Two weeks ago, Drew and I became newlyweds again.
Well, not the modern kind of newlyweds, you know, the kind who already has three kids, ten thousand dollars in credit card bills, and a tattoo on our mid-backs of random lines that some bearded drunk guy told us meant “harmony” in Chinese.
No, the old-fashioned kind of newlyweds. The kind who has fifty thousand dollars in student loans, a cat with a pretentious human name, and more takeout menus than books. The kind of newlyweds who have nothing to do on a Saturday morning except roll over groggily at the first sign of the sun, look at the clock, and plop our heads back down on sheets unmarred by toddler slobber and silly bandz.
No, we didn’t sell our children on Ebay. Yet.
We simply told them that they were old enough to get up and entertain themselves until Mommy and Daddy wake up.
We had a few guidelines:
1) You cannot get out of your bed until the sun is fully in the sky.
2) You have to go potty immediately upon waking up. And wash your hands, because you were not raised in a barn.
3) If you wake up before your sibling, you cannot wake them up, nor can you go downstairs. You must play quietly in your room with quiet toys, such as books or Barbie dolls. You may not touch anything that contains batteries or has an on/off switch.
4) Once you go downstairs, you can sit at the counter and each eat one cereal bar and a banana. You can drink the water that is in the sippy cups on the counter.
5) You can turn on the TV but you must not touch the channel button or the volume button.
6) Under no circumstances are you to touch a pair of scissors or a sharpie.
7) You cannot go outside, even if you see a friendly neighbor or a cute kitty outside.
9) You cannot not scream or argue with each other. Particularly when in the vicinity of our bedroom door.
10) When you do scream and argue, you cannot come and tell Daddy or me about it. We don’t care.
11) When the clock says 8:00 am, you can come wake us up. Quietly and slowly. Do not act like hoodlums exiting a rave.
All of the guidelines were followed with the exception of one of them; number 10. Oh, and the second and third parts of number 11.
Sydney: MOM! MOM!
Me: Awwwwgggghhhh. Sydney, it’s not time to wake me up.
Sydney: YES IT IS. IT’S EIGHT OH OH. THAT’S EIGHT O’CLOCK.
Me: Why are you talking so loud? Arrgggh, we so need to move this bed so my side isn’t closest to the door.
Drew: Arrrrggggh. The bed is fine where it is. Sydney, stop yelling.
Sydney: MOM, DYLAN HIT-TED ME!
Me: Hit-ted? That’s not a real word. It’s “hit”. Dylan hit you.
Sydney: I KNOW, HE DID!
Me: Why? Did you deserve it?
Sydney: (thoughtful pause) No, not really.
Me: What do you want me to do about it? Hit him back for you?
Sydney: (slow smile) Yeah. Yeah!
Me (yawn): Sure. Where do you want me to hit him?
Sydney: On the buns!
Me: Okay. How hard?
Sydney: A little bit hard.
Me: Are you sure? Maybe I should hit him REALLY hard.
Sydney: Okay (uncertain).
Me: Okay, turn around.
Sydney: (turns around) Why?
Me: So I can practice on you. You know, to get it right.
Me: (grabbing her firmly) So we decided on REALLY hard, right? Not just a little bit hard?
Sydney: Well, maybe just a little bit hard.
Me: Nah, he’ll never learn his lesson that way. Let’s do it really hard.
Sydney: Mom, no! I don’t want to be hit really hard!
Me: Are you sure?
Me: Okay, I guess we’ll just forget about anyone hitting anyone.
Sydney: Yeah, okay. Can I have another cereal bar?
Me: Ask Daddy.
I know. Try not to be overcome with admiration at my mad parenting skillz.
Note: Drew wanted me to tell you that on Sunday, the kids came upstairs and asked us if they could go outside and play with our neighbor. It was 8:07 am. We said no, since we were still in bed. Approximately two minutes later, we look outside to see Sydney, Dylan, and Trinity playing on the playset in their pajamas. Apparently I dreamed the part where I said no.