Last weekend, in a failed attempt to destroy the outside of our house, one of our big oak trees dropped a large limb on our house. This limb, weighing an estimated 1.5 tons, fell onto the house, rolled across the roof, and then fell onto the porch, leaving a small hole or two, scraped shingles, and some rough edges in its wake. It was a futile attempt. We didn’t even lose power, although we have suffered some inconvenience and some wracked nerves. Next week we hope to get a new roof on our house, thanks to our home insurance company and our helpful neighbor who is also a roofing contractor.
Following the tree incident, there have been several incidents with our children, who have together, sought to destroy the inside of our house. I guess they don’t realize they have to live in it too. I think the root cause of these deviant behaviors is that espOso and I have been preoccupied with the roof and they haven’t been getting their usual levels of emotional attentiveness and physical exercise. Here is a sampling from yesterday:
During the day while I was at work…
- Twin B spilled Twin A’s milk at breakfast, intentionally.
- A spilled A’s milk at breakfast, intentionally.
- One of the twins pooped on the floor upstairs. We aren’t sure this was an accident. If you know our family well, you will know who did it, and you may suspect considering the age of the perpetrator, that it was an intentional.
- B smeared toothpaste around the bathroom, on surfaces including the sink, the door handle, and his father’s abdomen.
- During the cleanup from that, his father walked back into the bathroom and was astonished to see B standing upon the bathroom vanity systematically pouring water on each of the lightbulbs of the fixture above the vanity. He temporarily lost his speaking ability, but I assume he recovered it pretty quickly.
- Twin A immediately switched on the lights and verified that they still work.
I returned home from work so now both parents were on duty, having a quiet after-dinner discussion in the living room about how the day was going when….
- B poured out nearly half a gallon of vinegar on the kitchen table where he was lingering over his kale. He came into the living room to complain that his lips and eyes were burning a little. We soon understood why.
Oso left for work and I was on duty for the afternoon. As my first action I attempted to retire to my room for a moment of reflective solitude. Twin A retired with me, however, and we both reflected on a book about landscaping for a few moments.
- Too much silence prompted me to check on B and found him standing on the top platform of the cat tree washing the picture window with a wet pair of shorts. Wet with water from the fish tank.
- Upon closer inspection, I found submerged in the fish tank a very clean pencil case and a turned-on flash light. “So the fish can see better,” B explained. How helpful. I guess he needs to see well for his pencil drawings.
- B asked if he could cut paper with scissors. “Sure, it will be a mess,” I thought, “but it will keep him busy while I reassure the fish and clean up this other mess.” I gave him both paper and scissors to develop his fine motor skills. * He tested the sharpness of the blade by cutting the cords to the little fan we use in the kitchen and also his dad’s new phone charger. Good thing we only use intrinsically safe tools around our house…
- Meanwhile, Twin A had gone to use the potty. When I went in for the wipe, I smelled a strong scent of Old Spice. There, on the floor, were fragments of a stick of deodorant, smashed to smithereens by little fingers.
At 7 p.m. I hustled them out to the community garden to get out of the house so that there would be something left of it at bedtime.
- At the C.G., B picked an unripe tomato and over-watered the potted plants in an attempt to be helpful.
The rest of the day was, thankfully, uneventful. Oso returned home from work and we kept a close eye on the boys til bedtime. Does anyone want me to drop the boys off ant your house for a few hours?
*Yes, Barb, I should have watched him the whole time. But I left him unattended for … just a minute.