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Friday, April 20, 2007

The threat of evisceration

At 7:05 in the morning I place fruit on the table, the empty table before school. I check the time. I beam with self satisfaction. Never in the history of this household have we made it to anywhere near seven in the morning without a houseful of screaming banshees. I tip toe upstairs to gently waken my sweet bairns from their slumbers. Each bed has a mound and sound. I lift the covers to a sudden flurry of activity, to discover that each is playing an electronic device, “we’ve only been playing a few hours!” she pleads in her defense, white faced and dark eyed from sleep deprivation. Each child now sits on an electronic device with their hands behind their backs, a picture of innocence but for the little muffled tunes emanating from their bottoms. I pout and purse my lips, searching for the correct verbal response. I remain silent for safety purposes and mime them to ‘go downstairs.’

I debate the best method of reaching the goal of ‘school on time,’ now that I have three thoroughly exhausted little individuals to speed through a contracted morning "routine?" Every minute counts and we’re already 5 behind.

Spouse appears after a disturbed and brief, night’s sleep.

“I’m warning you now,” he announces to three sets of eyes. Spouse is taking command and I watch in awe, because he has skills that I do not. In his open palms, he manages to contain a wide collection of ‘electronics.’ [translation = the tools of bribery, "reinforcement" and possibly, most importantly, motivation]
He continues, “I’m going to take them all to work with me, every last one of them!” A collective gasp of warm horror steams into the cold room, where goose bumps cover each naked body. “I will not tolerate this kind of theft!” It would appear that my own ‘hiding’ skills are not up to par. {translation = they are getting much better at finding.]

My daughter just covers her mouth with her hands, holding it all in.

No so her brothers. Junior is the first to explode, “ I be angry wiv you. Dat is not fair. I not tolerate, coz you are at dah workin forever!” A valid point, that demonstrates his increasing grasp of the concept of time and delayed gratification. In this instance, a huge delay, due to the long hours that spouse spends toiling away at work.

His brother has already managed to use up his bank of words during the early twilight hours of the day, in bed, with the Gameboy. Wordless, he keels over like an axed tree, rigid. Spouse continues, “I going to take them to work and take out their tunes! If you’re very good, you MAY have them back, ……..at some juncture.”

“I wan my juncture now!” screams the sparking jumping jack.

Spouse and I exchange glances as he marches off the scene to find something to put them all in. I consider my incredibly long ‘to do’ list of jobs, chores, errands and things to mend. Whilst a few are of an "electronic" nature, most are far more dull. Disemboweling ‘electronics’ failed to reach ‘list status’ at all.

As he passes, I notice the corner of a crooked smile on his face. He will have such fun dismembering, disconnecting and then re-assembling those three little devices, whilst he is ‘at work.’

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