I am so very glad I kept notes while my children were growing up.
It has it all … Drama, suspense, humor, violence, action and underwear – Today’s episode is, I Could Have Died!
All siblings argue right? I mean they all get into nasty little fights over who goes first, whose turn it is to take out the trash and so on, right? Every home with more than one child is filled with screams of “I can’t hear the T.V because so and so is breathing too hard” or “He’s copying me” – “He’s copying me,” right?
I hear these little tuffs about 800 times a day but sometimes their disagreements seem to border on the bizarre. I awoke one morning to a hysterical, screaming, red-faced, teenage girl at the foot of my bed shouting something about a sock. By the time I’d defied gravity and pulled myself into a sitting position, she was bolting out the door screaming about killing someone.
I fell back hard onto my pillow and waited for the screaming to end. It didn’t. The screams turned to shrieks with intermittent name calling and were soon joined by another equally loud voice trying to be heard over the first one. The word brat was said 47 times, the phrase “I wish I was an only child” was answered with a belligerent “Me too . . . Someone else’s!” I contemplated intervening, but that whole gravity thing was still too much deal with so I decided to wait for someone to come in wounded or complete silence to begin bouncing off the walls.
Neither happened, the fight dragged on and before long, innocent parties were pulled into it. The youngest of the four fell to the floor with a thud and was now among the chorus of ear-splitting noise and the oldest, trying out his, I’m a man now, do what I say, voice was soon wrestling one of the combatants to the floor. I heard a helpless voice screaming about not being able to breathe so I again defied the gravity weighing me down and raced in to pull my 175 pound son off of my 100 pound son. I picked up the smallest one who was still sprawled out on the floor in the exact same position and place he apparently landed in, and moved him to the safety of the couch.
The hormonal teenage girl I mentioned was now sobbing her heartbreaking tale to her big brother with so much exaggeration I half expected to hear “And the award for best outburst in a drama goes to . . .” I put an ice pack on what I soon found out was a fake injury and went to untangle the mess before me and find out who really did what to whom.
Each had their own unique and equally heartbreaking story to tell. I make it a rule not to believe anyone anymore. The first child relayed this yarn to me:
“I was in my bed totally asleep and he just came in without even knocking, as usual, and told me it was time to get up so I said I didn’t want to and so he said I had too and then he ripped my covers off and said – I see London I see France I see someone’s underpants – and I said GET OUT about a million times and he grabbed my sock and pulled and he KNOWS I have a hurt toe so he did it on purpose. I threw my horse at him and he said I was a jerk and threw horsey out of the room.” Then she burst into a new round of crocodile tears.
Second child’s turn:
“NONE of that is true and you KNOW it! She told me last night not to let her sleep in so she could watch a show that came on early and so I went in to wake her up like she said and she got all mad and threw a horse at me so I threw it out the door and she tried to kick me so I grabbed her sock and it came off, I saw her underwear and said put your pants on and she said I was a jerk!”
Innocent Party # 1:
“I didn’t even do anything, I just came in and turned on the T.V. and she screamed at me and said she didn’t want to hear the noise because she was trying to sleep and then he turned it up real loud and she said turn it down and I did so he pushed me down and I could have DIED.”
Innocent Party #2:
“He pushed him so I tackled him.”
I went back to my room thinking my interruption would be sufficient to stop the battle, but as usual, I was wrong. There were now sounds of an actual fight between the two oldest boys and my daughter was screaming “Go get Mommy! Go get Mommy!”, the youngest sprints to my room screaming “Call Grandma one-one! Call Grandma one-one!” Something he’d heard on a television show I think.
His plea was so loud everyone stopped. A silent moment and then a round of laughter filled the hall. Who needs 911 when the fear of Grandma knowing what a troll you really are is all we need in case of an emergency such as this! I can’t say there where no more fights that day, everybody who has more than one child would know I was lying, but it did turn out to be a pretty good day.