I lost count of how many times I hollered at these two to slow down, this is not a playground. Get off of that. Don’t hit your brother. Your brother didn’t say a bad word, I was right here. Get off of that. Don’t lift my dress up. Hands to yourself. Go potty now. You don’t need to pee? Just try. TRY! TRY! TRY TO PEE!
I love these boys, but at 8:30 PM in IKEA, thirty minutes before the store was going to close and we had managed to not only buy several hundred dollars worth of new bedroom furniture, but also fed them IKEA mac and cheese and fries because they were out of vegetables as a side (because all the good families with veggie eating proper kids who never get out of line ate all of them–thanks guys!) these two little darling boys who I had carried in my womb for WAY TOO LONG were beyond my control.
We were in an empty corner of a large open area with only a trickle of people coming through to exchange lamps, framed ocean prints, and other various items that were probably good ideas at the time. And the boys ran around, leaped back and forth between a bench where I sat and their father who was coordinating the furniture delivery. Of course the whole time, all my attempts to keep them rabid in one place were futile.
These feral creatures were like flubber in a bag, bouncing everywhere because it was bedtime and we were furniture shopping and maybe I’m the Robin Williams in the terrible movies (Patch Adams, the one where he develops photos? I’m too tired to google it.) and not the Robin Williams in awesome movies, Mrs. Doubtfire being the bestest. I wish Mrs. Doubtfire could come and raise my kids, even if I know that there’s a dude under the makeup, wearing a mee-maw dress. I can get behind that, we could make funny accents at each other and cake frosting face creams. That sounds delicious.
Parenting more than one child is zone defense. There’s no way I can handle one without the other getting out of line, running toward the goal (or running into the street). I saw a couple with one child in the cafe and as I kept instructing TJ to eat with a fork and not directly place his mouth on the plate, I watched how the woman and man teamed up to feed one child. He rushed to get napkins, she stood over her toddler and shoveled food while he mopped up whatever food spilled over. I thought, that looks easy. They’re not yelling. She isn’t crying because no one is listening. She isn’t planning her next happy hour.
And after all of that, Mike and I suffered an evening in a big box store so soon there will be a fun bunkbed and the boys will have more space to themselves where they can be feral on their own, the door closed and their parents hopefully, hopefully sleeping unaware.