Having two heathens is much different than having one. Sometimes they feed off of each other and do really adorable, wonderful things, like when Ozzie is starting to cry or being fussy in the car, and Dash starts singing to him or telling cutesy, nonsensical stories to cheer him up. This isn’t a post about those times.
First, a bit of a tangent – I love that so many facebook memes have come out with people admitting they hang out half-dressed, or only wear yoga pants. Someone on my friends list shared that when she has a bra on, she is in “business attire.” For me, it’s pants. It’s my house, and I like to be comfy there. If I have pants on at home, one of two things is happening : 1- guests are over, or, 2- I am prepping to leave the house. Okay, maybe a third scenario is that it’s cold, but that really doesn’t count because then I’m either wearing pajama pants or just have a cozy throw over my lap.
The other day I was feeling particularly motivated and put on pants for no reason. Bear got a suspicious look on his face (after all, I wasn’t getting any of the kids or their stuff ready to go) and he said, “Where are you going? You have to take at least one of the kids.”
And we’re back on point: Bear and I have a deal where if we’re both home and an errand has to be run, we will take at least one kid along if it isn’t going to be a giant hassle. He’s going to get lumber for a project around the house and has to take the seats out of his wagon to fit it? Okay, he can go alone. We need to grab something like milk or whatever? Pick which kid is being more insane and give them a quick outing. This is usually Dash, because Ozzie is still a baby and doesn’t notice as much when he’s missing a trip to the store. I don’t know why taking two kids to the store is a colossal pain in the ass, but taking just one is easy breezy. I don’t make the rules of life, so you’re going to leave this page disappointed if you expect an explanation. I just know it’s true.
When I have one along to the grocery store or to wal-mart, they’re funny and sweet and make adorable faces at strangers, earning smiles and comments on how beautiful they are. Yesterday I had to take both of them and one was tossing things out of the cart while the other was snatching at things when I foolishly let the cart get close enough to the racks (and seriously, you have to be smack in the center of the aisle for everything to stay out of reach, but then you’re swerving out of people’s way every few minutes and look like a jerk blocking the flow of traffic).
To help minimize their boredom (and thus their crazy attempts to alleviate their boredom that come off as poor behavior), I end up looking like a walking children’s program. “Hey guys? what’s this? You’re right it is an apple! What color is this apple? You’re so smart, it is green! Hey, do you see any other colors of apples? Yeah! Those red ones!” You get the picture. It gets me some weird looks from (I’m guessing childless) people, but not as bad as the dirty looks I get when they’re throwing fits.
This also goes along with coaching them out of their downward spiral sometimes. As I was prying a tiny set of hands off of a giant bag of cereal, I said, “Guys, we’ll have a much better day if you are on good behavior. Let’s try extra hard to be nice, ok?” A woman passing by with her own children in her cart laughed and said, “Yeah, good luck with that, lady!” Because she knew. She was busy catching a box of cheerios her kid had tried to dump. I gave a short laugh and we shared one of those looks that says, “Wanna kill each other’s babies?” WHAT? Er, I mean a look that says, “Oh, these little rascals! Gotta love ’em!” …Disregard that other thing.
How is it that these same exact children are so wonderful on their own, and such a handful when they’re together? I am the same mom, I’m doing the same things. They aren’t feeding off of a different set of rules that make them less likely to be called out. I go to the same places, so it can’t be that they are being affected by how interesting the store is. I think it’s just that they are in cahoots, and when I look the other way they’re high-fiving and planning to drive me crazy and have me put away.
It makes me finally understand why the parents in The Parent Trap each took one kid and moved to entirely different continents.