This Daily Prompt was a tough one. The prompt is to use this sentence in the final paragraph of a post: “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” You can see the Prompt and the other responses here. This is my attempt (it’s fictional–mostly- bahahaha).
In all honesty, the real reason we finished the basement was to get rid of the kids for a few hours a day. We thought if we gave them a fully-stocked basement, toys, books, television, DVD player, they’d play nicely downstairs, while upstairs we’d be able to have a conversation. Maybe drink a glass of wine together. Revel in the silence.
It didn’t really happen that way. Instead, they learned to project their outdoor voices so that they annoyed us from The Great Below.
“MOOOOMMMMMMM,” one of them would yell.
“WHHHAATTT,” I’d yell back, without going downstairs.
“I WANT WAAATTERRRRR.”
“COME UPSTAIRS AND GET IT!”
“I’LL DIE OF THIRRRRSSSTTTTT,” he’d cry.
I’d march down with a glass of water for the big one. Of course then the little one would want one too. So I’d climb back up, making a mental note to stock the basement with water bottles.
And so it continued. Despite all we’d given them, they were just as demanding. The loaded basement didn’t distract them from seeking our attention at all. The constant screaming and up-and-down trips developed our vocal cords and our quadriceps, but we were tired of being wanted and needed and screamed at.
Wild Card Weekend. The best weekend in football. Husband said to me, “Let’s put the kids in the basement and try to watch football. We’ll set up the crock pot, have a few beers, enjoy the games. What do you think?”
I was skeptical, but nodded. “Okay,” I said.
We set them up in the basement with the remote, water, snacks, toys. We even gave them a pep talk about the joys of having a sibling. Without making excessive eye contact, we snuck back upstairs and crossed our fingers.
By the middle of the first quarter, the yelling began. “MOOOMMMM! HE’S BOTHERING MEEEEEE.”
I looked at Husband. “Just ignore them,” he said. “They’ll give up trying.”
“MOOOMMMMM! SHE’S EATING PAPERRRR!”
I looked at Husband again. “Paper won’t kill her,” he said. “Fiber.”
I rolled my eyes. “I guess she’ll live until halftime,” I said.
Then we heard the pounding. Something was hitting the walls causing loud “thunks.”
“Probably the neighbors hanging a picture,” Husband said as he turned up the volume.
THUNK. THUNK. “MOOOMMMM!” the little one yelled.
“For the love of God,” I said, and at the two-minute warning, I headed downstairs over Husband’s protests.
“WHAT?” I said, as I stomped down the stairs. “Can’t mommy and daddy have an hour to themselves?”
The big one, the boy, sat behind a long line of his construction vehicles. The girl wore a football helmet (not matching either of the teams playing upstairs) and sat cross-legged in the corner.
“What is going on here?” I asked. The boy smirked and the girl peeked at me through the helmet.
“He’s throwing toys at me!” she yelled.
“So throw some back,” I said. “Just don’t kill each other.”
They both stared at me dumbfounded.
I sighed. I clearly remember that moment as the Moment I Gave Up Parenting. I couldn’t do it anymore. I just wanted to watch football. Was that a crime?
The two little faces stared up at me in shock. Good thing they’re cute, I thought. Still, I needed a break.
“Mom,” the boy said. “You’re saying it’s okay if I throw my toys?”
“And I can throw them back?” she added.
“Yep, I’m done. Done. So go ahead. Throw your toys. We’ll deal with injuries after the games. If there’s any blood, try to keep it off the carpet. It’s Berber.” I said. I waved and stood at the bottom of the stairs, quickly scanning the room for anything that could cause serious injuries or be legally considered a “dangerous weapon.” I didn’t see any knives or guns. The girl was wearing a helmet too, which made me feel better.
“Mom!” the girl yelled after me. “He threw his toy dump truck at me! And his forklift!”
I turned to the girl. “Listen, honey. Boys are going to throw all kinds of crap at you. Forklifts, lies, empty promises. Learn to deflect or to throw back,” I said.
I climbed the stairs and smiled, not sure whether to be impressed or appalled at my parenting skills.
“But Mom! Don’t you care?” she asked from below, as I climbed the stairs and opened the door to the first floor and the second half of the football game.
“He tried to hit me with a forklift!” she cried. At least he missed, I thought, as I shut the basement door behind me.
Hey, I get points for trying, yes? Thanks for reading and have a nice night.