So Jen and I were sitting at her table last Wednesday, ignoring the boys, who were desperately trying to engage us in their playdate. Sorry, boys. We ain’t falling for it. We are veterans in the Ignoring War. Well, at least I thought. Till Jen made eye contact….
That was her first mistake. Never Make Eye Contact. Children are like wild animals. They smell fear. They find the weakest in the pack and attack. They will run you down till you cry “Uncle”. And making eye contact with them is an open invitation to come and play and they will stop at nothing to get you to do it.
The boys were in a particular fiesty mood that day and decided the two of them together were not enough entertainment. So lets involve the mamas. They started slow, to test the waters. Coming down the stairs and doing a little dance in the hallway before scurrying back up the stairs in a fit of laughter.
Jen and I can hear them “whispering” their surprise attack plan.
Little man: You go down and turn that way and I’ll go this way and scare them
The boy: Ok. Got it. (I am totally sure he did NOT get it because he was about 3 seconds behind on the attack, but…he tried)
They got a little braver with each attack and started to invade the inner sanctum of the kitchen.
Jen: Its funny how they think we actually care what they are doing.
Me: Just don’t make eye contact.
The next time they came down the stairs, Jen ran around the corner and scared the ever loving crap out of them. I admit, it was classic and a brilliant move. One I had thought of it myself, but was too lazy to follow through. Or maybe too smart….because now Jen was hooked. Reeled in to the everlasting torture by a 5 and a 4 year old whose main goal is to get you involved in their game…FOR EVAH!
I warned her. I really did. Coming from a family who never stops, I’ve learned this lesson early on. I know that “just this once” never exists and that if you open that door just a teensy tiny bit, they will kick that sucker wide open, rip it off the hinges and throw it in your face.
The boys thought this sneak attack was so cool. Well mostly. We heard little man whisper “I’m a little scared now…” so you’d think the damage was done and the fun was over. Nope. They decided to double the attack and take different approach. Now they have split up and are circling from opposites sides, armed with foam swords and nerf guns. When they attack, they are prepared for the scare so Jen chases them through the house and puts a tickle smack down on the two of them. Which they find hilarious. WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING? You are over engaging! STOP!
They escaped and retreated to the stairs in a fit of hysterical laughter. It’s about to get worse.
Me: You’re screwed now. You know that, right?
Jen: I know.
She foolishly sat down and thought she could get back to working when we all know there is no hope for that.
Now the taunting begins.
“Come and get us”
“You can’t catch us”
“Yoooohooooo. We’re over here!”
“Mom! Come chase us!”
Jen believed she could ignore the taunting. She sat stiff backed, staring straight at her laptop, clenching her teeth.
Me: I told you not to make eye contact.
I get a dirty look.
Now they come out of hiding. Time for the art of whining and the age old technique of pestering until Mom breaks.
Little man: Come on mom. Come chase us.
Jen: Not right now. I ran 5 miles this morning. I ‘m tired. Chase each other
Little man: Moooommmmm! Pleassssee! Please chase us? Come on. Please! Please! Please!
Jen: Give me 5 minutes to finish this.
NO NO NO! Don’t give them the 5 minute spiel! First of all, no kids knows what 5 minutes is. In their world, 5 minutes is 5 seconds and they will bug you every single tick of that 5 seconds.
Little man: Mooom. Are you finished yet?
Jen: Not yet.
Little man: When will you be done.
Jen: I said 5 minutes.
Little man: Is five minutes up yet?
Jen was getting to the the breaking point. I know the signs. I’ve been there…many times. Teeth clenched, nostrils flared, narrow eyes, eyebrows knitted together….that’s a mom about to blow.
Lucky for Jen, the boy peed his pants which broke the spell and broke up the playdate. She should give me a big THANK YOU for having a son with no bladder control.
As we left her house, I smiled and say “Good luck”. As I closed the door, I saw the knowledge rise in her eyes and she knows……she is totally on her own.
All because she made eye contact.
PS: I admittedly DID make eye contact, but I was having fun scaring the crap out of the boys for awhile. We ran around and played. We laughed. We yelled. We hooted. We hollered. Until they wouldn’t leave… And then I wanted to cry. -Jen