two seconds

Two seconds. Practically the speed of light.

When they are "loose" I can't take my eyes off them for more than two seconds. We have baby gates and cabinet door locks and deadbolts and outlet covers. We have done our due diligence when it comes to toddler proofing our house. But the lure of the kitchen table and chairs is clearly much to tempting. They look at the top of the kitchen table as though it were Everest. And me, I am the unrelenting weather keeping them from the summit. Everest takes weeks if not months to climb. The kitchen table takes two seconds.

Now you may ask, what do they do when they get on the table? Answer, they just sit. The accomplishment of making it to the top is enough entertainment. That is until they find the napkins or place mats. Who doesn't like snacking on a paper napkin or wiping your snotty noise on a place mat?

Is it a big deal that they get on the table? No.

Are they causing any harm? Other than the poor trees that died for the napkins, No.

But with two of them on the table at once, the odds of one falling off and cracking their head open is drastically increased. And while I am the first one to go with the theory that they would probably never get on the table again, falling off a table is a bit extreme.

An unlikely lookout, she takes pride in tattling on her brothers. So when I have to use the little girls room, she's on duty. She takes her hall monitor job very seriously and she's actually pretty good at it, which scares me.

If you have ever timed yourself, two seconds is about as long as it takes to unbutton your pants. It takes much longer to actually "use" the little girls room. My timing is crutial. Like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible crutial. Mess it up and I might pee my pants. By the end of the night, I have pulled out all the stops - passing off all the distractions I can find. Remote controls, hats, bags and tupperwear. A girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do.

Some of you may ask, where is he? Can't he watch the gremlins while you use the facilities? Well of course he could. But a full work load for the last few months has almost turned me into a single parent. Except, this is like being a single parent with a ghost who leaves socks on the ground inches from the laundry basket and dishes in the sink. The last couple of weeks have been hard. Really hard. And I try to keep my moments to myself, or at least out of the sight of the kids. But I am not perfect.

On a particularly hard day, I lost it. She was in a mood and they clearly sensed my weakness. At 5:30pm I was ready for them to go to bed. I knew it would be a very long hour and half. By 6:15pm I was cracking. After a marathon list of questions from her, I asked her to watch her brothers while I slipped away. Within seconds she was whining and they were sprinting for the table. I yelled "Two seconds! Can I have two seconds?" Of course it did no good. Her bantering continued and they relented on their ascent. 7pm was so very far away.

Yesterday morning during the madness of getting ready, an act that truly does resemble herding cats, she was busy hoarding books into a box. The purpose of doing so? Only she knows.
I said, "Okay. It's your turn to get dressed."
"We have to get you dressed, so that we can go. Mommy has to go to work and don't you want to go play?"
She let out a huge sigh (she gets that from me). "Mommy, can I have two seconds? I'm really busy."
It took everything I had to not smile......and cry.
Shoot me now.


Sarah said...

Don't you love it when they use your words against you? My newly turned 4 year old is doing it a lot lately!

Joann Mannix said...

I love when big words come out of little mouths.

I'm sorry for the tough days. My hubs was working long days when the girls were little and it was so very hard to be the single parent. And I didn't have the extra pleasure of having twins. The light is there, it seems like it will take forever, but trust me when I say the time will fly like the wind. In the meantime, my biggest advice? Unbutton the pants before you leave the room.

Andrea C Lagourgue said...

Each day that feels harder than the last I chant. This too shall pass. I'm sure she will be saying that too.