19 September 2007

Food Radar and Other Kid Mysteries

As I write this blog, J-man is across the room, sleeping in his Pack 'n Play. Or is he just playing possum? You see, my kids, like all kids, have radar. It's the all-purpose "Mom/Dad is doing something important/eating something - time for me to interrupt her/him!" Typically, this kid radar comes into play while one of us is eating, talking on the phone, drinking a cup of coffee, folding laundry, into a house-cleaning groove. Allow me to deconstruct a kid radar moment.

I have just sat down to lunch. All three kids are asleep, sawing logs (as my mom would say). There, staring at me from my plate is two-day-old pizza, fresh from the microwave, wonderful rubbery goodness. Next to it is a diet root beer and a sliced apple. It is the lunch of champions. As I lift the pizza for my first bite, J-man begins to squirm. It's 30 minutes until I feed him again. He could just be moving in his sleep, but I freeze anyway, as if I'm a deer in headlights. He squirms again then quiets. I wait a few moments longer, then take a bite. As I chew, he squirms again and begins to cry. No matter how much a jostle and rock him or the pack 'n play or place his paci in his mouth, he will not be calmed back into going to sleep. So, I give in and feed him while feeding myself. While nursing him, he frequently employs his arm of death. What is this arm of death? The arm of death is whichever arm is exposed while he's nursing. This arm invariably swings out from his side, then back, then forward onto my chest with a loud "thump!" Several times while nursing, the arm of death will be deployed and it's particularly dangerous when I'm eating or drinking. The arm of death has caused coffee spillage, peach projectiles, and on this occasion, diet root beer has flown from my hand, droplets spilling across the two of us.

Ten minutes into nursing J-man, feeding myself, and avoiding the arm of death, the twins' radar has gone off. Instead of sleeping for another half-hour, they have sensed two people in the house eating and feel that it is time to wake up. And not only do they not wake up calmly, rolling over, jabbering to one another, playing with stuffed animals. No. It's time to scream bloody murder as if someone is knifing them. Of course, I'm kind of stuck with pizza in one hand, J-man nursing in the other. He's nursing for another 20 minutes, so I listen to screaming for 20 minutes. Oh, joy.

Kid radar also happens during those intimate husband-wife moments that happen oh-so-infrequently. All has been dead silent, we're in the mood, a crucial moment occurs (hey, this is a PG-13 blog, mild cussing only, not nudity or porn, people!), and it's suddenly 1 AM meltdown mode. I just can't figure out how they can sense these things two rooms away while in a deep sleep.

I had a Chez Ami clothing party last month and was calling the mothers I had invited, reminding them of the party time and date. I was nursing J-man while making the calls. The twins were happily playing. Suddenly, while leaving a message for one mom, Bubba gets his head stuck in the gate and begins screaming. I don't know what was worse, me continuing to leave the message as if nothing was going on or Bubba screaming in the background like he's being attacked. I'm telling you, if I hadn't been on the phone, he never would have gotten himself stuck in the gate in the first place.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on "remote psychic viewers," the CIA should have just hired a bunch of toddlers on a part-time basis. They would have had much more success and would have saved my tax dollars in the process.

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