Last night I reached the saturation point. My house was filled with children last week. My niece was here, two of Jenny’s girls, my children, Nancy’s child and maybe some other children that just wandered in at random, attracted by the mayhem. It was as if a flock of locusts descended and they pillaged my pantry and raided the refrigerator and left destruction in their wake. Empty Gatorade bottles piled up everywhere, tripping the unsuspecting. Empty Doritos bags littered the living room. Don’t even get me started on the basement.
But yesterday, the house slowly emptied out, leaving only me, the niece and my own offspring. I heaved a sigh of relief. I love having a house full of kids, but it is HARD WORK!!! Just keeping up with the garbage they produce is a full time job, never mind the laundry and the cooking!!
So because niece has been so good and helpful all week, we went to the mall last night, just the two of us. Amy was going to go, but Tom made the mistake of asking her to get him a pillowcase. She went upstairs and returned with a Barbie pillowcase. Tom is camping with the boy scouts this weekend, and he understandably did not approve of a pink, princessy Barbie pillowcase. She subsequently began howling at the unfair burden he had placed upon her by asking her to locate a pillowcase. He insisted she go up and bring another one , so she stomped back upstairs. She returned thre minutes later with a flannel pillowcase decorated with Mickey Mouse and Goofy frolicking in the snow. He nixed this one as well. She then threw herself on the kitchen floor, moaning, so we left here there. She might have actually been glued to the floor by a puddle of spilled syrup but who cares.
So niece and I went to the mall and had a fabulous time. She was a bit worried at first, since Tom and I have been fighting about money for the last two days, but after I flashed my credit cards at her, she got into the spirit of the thing. I only got a couple of phone calls. One was John informing me that one of the dogs had bitten a neighbor child on the toe. Since the child was in the process of kicking the dog, I decided to disregard the incident. I would bite too if someone was trying to kick me. The second call was the goddess, whining that no one would scoop her any mint chocolate chip ice cream. She believes it is her Constitutional right to have mint chocolate chip ice cream daily and someone else must scoop it into the bowl. I told her I would be home shortly and I was bringing her something from the mall, so she desisted.
So imagine my surprise when John and I took off this morning to purchase band shoes and he said “you know, that whole fight last night wasn’t my fault.”
I looked at him. “What fight?
“You know, the epic fight between me and Amy and the goddess.”
I looked at him blankly. “Huh?” I asked intelligently.
Apparently, because I had not left dinner instructions, John designated himself as head chef. I am very grateful to him for that. When I left, I did not care if they ate nothing but stale cereal and rat cheese. I was completely over the notion that it is my responsibility to feed them.
Anyway, John made mac and cheese for himself and the goddess and he made seven chicken nuggets for Amy. But after he made them, he tried to take one. Personally, I’m on his side in this issue. He made the nuggets, he should have first choice of the nuggets. I think this is pretty much SOP world-wide. But Amy felt that possession is 9/10 of the law and that they were her nuggets to do with as she saw fit. And she did not see the need to share them with her brother.
Can you imagine these two peasants bringing this issue before the queen, she sitting benevolently on her throne and gently sorting them out? Well, the queen was not there, so Amy grabbed the ketchup and squirted it at John. He retaliated. “I didn’t hit her mom, I swear, but there was ketchup on my hand so I just kind of did this…” and he demonstrated giving her a hard clap on the back.
Well, apparently the goddess was observing all this and when John hit Amy, it became too much for her. So she grabbed the ketchup bottle, and chased John into the corner and gave it a good squirt. Ketchup splattered all over the wall, but fortunately it missed John.
As he was relating the story, I was fighting not to laugh. I can imagine the goddess grabbing the ketchup and stalking him through the kitchen and then squirting with all her might. I can imagine the looks of horror as the ketchup slowly ran down the kitchen wall and my children’s lives flashing before their eyes as they took in the destruction. I can seem them all, working as a unit, to clear away the ketchup before I got home. It sounds a lot like a Hitchcock movie, with the perpetrators cleaning up the crime scene before Jimmy Stewart gets there.
Well I decided to let it go and not bother lecturing anyone. After all, at least they worked it out without bothering me. And it explained why the pictures on the kitchen wall were askew (apparently they were in the line of fire when the ketchup bomb went off!). But I have already ordered a nanny cam off the internet and I am having it hooked up tomorrow. So next time I can catch the mayhem on video and reap the rewards on America’s Funniest Home Videos.