There is a God. Otherwise, like many other mammals, we would eat our young. Thankfully, we are programmed to involuntarily release the day’s irritations and look lovingly onto our little ones with the warm-and-fuzzies. Restraint, patience, understanding, patience and more patience.
Today my kids subjected me to psychological torture by way of whining, making huge messes, unwillingness to share even the most insignificant toy, and deliberate high-pitched screaming (that only made them seem proud that they’re capable of such noises). I was fried. I wanted nothing more than to feed them, wash them, and tuck them firmly into bed. Good. Night. Then Madeleine tackled me at the knees. She grabbed on with all her might.
“I love you, Mommy,” she said.
The light of day’s end was pouring into the living room and her skin was golden and almost sparkling. A smile filled her face with those tiny, perfectly square baby teeth. Her chestnut hair curled up at the ends.
What was I so frazzled about? Wait, I’ll think of it…nope, I lost it.
“Pooh’s in my butt, Mom,” she said. “And Eee-ah, too.”
“Who’s in your butt?”
“I’m not getting it. Pooh is in your butt, poor little guy, and who else?”
“Getting crowded in there, then.”
“And Piglet, too. Not Owl. Go away, Owl.”
Later, I put the kids to bed with their flashlights and turned off the light. Silence. Actually, for about an hour they alternated between giggling, banging on the walls and arguing over which song they’d sing. Then finally, silence. And then…
“What. Luke.” I answered with noticeable aggravation.
“I love you,”
“I love you, Luke.”
“I love you. I love you, Mom!”
“I love you, Madeleine.
They got me again. Two pint-sized mind erasers. They repeat the I love you routine with Michael, too. It sometimes goes on until they pass out. But I’m not complaining.