Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Study Finds Link Between Doorbells and Child Delinquency

As you read from my previous post, the kids and I had a lovely weekend, albeit missing Jeff. The fighting was kept to a minimum (relatively) and there was a nice balance between accomplishing tasks and taking time to enjoy each other.

At 8:00 PM Sunday night, we had an appointment at our house with the cabinet man. After two months, we're finally close to getting started with putting our kitchen back together. Jeff just made it home from work in time for the meeting and I was just finishing giving the kids showers, teeth brushing and "the talk." I feel it's important to let them know when someone's coming over and what's expected.

"Now Daddy and I have a meeting. You can play quietly in your rooms or come down and color. But we need to talk to Mr. Steve so we can get our kitchen fixed. Ok?"

In unison: "Ok Mommy"

The three of them grab their new books we picked up at Target and headed up to Quietville. As I put away the last of the laundry, the doorbell rings.

Not three minutes into our conversation, Lucy comes down ready to play.


Five minutes after that, Jacob comes down in full Superman regalia.

"Hi, I'm Jacob. What's your name?"

At that point, I wondered...where's Brady? (hmmm. at least someone is playing quietly)

We try to have a conversation but with tantrums over who's drinking out of what cup and the screaming need for kid-scissors to start a very important art project on a Sunday evening, we couldn't hear ourselves think -- which was good because you wouldn't want to know what I was thinking.

A few minutes later, Jeff goes up to check on Brady. Jacob and Lucy seem to take a reprieve from the demands and I am able to communicate with the visibly-baffled Mr. Steve. I didn't realize at the time but found out later over a glass of wine that Brady was upstairs making a mess of his own. I won't out him on the blog but let's just say his independence in the bathroom looked more like a finger painting session than what he was in there to do. Jeff actually was up there long enough to give him another full shower and find new pajamas. As they descended the stairs, the other two took it as an invitation to start taunting their brother. Little did we know, their mini-battle break was obviously used to come up with some new and original urgent demands, delivered to us in their "outside voices."

Just as I turned to ask Jeff what has gotten into these kids, Lucy appears... "Daddeeeeeeeeeeee, look!" She had a pen shoved up her nose and thought it was the funniest thing ever. We took that opportunity to wrap it up and release the cabinet guy back into his natural habitat, and not the jungle we like to call home.

Of course this isn't the first time our sweet little children have turned into tiny hellions. But they can't possibly be responsible for such terrible behavior, right? There has to something making them act like crazy people.

After two glasses of wine and some charting, graphs and calls to my lifeline... EUREKA! We discovered that there's one common denominator in all of these outbursts -- guests. So instead of putting the onus on my little terribles, I say it's the sound of the doorbell that turns the switch on in their brain, forcing them to channel their inner Linda Blair. You know, kind of like that woman who claimed Mary Hart was responsible for the seizures she suffered while watching Entertainment Tonight. Yeah, that's the answer.

So if you happen to stop by, try knocking.