Breakfast table. Three kids and a lady with hair resembling Diana Ross during a particularly testy airport security check. I supervise as the little one’s eat. I am trying my hardest to be the fun aunt, so as my niece and nephew scarf down piles of fresh fruit and ask for more water, I go against the rules of proper child-rearing. “Eat more pancakes NOW! Three more bites, and you’ll get water!I said THREE. MORE. BITES or no more water!”. Also? NO WIRE HANGERS!!!
It seems I am ill-equipped to handle three toddlers versus the usual one. Since their arrival on Friday night, I have caught myself slipping into a child-induced state of dumb. Case in point:
- I threatened to lock my niece in a dark, monster-filled closet if she would not take a nap. I had no intentions of ever following through with such a threat, but the simple sense of having lost your ever-lovin’-mind enough to scare a toddler into sleep is shocking.
- I’ve started sucking my thumb. I want my mommy.
- I sit on the couch watching A Bug’s Life, the captivating story of one ant’s journey to be a hero. I peel my eyes from the screen only long enough to tell the children to stop playing so loudly. Clearly my priorities are straight. Those kids, playing with their educational toys with the audacity to learn numbers and shapes while a sister is trying to watch a movie.
- To get on their level I tried speaking their language. This was fairly simple as toddler-speak is almost English, minus a few key essentials to constitute complete sentences. After 24 hours of this fragmented talk, my brain now formulates thoughts in this juvenile fashion. I no want to. No. I no want pay bill. Juice? I bath. I bath NOW! Juice. Me dinner. Ate and cook dinner. I do it. Juice. Juice? Juice. Juice! JuiceJuiceJuiceJuice!
- Did you know toddlers move…. and speak? Three moving, speaking, fear-sniffing terrorists, demanding treats or else the white couch gets it.
- I caught myself announcing that I had to go potty. Next up? Perhaps I’ll call the Lady Doctor to discuss my Gi-Gi.
- Wrestled with three-year-old. Can’t move legs or arms.
- Names are overrated to toddlers. The mentality is essentially “Yeah, yeah, yeah [what's your name]. So can you buy me bubbles or what?”. For two days, every man in the house has been called Thomas. I am officially Hey You.
-I learned never to feed a toddler copious amounts of corn prior to bed time. Brown Pant Explosion, and my washer will never be the same.
- On a positive note, the way toddlers argue is highly refreshing. Rather than spew nasty rumors or wage Facebook War on an enemy’s character, they grunt, whine, and slap it out. Five minutes later, they share a Pillow Pet and a bowl of cereal.
- Let it be said that just because I have one child, I am absolutely NOT a super, world champion, a picture of parental poise. After a weekend of high-spirited (which is nicer than saying, perhaps, cracked-out?) playtime, I’ve realized my role as mom or pancake-enforcing Fun Aunt is to sit back and make sure nothing gets set on fire. There is no need in aimlessly wiping chocolate milk off the table, chasing behind them to organize toys. Accepting the madness, that’s what I’m doing. One tranquilizer and stain at a time.
- I normally brush my teeth and wash my face in preparation for bedtime. Obviously, I have left out one, crucial routine: Late Night Dance Party.
Over breakfast, my niece eyes me tucked awkwardly under the table. She asks me what I’m eating for breakfast. I tell her candy. No, she cannot have some. Why not? Because I said so. With that, the Fun Aunt takes a week’s worth of birth control with one, relieved swig of coffee.
Accept Prevent the madness.