This is a selfish article.
I’m awfully proud of myself right now a
nd I feel like bragging. Two children were left in m
y care for exactly 43 hours, and all three of us lived to talk about it. Not just any two children, two children who you might describe as “Pinky and The Brain.”
Once the title of a popular children’s cartoon about a genius mouse trying to take over the world (nightly) with his mentally challenged side kick, now regulated to a descriptive about two crazy boys from Massachusetts. But, unlike the pair from the popular children’s program, mine are both smart, they are both plotting, and both of them want to take over my world (hourly).
A weird fact about me – I don’t like things I had a hand in creating calling the shots.
They might have had the advantage in numbers, but I had the advantage in experience. The only slight problem is that my experience didn’t contain the proper elements to complete the mission; I was in uncharted territory. I’ve never been left as the sole caretaker of two children before, and I was scared stiff. I was knee deep in enemy territory and had only instincts and a piece of paper as allies.
The aforementioned piece of paper is Pinky’s instructions. When to eat, when to sleep, when to sound the alarms, when to run.
Pinky requires attention. Pinky is demanding. If that piece of paper gets misplaced at any point in time, all bets are off.
The term “volatile water balloon” is thrown around way too often these days, but in this case it applies. The rosey-hued baby wants what he wants, when he wants it, and he is not afraid to tell you about it at the top of his lungs. For an added twist, at any point in time he is likely to explode in any and all sense of the word. He is pink, he is a baby, and he does not ride in the proverbial back seat.
I’m not sure if it was planned, but the 3-year-old seems to have gained power and influence after the arrival of the baby. Is it possible for him to be more annoyed, yet more powerful at the same time, since the arrival of the small one? Are his complaints over toy dominion all a cover for some unforeseen, behind the scenes plan?
Was this second kid his idea? Is that piece of paper all that stands between him and world (house) domination?
Persistence was their game plan for the weekend. Never. Let. Up.
I could have sworn I heard them chanting that at one point, but I was distracted by something and lost the thought. Why was that farmer and tractor toy rolling across the kitchen floor anyways?
Persistence. Rivers cut through mountains, ants can topple a grasshopper, and time conquers us all. There is no way to control unrelenting advancement. If control was possible, rivers could be diverted, grasshoppers would leap to freedom, and time could be paused as if life were but a cheesy sci-fi drama. But I didn’t have control, all I had was distraction. Distraction was my weapon of choice for the weekend.
I elected to go with the “other children” model of distraction in an effort to disrupt any plots that Pinky and The Brain might try to hatch. I see your objection to sun block and naps and raise you laughing friends and juice boxes. Oh look, there goes the crazy fish sprinkler spraying water everywhere. Is that a swing set I see? Who wants hot dogs? Soon enough, food, activity, sun, water, laughing, crying, “sharing”, rubbing eyes, baths, and snuggling led to sleeping. Mission accomplished. (Twice).
I’m sure as I get older and more experienced I will look back on this little weekend with the boys and laugh at my apprehension, but for right now, I’m proud of myself. I feel like I graduated from something.
I accomplished a task that I never attempted before by using my experiences, instincts, shameless parenting trickery, and a little piece of paper from my wife. I had a plan and I executed it with success. If I didn’t, this story on Patch would be about me, not by me.
As I said earlier, this is a selfish article. This article is a gift to my wife. The bond I have with my children today is greater because of “boys weekend.” I absolutely love the two children you carried for us, I love your piece of paper, there is nothing more that I want in this world then our family, and I promise to fight our children’s attempts at dominance until the end if time.
‘Brad the Dad’ is a parent columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter: @readbradthedad
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 7/24/11 and can be found by following this link.