TRIPLE THREAT

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The cordless phone lies in pieces on the floor. Another broken item, I thought silently. One more example of a lack of self control, an immature temper tantrum. I couldn’t get on to the perpetrator or lecture anyone, however. I couldn’t punish them either.  Why? Because it was me, the mom.

Reaching a boiling point was an ongoing issue for me rearing my brood. Somehow, it seemed the extreme would occur and I’d be past my limit and explode.  My triplet sons seemed to make a sport of it too.  The only proof I have is that a large smile would erupt on their faces when I’d charge like a mad bull or start “raging” as they like to call it. Because then I became the problem, not them.  It was an interesting tactic on their part and it took me years to adapt.

When the boys were 3 year old preschoolers, I was barely done feeding and dressing them and their sister when it happened. Three sopping wet, muddy bodies appeared when it was time to load up. I burst into tears, undressed them, and began the laborious process all over again.  I also called their dad to come get them because mommy was losing it (again).  Why did I not send them wet and muddy to preschool? Because I believed it would reflect poorly on my parenting.

Occasionally I’d take all 4 children shopping.  BIG mistake! I somehow repeatedly forgot they couldn’t be captive that long.  Wanting so desperately to lead a “normal” life, I’d set myself up for failure. Thinking I could handle it, I’d get two grocery carts and put two children in one and two in the other.  I’d push one while pulling the other.  I’d also restrain the child from standing in the lower part of the cart by using a belt from a life preserver or by adding piles of groceries on top of him. (One goes to extreme measures when determined.)  This tactic did not stop Houdini-like escapes or hair pulling, however.

Once a sitter had them during nap time.  I use the term “nap time” loosely because it was more for me.  However, we knew they needed a break from each other, so we had them go in their rooms to play or read quietly. Inevitably, they were like magnets being pulled towards one another. Their doors would open slowly and they’d creep towards another’s rooms. One afternoon, a sitter was unaware and found all three boys in one room with a mattress barricaded against the door.  The boys were 4 years old and incredulous at times.

I prayed for patience a lot back then which I found out was one of my biggest problems. I was gaining patience alright but it was because of the inevitable, “can’t make this stuff up” incidents which occurred on a daily basis. So maybe it’s true you have to be careful of what you pray for. They are adult children now (isn’t that an oxymoron?) and I pray for their safety instead since I don’t want anymore patience.

GRAFFITI

man and boy painting the wall
Photo by Johannes Rapprich on Pexels.com

Some consider graffiti a nuisance that should be covered up and prevented. Others see it as artistic expression. You might see it under bridges, on abandoned structures or inside bathroom stalls.  It’s presence can be defacing but it usually has a message.

I had the privilege of viewing a long, cement wall of graffiti in Prague, Czech. It was an homage to John Lennon after his passing. Apparently, many behind the Iron Curtain grieved deeply and the Communists allowed one spot for them to express themselves.  This was an offensive move by the government to prevent random, public graffiti which was not tolerated. The collective mural featured different artists each with distinct style and was impressive. Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder….

Graffiti can also be delinquent, purposeless destruction as well. When our boys were young, one found a can of hunter green spray paint. He impulsively painted the side of our garage. After his brothers let him know we’d see it and he was going to get in trouble, he decided to paint “I love mom and dad” on top of his transgressive “art.”  Of course we weren’t pleased with the graffiti but it sure was disarming to read his “love” for us- his hilarious countermove.  Eventually, but not too soon thereafter, we had him paint over his parental homage.

None have tried or attempted anymore “freelance art” (that we know of).  If anyone knows otherwise, feel free to contact me any time.

WRAP ‘EM UP

Human condition can be measured without scientific, in-depth studies. It can easily be assessed when three, preteen boys have too much time on their hands.

Not realizing their idea was of the psycho-sociological nature, they took several rolls of plastic wrap and attached their willing brother to a pole on our road purely for reaction. He willingly complied since he had watched one too many episodes of Impractical Jokers. (Thoughtful as the perpetrators were, they left plenty of room for him to breathe.) The other two hid nearby in anticipation of stranger’s reactions.

Apparently, they had only two passersby and only one vehicle slowed down long enough to check he was actually breathing.

From a scientist’s perspective, the study was a bust. Not enough participants and the results were skewed. But to the boys, at least two hours had gone by and they got what they wanted- their own laughs.