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Dear Oprah,

I was hiding from my children this morning.  One last little reprieve with a soak in the tub and my tablet before I hit the ground running.  I say reprieve loosely since the only bathtub in my house is in the hall bath and it is just a small standard tub.  I am not just small standard chick, so that makes it not quite as much of a great escape as say a soaking tub—but any port in the storm that is motherhood.

After the first week of school, Mikey and Pierce were suffering withdrawals from their parent—no, not me—the XBOX.  Their play room is off the same hall that my bathtub oasis is, so I got to hear the reunion.  Like it is for all parents, the kids vie for attention nicely at first and then it rapidly descends into competition, aggression and then insults.

Sometimes, when I am in the bath I eavesdrop on the conversations between Mikey and Pierce.  One day I heard Mikey asking his brother if he was going to move out and get his own place when he grew up or live with mommy forever.  Pierce said that he was going to move out. This shocked his brother who swears that he is going to live with me until he’s 40 to which I respond that he will have to change my diapers; Mikey said “Why? Because she’s mean?”  “Yes, mommy is mean.”  Pierce replies.  We hadn’t even been having a disagreement…Well, at least I will get rid of one.

This morning I got to hear the insult—I had missed the aggression preceding it but I expect big brother was playing dirty.  This is what permeated the door of my refuge:  “Mikey, you are so mean!  You are the meanest person that ever lived on earth!  The meanest person in the whole world! “ Pierce said it with such hurt and betrayal, I almost believed him!  Could Mikey really be that guy? Then nothing but some scuffling—I figure this was the point where Mike was a loss for words so he tries to grab Pierce’s head and twist it, because it was followed by an escalating whine and then the trading of convenient ugly names like “Idiot!”  It’s great fun to parent from the bathtub, behind a locked door, and nakedly screaming “You two, knock it off! Don’t make me get out of this tub!”

Both of my kids are tattletales.  These are just some of the random accusations I become privy to daily:

Mikey kicked me in the hoohoo.

Pierce said I’m not his brother anymore.

Mikey told me it’s time for me to go to heaven.  (Pierce told me this while crying…)

Mikey said he’s gonna twist my head all the way around. (Pierce told me this while crying, too.)

Pierce called me an idiot.

Pierce touched my butt.

Mikey turned off the games! (Crying again…)

Pierce said he hates me.

All this and yet one can’t go to sleep without the other.  If Pierce and I are in a store and he sees something his brother would like he says “We should buy that for Mikey.”  And Michael worries constantly about his brother’s safety.  God love those little heathens!

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