Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's All About The Delivery

This weekend we went to Disneyland for one day, Saturday, between two nights in a hotel room adjoined with a room inhabited by our four cousins. It was a rip-roaring, somewhat sleep-deprived good time, punctuated by snack stops, mild meltdowns, and trips to the Disney store to choose that one elusive, sanctioned souvenir*.

By Sunday, after trips to the hotel pool and IHOP, our kids were DONE. They'll sleep in the car for the drive home! we predicted gleefully, simultaneously locking our daughters into their carseats and the key into the ignition. The hour-and-forty-five-minute drive ensured well-rested kids by the time we hit our 'hood, we figured. Our evening would be peaceful.

Alas, the instantaneous slumber we expected was not forthcoming; by the San Onofre Rest Stop exit we still had two slap-happy sisters to contend with and one who needed to go potty.

People without kids might not know what sleepy kids look like. People without kids often don't know what sleepy kids act like. Heck, even I stared at my own first child in wonder when I first realized that a tired youngster, instead of exhibiting the normal signs of exhaustion, like LYING DOWN, acts like a complete MANIAC. I am not sure what weird genetic twist of fate turns tired children into whirling dervishes, but it defies all sorts of logic. Our normally sweet five-year-old becomes a devil. Our normally devilish three-year-old...well.

The first sign of trouble was the manic giggling. On the surface, two girls giggling in the back of the MPV appears harmless. Good fun, one thinks. They're being cute, you might add. But there's cute giggling, and then there's grating giggling. Call me cynical.

But my husband and I know better; maniacal glee is the gateway to mayhem. One eyebrow raised, my husband and I were giving each other knowing glances. Looks that meant, Do we start the idle threats now? Nah; we should hold off as long as we can, since we're only to San Clemente. Anyway, kids know they're pretty safe in the car: what are you going to do, parents? There's only so much whipping-your-head-around-and-glaring that can be done before surrender.

Soon they began thwacking each other with their *stuffed fairy dolls and shrieking. And, you know, it's hard to drive when kids are shrieking or yelling or screaming. Okay, maybe it's not so much hard to actually drive, but it's grit-your-teeth annoying.

Lucky for us, they were running out of energy and ammo. After trying a few feeble utterances of "poopybutt" and "fart," there was relative quiet.

But then I watched in the rearview mirror as our three-year-old leaned forward and looked sideways to gain the attention of her elder sister. Next, facing confidently forward, she grinned and said, "Fucks fucks fucks." She crossed her arms and nodded at her sister like, What do you think about THAT?

Her older sister was appropriately scandalized and thrilled. Nothing like the little sister accessing that naughty word heard in the 'hood a few weeks back and tossing it out at a most unexpected but opportune time (not the first time she's used language strategically, by the way). Brava, Sis!

Both pairs of beady eyes burned into the rearview mirror to witness our reactions. Which were, for the record, fairly understated: "Don't even THINK about repeating that word." And then we turned the radio up and vowed to ignore any further vulgarities issuing from the third row.

And wouldn't you know, they were both asleep in mere minutes--only a few exits away from home, of course. Dammit.


Kris said...

This is the funniest story! Jenny.... BOOK PLEASE!

me said...

The thought of that sweet little girl uttering that work is hysterical! Thanks for the laugh!

Mama Deb said...

Haha! And it IS hard to drive with all that noise.

I love your blog.