the suck pocket

4:30 is a pocket of suck that can only be escaped by waiting until it is no longer 4:30, yet by some hideous Kafkaesque version of relativity, 4:30 lasts all the fucking way until bedtime. 

4:30 is when our definition of "toy" starts to get a little loosey-goosey.

The boys wake up in the morning by 7, and they have been playing with toys all day. 
They are over anything plastic and primary colored by 4:30 pm. 

That's when they wander like drunken, belligerent apes into the kitchen and begin to throw open cabinets, grope blindly in drawers that jut out over their heads, and scream throat-scrapers when I pry their fingers from the wine opener, the pizza cutter, the cheese grater. I offer them straws. Chicken stuffs a fistful of straws down the front of his diaper and swaggers to the mirror, announcing, "I am a tiger. Tiger has grass in his diaper." Buster gives no fucks whatsoever about straws and is already headfirst in another cabinet, where he discovers a sack of dried black beans that I'm totally fine with him throwing around-- YOU KNOW WHAT? FRIENDS DON'T SAY I TOLD YOU SO. FRIENDS JUST HOLD THE DUSTPAN.

That's when they stagger to the bathroom and yank embarrassing personal items out from under the sink, so they can taste the honeyed nectar that is hemorrhoid cream, and throw brightly colored plastic-wrapped tampons down the stairs to the front door. 

4:30 is when they start to get ideas. About climbing.

seems like
great idea

holy shit

4:30 is too close to dinner to appease them with snacks. Cup of milk? Fuck that noise. They want CRACKERS, and they want enough of them to turn the next day's shit into a blond Snackimal paste that still smells faintly of vanilla.

4:30 is when I need to turn on the oven to get some veg roasting. 4:30 is when Chicken drags a chair to the stove so he can help. 4:30 is when Buster starts dancing on tables.

it's blurry
he really dances
he's got the music in him
not much sense
understanding of physics

4:30 used to be when Ryan got home every day. But he started a new job this week, so he's been getting home around 6.

If the last 3 days have taught me anything, it is that I am not strong enough to keep three people alive, and cook a meal, and feed that meal to three people. Not when it's 4:30. Something's gotta give. 

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking,
Katie. Bubby. Easy solush. Box a noodles. Frozen peas. Mom of the year.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you right. That's a great idea!

In fact, it's such a great idea that I already had it last night.

Here's what I did. It took approximately 40 seconds.

1. Walk into kitchen.
2. Open cabinet.
3. Pull out pot.
4. Fill pot with water.
5. Place pot on stove.
6. Turn on stove.
7. Cover pot.
8. Walk back out of kitchen.

Here's what they did with the same 40 seconds.

1. Chicken constructed a "Tiger House" out of couch cushions and hid beneath an upturned toddler chair.
2. Buster climbed the upturned toddler chair and lay in wait for his brother to poke his head out, plastic spatula raised over his head like the mean slappy cousin of a whack-a-mole mallet.
3. Chicken poked his head out.
4. Buster slapped him in the eye with a spatula.
5. Chicken kicked the chair.
6. Buster fell backward off the chair.
7. Chicken screamed, "Don't hit me okay?"
8. Buster just screamed.

It took a good 10 minutes to calm them both down, but Chicken's red eye tracked Buster warily for the rest of the afternoon. And yo, that kid is smart to watch the little one. They're brothers in the Shakespearean sense. Two kings + one kingdom = shit is going down.

tiger has a plan
and that plan
is high ground
good plan tiger
sleep with one eye open

When the water started boiling, I went to dump the noodles in the pot. Buster followed me into the kitchen, clawing at my thighs beneath the bubbling pot of hot water, in the international symbol for "pick me up now Mommy or I will make sounds that the emergency broadcast system rejected for being too irritating."

When the food was ready, for real, completely ready, just needing to be scooped onto plates and temp tested to ensure that the cold ingredients that were cooked into a hot meal have been re-cooled to 4 degrees above their original temperature, Buster climbed into the empty bathtub headfirst, and Chicken dropped a full metal water bottle on his bare big toe.

4:30, man. It is balls. No AC, wool pants, Memphis to Abilene and back Greyhound bus balls. SWAMPY.

OK. I'm ready for my pep talk now.

KATIE. Get a grip. People do this shit all the time and it's fine. Address the primary problem. In this case, it's obvious: The primary problem is that the children have no cages. 

I'm giving them one more chance tomorrow and then I am overnighting a couple of dog crates. Mediums should be fine.

i just liked this picture
i have no caption
that's what we
in the biz
finishing strong
not with a bang
but with
the other thing

1 comment:

  1. "The suck pocket" is so much better than "the witching hours." Or are those two different suck pockets?