The Grand Conspiracy

On her blog, "Tales of the Kids" Marcy introduces it with the line "...one girl, one boy - on a quest to see who can drive their Mama to the looney bin first."

I can relate. I have been known to tell people that my three children are engaged in a conspiracy to either drive me to pull my hair out in clumps or at least to make me look crazy. Far too often, it seems that I arrive in a public place either snarling in frustration or drooping in defeat. The children, on the other hand, look cheerful, cute, and well-behaved to the general public. I know this is the impression they give because this is what the public tells me.
"Your children are so sweet!" "You have beautiful children." "They get along so well with each other."
I think all three kids should grow up to be PR reps or politicians. If these kind people only knew what was going on in the car minutes before!
They can create an argument or a competition with just about any subject matter or prop. To the casual observer, some of the competitions may be mistaken for "games"; which is what the kids call them. Most of these "games" inevitably end up with someone crying, pouting, or in a big pinching fest.
Common shouts that bounce into the front seat to be dodged by the driver (me) while navigating traffic are: "That's not FAIR!" "You can't change the rules." "STOP! OUCH!" "You're a butthead!"
Yes, they seem sweet to those who casually pass them in the aisle of the grocery store while they are chatting away in their various cartoonish-sounding tones. But a closer listen may reveal that they are discussing how many villains their avatars (computer characters representing them in a game) have to "kill" in order to get to the next level, and then fighting about who is going to get to that level first.
You may think my daughter's long tousled hair is pretty, but all I see is the memory of the almost daily struggle to brush it and put it in a neat ponytail for school while she yells and screams that I am "killing her" no matter how gently I try to brush. And I feel the resentment of knowing she promptly pulls the band out when she gets to school.
Orangeboy may look small and cute for his age, but when he comes into the kitchen in the morning and loudly whines that there is no more of his favorite cereal and then growls at me, he is not so adorable. When he "freezes up" and refuses to speak to me at all for 2 or 3 hours because I want to know something he doesn't want me to know, I find it hard to be a patient and proud parent.
When my oldest purposely harrasses his sister until she goes into a screaming tantrum - well.

Yes, they are ADORABLE - SO CUTE! I am SO FORTUNATE that they get along SO WELL!

Well, I just heard a scream and crash upstairs, I had better go referee - I mean check - what is going on.

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