If you’ve ever seen the 1984 film, Gremlins, then you already have a partial understanding of my life.
They start out as cute, fuzzy, adorable Mogwai. Who wouldn’t want one or two? But then…
“Flush goes the potty,” Madeleine sang.
She’s been playing that Elmo Potty app on my phone for weeks.
“Madeleine threw my socks in the toilet,” Luke said.
“Madeleine, we do not put socks in the potty,” I said.
“Oh, they just go on our feet?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said as I put on disposable gloves and fished the socks out of the toilet.
It was morning and I had to get breakfast done so we could leave for school. Suddenly, I was dodging projectile citrus fruits.
“Weee!” Madeleine giggled.
A lemon landed on the counter. Next, a grapefruit. Another lemon.
“We do not throw food. No,” I said firmly.
“It’s funny,” she said.
After breakfast and getting dressed we were ready to face the world.
Here’s a question: Does anyone think I’d look cute in an eye patch?
As I buckled Madeleine’s carseat she wielded her pink fairy wand. Stick-side up. We did manage to get to school, drop off Luke, and back home again without any injuries inflicted by a toddler.
Like I said, my life is a bit like Gremlins. Although around here, midnight isn’t the witching hour. It’s that block of time between 3pm and whatever time my husband comes home. Usually about 2 to 3 hours when I’m outnumbered by Mogwais foaming at the mouth.
From the girly mini Legos that my husband swore would deter Madeleine from messing with her big brother’s Transformers Legos (she now sprinkles them ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE throughout the apartment and I have been instructed by my darling to avoid sucking them up in the vacuum), to the two of them jumping on the sofa and then ripping off the cushions to use as weapons against each other, to Madeleine wearing Luke’s (dirty) underwear as a hat and eventually a belt…the screaming, biting, hitting, crying, whining, and Luke spitting in my face and calling me an idiot (I kid you not)…
I. Am. Utterly. Drained.
I know for sure the tenant upstairs must be able to hear the shenanigans taking place below her feet. Otherwise she is certainly deaf. Or passed out drunk. What must she think?
I try not to yell but there are times when having to repeat myself becomes intolerable and I can no longer use my child-therapist-whisper voice and feel compelled to shout, Be quiet!!! or Stop riding your sister! She’s not a horse, for God’s sake!
Is it me? Am I not catching on to this parenting thing? Is there caffeine in our tap water or am I doing penance for something bad I did a long time ago and have no recollection of?
By the end of the evening, after dinner and baths and pajamas, I managed to laugh. Genuinely. Madeleine started calling me “roast beef” instead of Mommy, in her teeny, tiny munchkin voice and I laughed into my belly. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I ran out of gas and couldn’t be irritated anymore, or maybe it’s my profuse love for my kids that always weasels its way in there and makes me mushy.
Just remember my friends, if you already have a Mogwai or you’re thinking of getting one…
Whatever you do, don’t feed them after midnight. I’m too afraid to imagine the consequences.