Welcome to the latest installment of a weekly contribution to the site by my husband, Thomas: Chasing Rabbits. In case you missed the first one, why Chasing Rabbits? My husband will be the first to admit that his thought process can be a bit…er…random. He starts in one spot, chases after some rabbits, sometimes all the way down the rabbit hole and back, but it
mostly usually always ends in a great place. But don’t take my word for it…
Our children are often around other kids their age. This is the only reason we send them to pre-school. They play, learn, nap and eat together. Some of the kids are a little older and naturally a little more advanced, but for the most part they are all on a level playing field. Annie and Leelou have grown accustomed to the games these kids play and how they play them. There is a routine.
Over the weekend we had a party and invited some friends and family. One of the guests was a boy named William who is five and a half years old. William and his mother stayed at our house for the weekend and left out Sunday afternoon. William brought demons with him. William brought baby crack with him. William brought his big boy toys with him. William damn near started a war.
Don’t misunderstand. William is a well behaved little guy. He says please and thank you and almost always does what he is told. He is, however, very loud and very energetic. The addition of this little boy to our relaxed lifestyle resulted in total anarchy.
William and his mother arrived at our house on Friday night. They were running a little late and showed up as we were getting our girls ready for bed. At the sight of this new little boy, our girls suddenly regained all of the energy they had burned off that week. They wanted to play with him. They wanted to sit with him. They made up a thousand excuses why they weren’t ready to go to sleep so they could buy some extra time with him.
After an hour of this frustrating dance, William was taken to the spare room where he and his mother went to sleep. It took some time, but we finally got them settled down and in their beds by 11:00. Once everybody was in bed we baked some cupcakes and cookies, decorated the house, and were in bed by 2:00.
We were forced out of our bed before 7:00 on Saturday and the girls wanted to know where William was. Annie knocked on their door and William appeared wearing only a pair of boxer shorts (over his undies). Now Annie wanted to run around in her underwear. After breakfast the kids took turns chasing each other and playing with new toys while the adults got showered and dressed.
William plays a little rough. He jumped around Hulk smashing and on a couple occasions took out a nearby toddler. Annie was constantly following him around, and Leelou would drag up the rear pushing a shopping cart full of baby dolls. It was funny and sad at the same time.
We went out for lunch and since it was such a nice day, we took advantage of their outside dining area. Beside us was a large outdoor fireplace that wasn’t in use. Annie wanted to sit by William. The kids quickly finished what they were willing to eat and quite loudly demanded some play time. William brought two Transformers that he and Annie raced around the fireplace hearth. Once Leelou was finished, she wanted to play, too. She followed her sister around trying to steal her car and on several occasions the three of them tripped over each other while racing around the table. Yes, we were THOSE people.
Once we got home, everybody was tired and ready for a nap. William and his mother went in their room, Melissa sprawled out on the couch, her sister Auntgee reclined in a chair, Auntgee’s fiancé passed out in a gaming chair in another room, and I quickly realized that I was the only adult that was awake. What the hell guys? I want to nap too.
Annie tells me she needs to potty, no she doesn’t, yes she does, nope, yes, no, yes, no, yes. She is only a couple weeks into potty training and is still getting used to the way it feels when she needs to poop. Some times we get a dozen false alarms before she is actually ready. This was one of those times. So as I was taking Annie back and forth to the bathroom, Leelou decided she wants a cupcake. You know what? GO ASK MOM. Heeheeheehee.
Once Melissa was awake, we rounded up the kids and forced them to take a nap. Once awake, William and his new posse decide they want to play outside. It was actually completely different than I had imagined it going. William and his mother kicked a soccer ball back and forth while Annie and Leelou chased bubbles. After an hour of what was potentially the most boring recess break ever, we coaxed the kids back into the house with the promise of a party.
The party started out as expected. The kids sat in their seats and colored, played games, ate cupcakes and had a really good time. At some point Annie excused herself, removed her shirt, and started playing with William’s toys in the other room. I guess she was done with the party. When the pizza arrived, she sat in her seat long enough to push around a couple pieces and once again excused herself. When bedtime arrived, all the kids collapsed from exhaustion and we actually got to bed at a decent hour.
On Sunday I finally began to piece together what had been going on.
As I watched our kids interact, I began to notice how they didn’t really follow William around anymore. When we watched a movie, they didn’t fight over the seat next to him. When we ate breakfast, they didn’t demand to sit in big people seats to be near him. When they did play a game of hide and go seek, it ended with William locking himself in the back room to get away from Annie. In the end, William’s visit ended quite suddenly after the baby brawl.
The baby brawl, as it will be known throughout time, began with William pushing around one of our girls’ toys. It was one of those ball popping lawnmower push thingies that most kids have at an early age. So as William was pushing it around the house, Annie decided that she had had enough of this intruder and tried to stake her claim on the toy that is rightfully hers.
The two of them made a couple laps around the house with William holding the top and Annie holding the middle section. As the struggle escalated, Leelou jumped in to help. We don’t know if she was trying to help her sister or if she wanted the prize for herself. So Leelou grabbed the lower section of the toy as all three were pulling and pushing on it.
Annie and William were still scuffling for control of the toy, and Leelou got knocked down in the process. Leelou is stubborn and determined. She would not let go. As the toy continued its voyage across the house, it was now dragging a screaming toddler. Screams turned to cries as Leelou got trampled and dragged across the house. But she wouldn’t let go. This is the point where the adults actually realized what was going on and intervened. Yeah, it was time to go. Bye, William! It was fun!
I really don’t know what happened after lunch on Saturday. Perhaps both of the kids sat in their cars on the ride home and decided that the other sucked. Maybe they both had dreams during their naps where the other was stealing their toys. Or maybe the new had worn off so they no longer felt the need to be pleasant towards the other.
No matter the reason, I am proud of Leelou. She stood her ground against giants and never let go. Leelou, I love you.
So there you have it. Daddy’s version of the #DisneySide party. Amazing that we considered having a third. And that he wanted a boy! How about you? Ever add another kid to your delicate mix and find some strange behaviors? Tell us about your adventures in the comments so we can be prepared when you come to visit!