The coffee is working.
Wait a second….
No, no, let me rephrase that.
The coffee is working right now.
With a sigh, I
heave my tired butt spring lightly and nimbly up from the couch, crawling out from underneath the pile of still-sleepy boys who are sprawled on my lap.
The second I push them off of me, it begins.
“MAMA!” whines Squidgelet, “MAMA, UP!” He clings to my leg, making a fairly credible attempt to scurry up it like a squirrel. “Mama, UP! Need help… pease…. haaaaalp….. halp me…….” He dissolves into a fit of fairly impressive tears when I shake him off and continue towards the bathroom.
“Where are you going? Mama? You going somewhere? What are you doing?” The DragonMonkey trots along beside me, skinny legs flashing as he pivots and hops, throwing absurd amount of unnecessary energy and movement into the short walk to the bathroom.
“I’m going to the bathroom, DragonMonkey. Just give me two minutes. I’ll be out in two minutes.”
“You going to the bathroom? The bathroom? Can I go to?”
“No. I need privacy.” I pause, reaching down to dislodge Squidgelet, who has managed to latch himself like a burr to my leg — a hysterical, screaming, separation-anxiety-laden burr.
“Can I go with you?”
“No, DragonMonkey. I just answered you. Go watch TV. Keep an eye on The Squid… I need two minutes.”
“Ah,” says the DragonMonkey, with a satisfied little nod. “I going with you.”
“NO,” I snap, reaching down to pry The Squid’s fingers off of my pant leg again. “You’re not. Just go watch TV. I ‘ll be out in a minute.” And with that, I slam the door in their faces.
The Squid’s cries immediately ratchet up from “I’m being abandoned” to “someone has set my flesh on fire and I am melting”, and he flings himself against the door with a tiny thump.
The DragonMonkey, not to be outdone, immediately begins pounding on the door. “Mama, let me in! I wanna go with you! I wanna go with you! Let me in!” WHUMP. WHUMP. WHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMP. “Let me in!
Whose bright idea was it to teach the DragonMonkey how to knock on doors?
WHUMPWHUMPWHUMP! “Mama, please let me in!” WHUMPWHUMPWHUMP! WHUMPWHUMPWHUMP! “Please, Mama!”
The Squid continues his howling, and in the slight lulls between the DragonMonkey’s frantic bursts of knocking, I can hear the soft sound of his tiny toddler hands scrabbling at the door in his own desperate attempt to gain entry.
I try to ignore them, but finally I snap, “Go away! Just two minutes – give me two minutes! Go watch tv!”
Of course they don’t. Why would they? I’ve just given them proof that I really am still here, trapped behind this closed door. No doubt I’m in the process of shoving all my toiletries into a bag and escaping out the window, never to return. At the sound of my voice their efforts to reach me double until, suddenly, the bathroom door latch gives way beneath their weight.
They spill onto the bathroom floor in a tangle of limbs and suddenly-halted tears and blink up at me in surprise. I sigh. As they separate themselves and slowly stand up, I bask for a moment in the silence. Sure, the too-small bathroom now has three people in it and I’ve lost my privacy, but hey, at least it’s quiet.
“EWWW, Mama,” says the DragonMonkey, pausing in his approach to wrinkle his nose. “Smells bad. Smells bad in here. You going poo-poo? EWWW!”
“Ewwwww,” repeats the Squid, glancing over at his older brother to make sure he’s mimicking the sneer correctly. “Ewwwww….”
“Yes, I’m going to the bathroom. If you’ll recall, I tried to do it in privacy, too.”
The DragonMonkey looks at me in disgust, wrinkling his nose and shaking his head. “Gross, Mama. It smell gross in here. You need close the door.” He shakes his head again, disapproving, and suddenly I’m left feeling faintly guilty, as if I’ve disappointed him somehow. “You need close the door,” he repeats.
“Ewww,” echoes the Squid.
They trail out of the bathroom in a solemn line, DragonMonkey pausing at the entrance for one final shake of his head and, “Ewww. You close the door, Mama. You smell bad. You smell vewwy bad,” before heading into the living room to watch TV.
Does anyone want any free children?