There isn’t much more frustrating than trying to help someone who’s too far gone to be helped.
“Stop chewing at your neck bandage,” one says to a cat. “Then the bleeding will heal and you will no longer need a neck bandage.” Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw, says the cat. It’s itchy, says the cat.
“Eat this sandwich,” one says to a child. “You will be less likely to kick me in the shins like a wildebeest* if you have food in your stomach.”
“I’m NOT HUNGRY AND I RESENT THE IMPLICATION!” replies the child as he winds up to kick you in the shins.
*I don’t think wildebeest actually kick.
This evening, after a full week of school that included:
– a playdate on Monday (Arlo and Eli)
– a dress rehearsal for the Christmas concert on Tuesday afternoon (Arlo)
– me working on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (though only half a day friday because SNOW MY GOD [SNOMG])
– an afternoon and evening Christmas concert on Thursday (Arlo)
– staying up until nine o’ clock and getting up at 6:50 every morning (Arlo)
– waking up three to five times a night coughing for a week (Eli) (and me) (and SA)
– ice skating this morning (Arlo) including walking to the rink in the SNOMG
– Christmas party for Eli
– including cookies and singing and hot chocolate and finally a movie
– more playing in the snow
– a lot of candy canes
– and finally the last minutes of the last day of school…
– more playing in the snow
– being surprised by me coming home early from work and meeting them after school
– walking home, all cold and soggy
…the children were tired. So tired. Their eyes were melting and their brains smoking. WOULD THEY ADMIT IT? BOLLOCKS.
The first hint of trouble came at about 4 pm. They had been lying on the living room floor, staring at the Christmas tree with their melting eyes, and I took a moment to look at my computer which at 4 pm usually means twitter.
An open laptop is an invitation. (hey Dell, you can use that if you pay me for it, yeah?) The kids came running over. I let Eli tweet a tweet, then I let Arlo tweet a tweet and it was funny and good. And perfectly spelled. And then Arlo wanted to tweet a second tweet and it was rude so I said no and he insisted so I shut the laptop.
AND LO, HIS MELTING EYES DID WEEP.
Eli also did weep because he had been anticipating a second turn at the tweeting. I apologized and shut down the tweeting machine.
Next up: Arlo crammed a peanut butter cup in his mouth and sprayed chocolate all over me while he asked if he could go play at the neighbour’s house. “Did you eat all your lunch?” I asked. He shook his head. I asked him to please eat some real food, having already heard about the cupcakes, hot chocolate, cookies and candy they had both feasted on all day.
MORE WEEPING BECAUSE WHY DO YOU STOP ME FROM DOING THE THING I WANT TO ARGHHHHHH
Turned out his lunch had been finished. “Huh,” he said, blinking, “I don’t remember doing that.”
I decided to let it, and him, go. Sadly he was back in five minutes, tears streaming down his face anew because neighbour friend was eating dinner. I could not take any more weeping. No more weeping. I needed to make pizza so I could eat it. This was the plan. Time for big guns.
“Would you like to sit on the couch and watch a movie,” I asked.
Oh yes. Yes. He sat, remote controls in hand, shivering, eyes swollen.
“But it’s my turn to pick,” Eli pointed out. More tears. Another round of tears for all my children! Cheers to the tears!
“I will pick,” I said. I picked the Drake and Josh Christmas Special. They were both happy about this.
I made pizza and fed it to them on the couch. After the pizza and movie they had dessert, because you need dessert right? Wouldn’t want your sugar levels to dip.
“Now,” I said, “it is bedtime.” I began to move things around in preparation for bedtime.
“I am going to make a movie,” Arlo announced. He took the tripod from the stairs and started to pull the legs out.
“How can you make a movie when it’s bedtime?” I said with a very false joviality.
“I’m not going to bed right now,” he said. “I’m making my movie first.”
I won’t transcribe the rest. There was more crying, me sending them upstairs, them making horrible shrieking noises, me yelling from downstairs that they should stop, and then more crying because I yelled.
I mean. You guys.
If you’re crying this much, you’re exhausted. If you’re exhausted you should sleep. If I’m telling you this, it’s not to assert some kind of puppet asshole control over you, it’s just because if you sleep you’ll feel better.*
They sleep now, tears dry on their cheeks. Soon, I will too.
*If I added up all the hours I’ve spent thinking about sleep in the past seven years I could buy a hotel. If the hours were worth money, which they are not.