Sunday, March 29, 2009


Twice a year, the Southside Mothers Of Multiples club holds their consignment sale. It is a unique opportunity for us to unload some of the trappings that the twins have outgrown, and re-equip them with what we can only hope will preoccupy their imaginations for the forthcoming months, at greatly discounted prices. We have been able to sell most of our big ticket items and provide them with clothing and toys for the months to come, while eeking out a small profit in the bargain, for the last year or so. And, although I am grateful for the savings we enjoy, it does not come without it's drawbacks for me, personally.

In order for the wife to get first dibs on the goodies, she must work the sale, leaving me at home with the twins in the early hours of the morning. We contracted a babysitter to watch them Friday night, while the wife helped with the setup, and then enjoyed shopping while I was at work late into the evening. When I awoke from my four hours of sleep, I was greeted by a stunning display of Thomas the Train and Elmo toys laid out for our toddlers to enjoy, and the wife scampering out the door to perform her duties at the sale.

This, of course, left a sleep deprived Daddy and two hyper-excited toddlers to plunder the bounty laid out before us. Subsequently, diaper changes were met with resistance and tears, arched backs and flailing limbs, as if the hand me down toys would somehow disappear if not immediately played with. Already exhausted, I laid on the couch and closed my eyes as they fell upon the new found treasures scattered about the living room.

Twenty minutes must have passed in what seemed like a second before I was being whacked on the head with train tracks torn apart by innocent hands and a soundtrack of angelic voices with an upward inflection lilting toward the heavens repeating, "mmm...Fix? mmm...Fix? mmm...Broken. mmm...Fix??". I did my best to piece the toys back together with at least a third of the parts already missing, lost, perhaps never to be found again in final resting places that I can only surmise.

And then they found the books. The next few hours were a blur of Fox in Socks, Berenstain Bears, Who Are You Sue Snue, and Curious George classics. There were pop-ups, lift-a-flaps, and sliders to explore. There were farmyard animals, and rhymes, and opposites. And there was no interest in lunch whatsoever. And when I finally decreed it naptime, they shrieked and howled as if it was the end of the world and I was the Antichrist. And that left me with just enough time to shower and iron my clothes and go to work, babysitting grown adults with even worse behavior and far less charisma, and no blood relation, either. But, hey! It's a living!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quiz Kid

If you come to my house, you had better be prepared to answer some tough questions. Although the twins have yet to ponder existentialism or the nature of man, they are armed with a little bit of knowledge, and that's a dangerous thing, indeed. You see, being an expert in a particular field often brings the temptation to flaunt your knowledge in front of others, leaving them to sink into the sea of inferiority. It's the Alex Trebek syndrome, and Jack's got the bug.

Jack has taken on the role of quiz master, and there is only one category: Thomas the Train. The questions start out pretty easy. "Color's Thomas?". Blue. Everyone knows that. Then they get a little bit harder. "Color's James?". Mmmmm..... Oh yeah, red. "Color's Percy?". Green, maybe? I'm starting to feel the pressure. Jack is relentless and presses on. "Color's Emily?". They have girl trains on Thomas? "Color's Toby?". Jack senses weakness. "Color's Cranky?". Isn't that one of the Seven Dwarfs? Sweat begins to bead upon my brow. "Color's Skarloey?". How can you even pronounce that name? You're barely two! "Color's Diesel?". I should probably know this one, but I don't. I only put Thomas on when I want to clean the kitchen, or write this blog without interruption. "Color's Henry?". I give up. "Color's Molly?". You win! "Color's Duck?". My eye starts to twitch. Stop taunting me! "Color's Stepney?". Just leave me alone! My lip begins to tremble. And then comes the breaking point. "Color's Bullstrode?". I can take it no longer, and retreat to my bedroom to sob quietly, bearing the shame of intellectual defeat at the hands of a toddler.

Perhaps one day, Jack will grow a mustache and attain perfect pronounciation of the Spanish language, rolling R's off his tongue like water off a duck's back. And perhaps he will have a game show of his own, preferably with more than one category. But until then, he will just have to be content with that smug air of superiority that accompanies the asking of questions that you already know the answers to, and the satisfaction of finding that other people don't.