Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Dirty Karate Kids
Only a fool would hand two boys wielding toy-swords a dirty diaper with the mission to run it to a garbage can and expect them to actually accomplish this mission...without any violence.
I am a fool.
Of course, if I hadn’t been so busy cleaning up my baby’s diaper explosion, then I would have personally escorted the offending package directly to the proper receptacle but that wasn’t the case. So, in a frenzied moment of muddled thinking, I stuck my head out the screen door, hollered for my boys to come and tossed them the diaper with these famous last words,
“Please throw this into a trash bin in the garage. Do this quickly and you can have a star on your chore chart.” I added that last incentive because even I, though sometimes a great fool, understand boys and their tendencies to get a bit...shall we say: DISTRACTED!
Three baths and fifteen minutes later, I stuck my head out the screen door once again to let them know everyone was done with their baths and now it was their turn. The site that greeted me made me wonder where I went wrong as a mother.
There they stood, on a hill in our back-yard, swords drawn and laughter filling the air as the dirty diaper (well, what was left of it) sailed between them, on it’s way to get ambushed yet again.
These are the times words aren’t necessary, just The Look.
Of course, after The Look (which had an amazing effect of causing the dirty diaper to quickly land in it’s rightful home AND causing my boys to hurry into our home!), I had PLENTY of words, nonetheless.
“Both of you boys, in the time-out area. NOW.” My four-year-old and five-year-old exchanged the “we-got-it-coming-bad” look with each other before they hurried by me, avoiding ALL eye-contact with me in case I was still smoldering with The Look.
The most incredulous moment of that whole incident occurred as Judah hurried by me and paused just long enough to ask,
“Do I still get a star for my chore chart?”
Needless to say, he didn’t.
I let enough time elapse for me to cool off (a year or two) before I sat down across from my nervous looking boys that would one day be men (now THERE’S a thought!).
I was more than ready to begin my “ten-minute-torture” (a great idea I got from a friend where the mom gets ten uninterrupted minutes to say anything that’s on her blessed heart and NO ONE interrupts).
“Boys. What are you supposed to do when Momma give you a dirty diaper and ask you to throw it in the trash?”
Gideon caught my eye, still being cautious to avoid The Look, “Well...throw it in the trash right away...and don’t throw it in the air or chop it up with a sword.” The way his big, dark eyes twinkled when he said the last sentence stopped me cold and I melted. I tried to hold back the laughter but I could feel it wanting to burst out of my mouth.
Gideon broke into a grin that he’d been working to hold back, “You got the giggles too, Momma?”
Yes, I sure did.
Suddenly, the somber mood was magically dispersed by three people who all “got the giggles”.
The boys didn’t get in trouble that day (though they didn’t get a star for their chore charts either!) even though maybe they should have. Yet I’m pretty sure they won’t be karate chopping anymore diapers anytime soon.
Even a fool knows that sometimes you got to hold ‘em and sometimes you got to fold ‘em. There are times to lay down the law and times when a little grace is just what is needed.
And I’m pretty sure a case of the giggles cures just about everything.