When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought it would be nice to have a girl. And then I remembered how girls were a strange package deal. They were cute candidates for dress up, adding bows and frills to just about everything. I completely forgot about the immense amount of unnecessary drama that was included in that cute package. The parental instructions don’t inform of massive, limitless meltdowns for absolutely no reason, crying because the sun was too hot or attitudes that were accompanied by pouting, arms crossed and body language suited for “The Nanny.”
Girls can also be very messy. No, I don’t mean the messy where you have to force them to clean or wash. Messy, as in drama! I was on vacation, and while there, the friend with whom I stayed was invited to her girlfriend’s house. I accompanied her on the trip, and after being there for a while, we could hear the screaming of “Stop it!” coming from a room at the rear of the house. The mother of the two did what most of us do, and shouted for her two kids, one boy and the other a girl, to quit doing whatever it was that was beginning to irritate her.
We heard it again.
“Stop iiiit!” This time, it was followed by a few whimpers that resembled a small cry.
When no one physically appeared at the door, she screamed out louder, “You’re hurting meeee!”
The mother jumped up, walked to one room and saw her son sitting alone on the floor playing with his trucks. She walked to the room next to it and realized her daughter was sitting in the corner with a doll. The little angel’s back was turned, so her mother waited to see if this was a game she was playing.
“Stop, it Tyler! Mommmmyyyy!!!!” The fake tears turned to real tears and she worked herself into a fit. Her mother went into the room with arms folded.
“What’s wrong, Christina?” She couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
“Tyler keeps hitting me! He ran into the other room!!! Waaaaahhh!!!”
“Christina, you have been sitting here all this time and Tyler has not touched you. I have been standing here watching you. Now, you are going to apologize to him for trying to get him in trouble! And you better not make a sound!”
Defeated in her attempts, she walked with her mom to the next room, where the unsuspecting Tyler sat up, ready to watch her eat humble pie.
The same type of dramatic exchange takes place in my home on a daily basis. I promise you, I have boys. They are supposed to do the normal kicking, spitting, fighting, boxing and occasional biting. I get that. What I can’t wrap my brain around is the tattling. I have tried to explain to my youngest that his list of friends is going to be significantly shorter than his brother’s because he tells it all. On the bright side, nothing gets by me, because he will always provide a full account, with a few glorified details of his own, of course.
I was tired one day, as I usually am, and the boys were doing their usual acrobats on my couches. I did my routine three times of telling them to stop (one calmly, one with rising temperature, the other with veins about to pop.) My head was pounding, and I was not in the mood, so I lost it.
“If one more person jumps on my couches, I am gong to punch you in the chest, rip off your toenails and throw you into oncoming traffic!!!!” (No, I have never been featured on the show ‘Snapped.’ Don’t search for my profile.) My youngest son came upstairs with eyes widened.
“Mom! Guess what your son just said.” He waited.
“WHAT!” I shouted.
“He said you need to chillax. That’s not good, huh? Is he gonna get his toes ripped off?”
Once again, I had lost my temper and been taken literally. “No. I would not do that. Go and get your brother.”
Anticipating him at least being punched in the chest, he raced downstairs. “Mom said to come up here RIGHT NOW, and don’t take your time, because she is really, really upset with what you just said!” (I didn’t recall saying all of that.)
With fear and trembling, my oldest child crept closer to my bedroom with his brother close behind him, almost nudging his movements.
“Yes, mommy?” His voice trembled.
“Did you say you needed me to chillax?” I was calm.
“NOO! I said I wish that mom would RELAX! I know you’ve been tired, and all of that screaming is a lot of work, so I said you need to RELAX so that you don’t make your heart burst! Don’t you take blood bills?”
“Good try, dude!” The Tattler was not satisfied until he saw some bodily damage being done.
“Look,” I started, “both of you are trying my patience. You know the rules in here yet you seem to ignore what is said. So, what do you think I should do?” They were accustomed to deciding their punishment and were getting good at it.
The Tattler decided to speak up. “Throw us into traffic?”
Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!