Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heeeeeeeeeere's Mommy!

Let me start by saying that the title of today's post is not a reference to "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson". It's a reference to Jack Nicholson in "The Shinning". ... which I'm pretty sure is, itself, a reference to Johnny Carson, but it's much creepier than Ed McMahon saying it. Anyway, something has happened. After a weekend of ease and bliss with the girls a flip has been switched and suddenly my easy going girls are no more. I'm afraid to say that the catalyst is not a change in diet, a shifting of the poles or a solar flare that threatens to cause a tidal wave to sweep over Nebraska. It is the the very think that I had looked forward to from 8am on Friday morning. ... the return of Mama. I thought when she returned it would be a life of ease and simplicity. The girls had turned a corner and were going to sleep with out any kind of a fight, snoozing through the night until well after daybreak, even eating all of the food I could get in the near vicinity of their mouths. I was sure when Gina came home this streak would continue, only now there would be two of us so it would be even easier. Look how wrong I turned out to be. Instead, whether they're trying to teach Mama a lesson or make Dad out to be a liar, the girls have given up those easy ways and even seem to be making things more difficult then they were before. They are fighting every nap, whining at every turn, waking up and screaming for over an hour in the middle of the night. ... what the heck happened? I had to confer with some of my coworkers on this phenomenon and the dads all agree: remove mom from the equation and you get angelic performances. Reason: kids know that dad won't put up with any $h!t. When mom's home they play on her weaknesses - their sounds of anguish and misery - to get the result that they want. They're like lions cutting off the weak zebra and then pouncing all at once with claws out and teeth bared. When dad's home they know he'll either be comatose asleep or just turn the TV volume up so what's the point. This is the first time that either of us has been away for more than a day so it's our first experience with this phenomenon, so I'm kind of intrigued by it. It makes me much more comfortable going in to the main stretch of festival season, as Gina will be away much of the next month or more. But it makes me terribly sad for Gina. You can look at it as though they just love her more and want to be with her so bad it hurts, but that's also a lot of extra pressure to put on her that I don't have to deal with. It's like if you have a Super Bowl caliber team that refuses to play football when the coach is around, but if he goes on vacation and leaves the assistant in charge they go 15 and 1. Then upon his return they get blown out in the first round of the playoffs. Hopefully this is just them trying to get back at her for leaving them with the tall angry guy called Dad and they will return to their former glory today. If they keep beating up on Mama, though, she may just resign and take an analyst job on Sports Center. We don't want that to happen.

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