They’re the reason I look like I’ve been rolled in meth and tied down in a giant cage of drug-addicted rats by 5 o-clock every day.
But the funny thing is (and by funny, I mean funny weird, not funny ha ha), no one else seems to think these names apply. Not even their dad.
Everyone at school and preschool, without fail, tells me how sweet, good-natured and well-behaved they are. Their grandparents say they’re “a delight.” When they visit a friend, the parents tell me they were “no trouble at all.”
Excuse me, my children were NO TROUBLE AT ALL? Did you handcuff them and put them in a soundproof room for the duration of their visit? And while we’re on the subject, why doesn’t it look like jungle animals have been swinging from your chandeliers and throwing feces at your walls all day long? Yep, must be the handcuffs thing.
I’ve watched them behave for other people with great interest. I’ve listened from the other room while they played quietly and contentedly alone so their dad can watch football or get a little work done. But let me walk into eyeshot and with great fanfare, both of them will immediately act like they were just stung by an entire hive of killer bees.
Oh there’s mom. Let the screaming commence.
I’ve contemplated this phenomenon for years. I noticed it when I only had one child but I thought it was just a quirk. Then I had another one. People call this child “sunny,” “happy,” and say he has “the best disposition.” At preschool last week, they told me he’d hit his head on a playset and cried — and that was the FIRST TIME they’d seen him cry the entire time he’s been going there.
But I bring him home and he turns into Chuckie, spreading a swath of destruction everywhere he goes.
Last night, in a 20-second span, he put his brother’s toothbrush in his mouth, flushed the toilet needlessly, dropped my shoe in the running bathwater, raced to the playroom and pushed the button of every single obnoxious, noise-making toy we have creating a cacophony that would drive the most dedicated Yogi out of their mind and then walked back to the bathroom doorway and grinned at me while I juggled the mopping up of my converse sneaker with the faux-sterilizing of his brother’s toothbrush under hot running water. That angel has a devil inside.
Maybe they’re both just big mama’s boys. Maybe there’s a maternal eau de perfume I emit that melts them into boneless piles of need whenever mommy is around. Maybe it’s sibling rivalry. Or maybe I’m just a pushover. And they know it.
I’m a little scared to admit it might just be that.
Excuse me while I schedule an appointment to have my maternal backbone examined.
I’m anxious to hear your theories. Can you turn my little hellions into self-sufficient angels when their mommy is around? If so, you win. Everything. You win everything.