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As I was changing my 2-year-old’s diaper this morning, I could’ve sworn she told me to “stop bitching.”

 

We do have some decoding issues, so I can’t always be sure about what Jane says. When I am certain, she’s usually boring me to death.

 

For instance, Jane and I have lately been having the following conversation in an endless loop:

“I want daddy.”

“Daddy’s at work.”

“I want daddy.”

“You have mommy. Daddy’s at work.”

“Why’s he at work?”

“So we can have money to live, so we can eat and have a house – so I can stay home and have conversations like this one.”

“I want daddy.”

 

Talking to my 5-year-old twins can be equally scintillating. They’re like spigots of stupid questions. If I say a roofer is coming to give us an estimate, they want to know what an “estimate” is, how much it will be, what will happen if it’s more money than we have, and how I know it won’t be.

 

Just today, Georgia asked whether I wear glasses. This came after five years in my care. The answer is no. “Have you ever needed glasses?” Griffin followed up.

 

And yesterday at lunch, I was stupid enough to wear a Nike shirt that read “U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team” down the arm.

“Were you on the national soccer team?” Georgia asked.

“No. Someone gave this to me.”

“Were they on the national soccer team?”

“No.”

“Then how’d they get that shirt?”

“They bought it at a store,” I yelled.

 

I find myself trying to answer my children’s questions in a way that tricks them into thinking I’m actually listening. I’ll respond, “Uh, huh,” or, “ok,” only to realize that I’ve been encouraging Jane to strip in the middle of ACME.

 

“I want crackers,” Jane says in the car.

“I don’t have any crackers.”

“I want peanut butter.”

Funny, I don’t seem to have any of that, either.

 

I recently joked to Jane that all she says is, “I want this. I want that.” She picked it up as a sort of mantra and now marches around the house – when she’s not making actual requests – singing, “I want this. I want that.”

 

And she’s so damn bossy. For instance, the other day when I was blasting Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” – you know, “Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking ‘bout tomorrow/Singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ all summer long” – Jane shouted, “Stop singing!” Then she pulled out the little harmonica she carries around and started whistling into it.

 

 Not to mention that I can barely hear the messages on my answering machine over the din of my fighting kids. Just yesterday, they came screaming down the stairs in a pack.

“Mommy, Griffin wouldn’t let Jane turn off the TV,” Georgia yelled.

“Jane bit me!” cried Griffin.

“I don’t wanna sit on the naughty step,” wailed Jane.

 

On our way home from a park on Saturday, while my twins were arguing about who got to “be” the red-shirted player in the sticker book Georgia had, and Jane was whining for said book, my husband tipped back his head and sighed.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“It’s just all so inane,” he said.

 

I told him to stop bitching.

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