The World's Biggest Inside Joke

People without children can recognize the humor (or mind-numbing insanity) involved when parents tell stories about their kids. But it's just that, a recognition; some kind of dispassionate cerebral process. Other parents, though, have the gut-wrenching visceral response associated with having lived through the same thing themselves. Parenthood is the world's biggest inside joke.

Carina left for work early this morning, leaving me with the kids alone. I was preparing to hop in the shower, and the kids were supposed to be eating breakfast. They were sitting side-by-side at the kitchen table, working through their oatmeal. All was calm. I knew I was in for trouble.

skippy: "Girls, I'm going to go upstairs and take a shower. Please eat your breakfast, and then get your shoes on. Please be respectful to one another: no teasing, and keep your hands to yourself. Please try to work out any problems that may arise. If I hear any screaming or yelling, no one will get any chocolate tonight."
Both girls nodded their heads. I thought that perhaps this was a successful plan: encouraging them to work together toward the common goal of chocolate (of which we have loads, from ChocolateWorld in Hershey, PA). As my foot hit the first step, I heard Tayler trying to attract Tyler's attention. I knew from the tone of voice she was using that she was going to urge Tyler to sit somewhere else, so as to avoid any trouble. This is, of course, a perfectly reasonable solution for an eight year old to devise. It is, of course, completely unreasonable for Tayler to move herself. Tyler refused to listen to her sister, and kept saying "No" in the middle of Tayler's sentences. By the time I reached the mid-way point up the stairs, Tayler was screaming at Tyler to pay attention. After finally settling that crisis, I got in the shower. While rinsing shampoo out of my hair, I heard a knock at the door.
skippy: "Who is it?" Tyler: "I can't find my <mumble mumble>". skippy: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. Can you please repeat that?" Tyler shouting: "I can't find my <mumble mumble>!" skippy: "You can't find something. I don't understand what it is you can't find." Tyler opens the door and says with perfect clarity "I can't find my blue pill." skippy: "There's very little I can do about that right now. Please wait until I get out and I'll help you."

I got out, dried off, and dressed. I went downstairs to find Tyler -- still without shoes -- on the phone speaking to Carina's voicemail explaining that she could not find her blue pill.


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