Iâ€™ve been told I was a bit mischevious as a small person â€“ determined, independent with a wee bit of a stubborn streak. But come on, does that picture say anything other than sweet and innocent little angel to you?
This evening I learned the past is never far behind usâ€¦
Lesson 1: There is no such thing as â€œchild-proof.â€ At best, â€œchild-deterrent.â€ And if itâ€™s two muppets conspiring â€“ all bets are off.
Upon returning home from our evening stroll, I decided to let the muppets explore the entryway while I prepared dinner. Destroy began running laps around the island, squealing his happy scream. Suddenly the room was quiet. Both brothers were standing at the bottom of the stairs, facing each other and babbling. Then, with one extra decibelled happy scream, the gate flew open. I *knew* they were conspiring against me. Both muppets cackled manically at their triumph.
This is not good. Because while they may be skilled enough to go UP the stairs, they have not quite mastered the art of going DOWN the stairs.
Feeling the best plan of attack was a stealth distraction, I enticed them toward their high chair. As I strapped Destroy in, I heard the wine refrigerator open. Excellent choice my dear sir â€“ a fine chardonnay to accompany this evenings prix fixe menu of boiled carrots, macaroni and cheese and applesauce.
â€œSearch!â€ I said sharply, before the wine bottle clattered across the floor. Without even turning, Search calmly shut the refrigerator door before looking up at me with angelic eyes. â€œYessss, beloved mother of mine? Who me do anything rascally?â€
Lesson 2: Forego the red sauce. I claim shenanigans that kids donâ€™t like sauce on their pasta. Itâ€™s the parents who donâ€™t want to deal with the fall out.
Last night we had tortellini for dinner. This is a recent discovery and the muppets inhale the stuffed pasta faster than you can cut it, howling for more. As we progress forth on our big boy food journey, adding a bit of marinara seemed like a good idea to give the boys some flavor in their dining experience.
Lesson 2.5: Any time a parenting decision involves the phrase, â€œIt seems like a good idea,â€ it is most certainly NOT a good idea.
At the conclusion of the tortellini marinara flavor burst, the muppets reclined in their high chairs â€“ stuffed to the gills and ready to embark on more mischief. The expected reaction of any third party observer would clearly be, â€œWas there bloodshed?!â€
In the bout of Muppets v. Marinara, Iâ€™ve gotta give the edge to the sauce. (Note to self: butter, olive oil, Italian dressing â€“ all non-blood red in color.)
Lesson 3: Karma is a bitch.
The book â€œThe Complete Idiots Guide to Feeding Your Infant and Toddlerâ€ suggests that growing boys may enjoy full-fat pudding. Itâ€™s soft, has flavor, and might be a delightful treat. Additionally, I could enjoy it right along with them. Tonight I decided chocolate pudding would be a good idea. (See Lesson 2.5)
Before we continue with this exciting tale, please re-familiarize yourself with the Chocolate Explosion. Trust me, itâ€™ll make senseâ€¦
After dinner, we settled down into the living room and I gave the muppets a small taste of my JELL-O dark chocolate. Apparently it was a big hit. Blindsiding me, Destroy sideswiped the container, grabbing a handful.
He rapidly shared it with his brother. Now the two were wearing war paint pudding. Little chocolate handprints were appearing on the floor. They started circling me, marching in figure eights. I was feeling frighteningly like Gulliver on his visit to Lilliput, the Lilliputians circling him with tiny wires before he came crashing down.
Suddenly the boys made a tactical maneuver and realigned their vector position. They were headed for the white couch.
â€œNooooooâ€¦â€ Everything transformed into slow motion. I snapped back to reality. Well played, muppets, well played. But I have experience on my side. Darling muppets, in my youth, I too engaged in pudding warfare.
â€œStep away from the couch! Drop the pudding and slowly step away from the couch!â€ In hindsight, I may have chosen an alternative command to â€œdrop,â€ but at this point, Iâ€™m pretty sure all they were hearing were the â€œWaa Waa Waaâ€ of adults from a Peanuts cartoon. (In no way because they arenâ€™t smart enough to understand, but because they have an inherent natural ability to studiously ignore any contradictions to their chosen form of mischief.)
I quickly counter-attacked with wipes. The muppets resumed playing with the toys an earlier Hurricane Muppet had distributed across the room â€“ so nonchalant, as though their attention had shifted to another activity. But I heard the babbles. I knew they were plotting, only using their toys under the guise of future conspiracies.
Who them? Such adorable innocent little angels? Embrace that determination little dudes, it worked out ok for me. But the pudding skirmish of tonight goes my way.