“You’re wearing that? You look stupid.”
And then . . . “Augh! AUGH!”
Followed by the muffled sounds of someone taking the carpeted stairs in a slightly uncontrolled fashion. Down to the basement.
“Mother? Kallan just pushed me down the stairs! What she did was extremely life threatening!”
“But you survived, I see.”
“Would you like to punish her, Mother? MOTHER??? She needs punishing, Mother. Don’t you want to DO something about this?”
“Nah. I heard you tell her she looked stupid right before you got pushed. And you didn’t die. I’m all good.”
“She’s being hideous again. She is always hideous. You should fix that.”
“Yes, well . . . You two are wearing me out. I said I would take you to the lake, and I am willing to do that. But if you and Kallan cannot get ready to go without fighting? We will just skip the lake, and I will take a nap.”
Maj looks at me, “Well, that seems overly severe. We’re just being sisters.”
“Then take your sister-self upstairs and deal with your sister. Without me.”
“Geez, somebody’s in a bad mood.”
I call after her, “I am not in a bad mood, but I was not kidding about the nap.”
I would love to take a nap.
Instead I head upstairs to brush my teeth and pull my hair into a ponytail and splash some water on my face. I am in the bathroom for about 30 seconds when I hear Maj screaming from downstairs.
“I cannot find my goggles! I put them right here and now they are not here. Where are my goggles?”
I walk to the top of the stairs, toothbrush in my hand, and see Maj standing at the front door. Staring at the small empty hallway table on which her goggles . . . are not.
I call down, “Probably, Maj? It would be a good idea to look somewhere else.”
She is furious, “But this is where I left them. Right here, Mother.” She gestures wildly with her hand like she is Vanna White on crack, “RIGHT HERE.”
“Yes, well . . . you are going to have to consider the possibility that they are not where you think you left them.”
“That’s insane! I left them right here and they should be right here! I don’t think I left them here. I LEFT them here. I need your help! I need you to come down and find them for me!”
Kallan pipes up, all helpful, patting the empty table surface like a blind person, “Well, if you left them here, Maj . . . they must be here. Maybe they are invisible.”
My girls? Are driving me insane.
“Kallan, stop being a pain. And Maj? I am not coming down right now.”
“What do you mean you are not coming down? I NEED YOUR HELP!”
“What do you mean, Nope? I need you to help me!”
I yell down the stairs, “I can see that this is clearly an emergency, Maj, but I am taking a moment to adjust my own oxygen mask.”
I imagine the stewardess . . . Children’s lives are filled with emergencies. In case of an emergency, please remember to secure your own oxygen mask first.
Back at my house, there is silence, and then a puzzled, “What did you say?” as Maj climbs the stairs to find me.
I speak around my toothbrush, “I said that I am dealing with my own emergency first. I am brushing my teeth and brushing my hair and rinsing my face. Once I am all calm and settled and oxygen is flowing freely through my mask? Then I will come down to deal with your goggles emergency.”
“OK, but your stuff is not an emergency.”
“And neither is yours, Maj.”
I finish my bathroom routine, and turn to Maj, “Now about your goggles. Obviously, they are not on that small round table by the front door.”
Maj is all stubborn and crabby, “But that’s where I left them.”
“Hmmmmm . . . Oh, wait! Maj! Remember the other day when we were out driving, and I saw that deer up the small road on the right? But no one else saw it, and I yelled at Daddy to turn the car around and go up the small road so that we could all see the deer?”
“And remember that Daddy turned the car around, but then he would not drive up the small road, because he said it was a driveway? And so he drove us up the next block to look for the deer, even though that was not where the deer was?”
Maj snorts, “Yeah. That was stupid.”
“And remember how I teased him? About how incredibly lame it was to look for the deer where it wasn’t? Remember that, Maj?”
I look at Maj expectantly, “So . . . . . . .”
She slumps, “So I should stop being stupid and look for the goggles where they might actually be?”
Maj heads off to search for her goggles. Finds them.
And then we are off to the lake.
Where there are lots and lots of lifeguards. Which is a good thing.
Because I may have taken a nap.