sounds depressing, but maybe it's not?