So yesterday was a tough day.
I was tired. I didn’t feel that great. I had unexpected company. The house was a disaster from Gabe’s birthday party the day before. Our 15 year-old dog followed my every step as I cleaned, panting the entire way. The kids were needier than usual.
Gabe bought $40 worth of in-app purchases. He claimed it was an accident. He had received several i-Tunes cards for his birthday and didn’t realize they had run out. His innocence in the matter was possible. Possible – but not likely. Tough love was necessary to be sure it didn’t happen again.
He also received two remote control cars as gifts. The kids raced them through the kitchen, around the breakfast table and up and down the hallway for hours. Finally, the noise was more than I could take. I asked them to take a break.
“Okay, Momma. But can we please take a bath?” Sydney and Taylor begged.
“No,” I stated firmly. “I just got the house clean, and the last thing I feel like dealing with is a mess in my bathroom.”
They love to take baths in our oversized jacuzzi tub. But they go overboard with the bubbles and the splashing, which soaks the pile of discarded clothing they’ve left behind on the floor. They get clean, while my bathroom gets destroyed.
“We promise we won’t make a mess, Momma. We promise!” they begged.
As they begged, I reconsidered. My nerves were fried, and the thought of them occupied in the tub for the next half-hour sounded appealing.
“Fine. But if you do, I expect my bathroom to look exactly the way you found it,” I warned severely.
“Wooooohooooo!” they celebrated. “Thanks, Momma!”
As they ran off to start the water, I grabbed my computer and headed to my bed. Even though they’re old enough to bathe themselves, I still like to be close by while they’re in the water – just in case.
I appreciated their calm behavior and zoned out online for a little while. I smiled when I heard them giggling together. I was glad I decided to let them take a bath.
All of a sudden, Sydney walked into my bedroom wearing only a towel and a
nervous guilty grin. She held her right hand to the top of her head.
“Sydney! What are you doing?! You’re soaking the carpet! Get back in the bathroom!” I yelled with frustration.
“I can’t, Momma…” she informed me in her extra-high pitched tone. The tone she uses when she knows I’m not going to like what she has to say. “I sort of have a problem…” her voice trailed off as she made an attempt to soften the blow.
I closed my eyes and exhaled deeply. “What?” I asked bravely.
“I have gum in my hair,” she confessed, as she slowly removed her hand from the top of her head.
I gasped in horror when I saw the gigantuous wad of bright red gum glued to and embedded in the roots of her hair.
“Sydney! How did this happen?!” I demanded to know.
“Taylor did it,” she admitted. “We were playing, and she thought it would be funny.” She was not mad at her sister. Instantly I knew this was another Twin Plan gone wrong – a mutually agreed upon game that sounds fun, but never ends well.
“Well it’s not funny, Sydney! What if I have to cut your hair to get it out?? It will look ridiculous!” I scolded her.
“I know, Momma. Will you please try to get it out before you cut it?” she asked anxiously.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to go bat-shit crazy. Scream. Holler. RAGE.
I took a deep breath. “Go get the peanut butter and sit at the table,” I commanded her.
“Taylor!” I beckoned through gritted teeth.
“Yes, Momma?” she appeared from behind the corner wrapped in her own towel.
“WHY did you do this?!” I scolded her. “You’re almost 9 years-old! You know better!”
“I don’t know, Momma. I’m sorry. I’ll go to my room,” she conceded easily – which was further proof they had created this disaster together.
As I worked, Sydney was abnormally quiet as she sat underneath me on a chair in the kitchen. “What’s going on inside your head?” I asked her.
“I’m really worried you’re going to have to cut it out. Then I would look horrible for the first day of school,” she said with regret.
“Yes, you would.” I made no attempt to sugar-coat the situation.
“I just keep asking myself, ‘Why me?’ because I don’t know why it happened to me,” she admitted shamefully.
“That’s funny, Sydney,” I said in a tone that was not at all funny. “I keep asking myself the same question.”
“I’m really sorry, Momma,” she apologized with sincerity.
“I am too, Momma,” again Taylor appeared from nowhere. “And I’m sorry for you, Sydney. It was stupid and I’ll never do it again.”
Normally, stupid is not a word I allow to be used in our home. But this was stupid. I said nothing in objection.
Two hours and half a jar of peanut butter later – Sydney was spared from the worst haircut of her life. She never fidgeted, never complained when I pulled, and never said a negative word about her twin sister.
“Thank you for having so much patience, Momma!” she hugged me tightly. “I promise we will never have a Gum War ever again!” she let the cat out of the bag as they ran off together.
“A Gum War???” I spit the question out.
“Don’t worry, Momma!” Taylor consoled me happily, “Sydney got gum in my hair too, but I already got it out!”
I exhaled. I shook my head in defeat. I grabbed a beer to continue to ward off bat-shit crazy as the day drew to a close.
Just then, the phone rang.
“Honey?” It was Craig. “How much do you love me?”
“What do you want?” I snarled, not wanting to know.
“I’m running late. Can you take Gabe to soccer?” asked Craig, the coach of Gabe’s soccer team.
Sure. No problem. Let me just hose the peanut butter off myself and put my unopened beer away.
First, let me take a moment to go bat-shit crazy…