Monster War 7,592,483 is under way. Already. Again.
What is this war about, you ask? The same thing the last 2,000 battles were about. Cleaning.
I’m not talking about being a slave driver here – we are NOT being unreasonable. Expecting my five year old to clean up the disaster that three days ago resembled a bedroom is not only reasonable, but completely necessary. For me anyway. For him this appears to be the equivalent of a child form of the Inquisition. And he’s certainly making enough noise to make that very clear. I’m amazed, AMAZED the neighbors have not called the cops on us yet for all the noise he makes.
Kaleb screaming is a whole new level of ear-splitting. It’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. It’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on the enemies of every Marvel Comic superhero in history. It’s just that loud. You can feel your inner ear vibrating – to the point where you become worried about hearing loss. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts in my life – right up next to those loud amps with no problem. Daddy has spent most of his adult life around airplanes and engines with little problem. Kaleb starts to scream and we both wish we had earplugs while simultaneously plotting our run for the hills.
I mean, come on. How can you possibly be an effective parental machine meant to teach your child responsibility, morality, work ethic, and the joys of a job well done when all you really want to do is cover your ears and hide? Which is basically what Kaleb does when we talk to him anyway – except he doesn’t hide – he covers his ears and he screams like someone is ripping out his central nervous system one tiny nerve at a time.
Of course, this is made SO much better by Mason. <~~Insert Sarcasm Here.
Who has learned to take exquisite pleasure in pushing Kaleb to the point of no return. Kaleb starts yelling about how “Kids don’t clean only grown ups clean!” and what does Mason do? He mimics. He mimes Kaleb garbled, jumbled word for word. And Kaleb flips. Mason is copying him. So, you shush Mason, and go back to informing Kaleb that kids do in fact clean, especially when they have made their bedroom look like something out of a Salvador Dali picture.
To which, Kaleb screams, whines, drops on the ground, and insists that cleaning makes kids tired. Fine. Then you can take a nap when you’re finished. Only, kids don’t take naps.
This will go on and on and around and around. Mason mimics Kaleb saying kids don’t take naps. Kaleb screams at Mason with the kind of fury that would cause any other child on the planet (you know, the kind with self-preservation skills) to run in the opposite direction. Not Mason. Nope, he just mimics the scream. If Kaleb had any form of super power I believe this is the part where he would obliterate Mason. And, just to be a pest, Mason would rise from the ashes and mimic Kaleb.
Physically put Kaleb in his room. Give him three simple tasks to start off with. Pick up the 10 shredded pieces of paper and put them in your trash can. Pick up the 12 books on the floor and put them back on the shelf. Pick up the legos and put them back in the drawer. Small, simple tasks that should only take a few minutes, but will in turn make the mess seem that much less formidable.
Not. Instead, another bout of screaming ensues. Mason runs to the living room, parts the curtain for the french doors that lead to Kaleb’s room, and mimics Kaleb through the glass. Kaleb now makes a bigger mess. Emptying out his trash can, and throwing the legos across the room. Well great. Now you have just made more work for yourself.
Typically, I will help Kaleb clean his room. I understand that even though he made the mess no problem, everything together seems overwhelming and he doesn’t generally deal well with picking it up unless I’m in there giving direction and a (slight) helping hand. But now, now this is about the principal of the matter. I helped you clean this mess three days ago. I helped you pick up all of the Legos. I helped you find a new home for your train tracks and accessories since you opted to destroy the train table. But I am sure as heck not going to do it now. You made this mess. It’s not a disaster, but it certainly isn’t clean. And I’m not going on vacation just to come home to your bedroom looking like it was ransacked by Max and The Wild Things.
Of course, when you add in Daddy’s reaction to the entire event, it just adds an extra layer of chaos. It’s bad enough Kaleb won’t listen to me. I’m used to it. I’m frustrated by it, frustrated by my own frustration and by the fact that I tend to be so worn down by the end of the day Kaleb wins. But Daddy is more frustrated. Because he isn’t used to it.
Yesterday he got up with the boys and gave me a much needed chance to sleep in. I stayed in bed until NOON. For the first time (without being seriously ill) since Kaleb was born, I got to sleep until noon. I probably would have stayed in bed all day if it weren’t for the periodic screaming coming from the children, and my guilt for making Daddy handle it all on his own. I know he’s more than capable of managing, but I also know that every day it hits him a little harder – nobody listens. The dog doesn’t listen, Mason doesn’t listen, Kaleb doesn’t listen – and if we’re being really honest here, there’s a good chunk of time when the only thing I’m listening to is my inner dialog of “You love your kids. You love your kids. You really, really, love your kids.”
Then the inner monologue gets replaced with “You do not need an exorcist. They are not really possessed. They’re just really… passionate. About making you crazy.” Of course, that change comes from Kaleb throwing a curtain rod down the hallway and Mason throwing trains in the toilet while the dog eats a Poptart that once belonged to one of the children.
So, here we are. Another Monster War. Probably a losing battle as Kaleb has locked himself in his room in an effort to make a bigger mess, and Mason proceeds to scream and rage at the dog for eating his Poptart. Ah, well, at least I know whose breakfast the dog was eating.
Getting them haircuts and taking a trip to the flea market to buy them new suitcases should be a blast today.
I need more coffee.