“Guys,” I say, as they stampede by for the thousandth time, shrieking and laughing hysterically, a blur of pinwheeling arms and legs. “Guys. GUYS.”

For a brief moment they stop and I’m reminded of the old Wile E. Coyote cartoons where the action would freeze-frame for a moment and a fake Latin name would flash on the screen—Accelleratii Incredibus—before everything would rev back up, clouds of desert dust and ACME signs and a poonk-poonk-poonk roadrunner raspberry.

Please slow down, I tell them. Someone’s going to get hurt. Stop chasing. Stop screaming. Just be careful, for god’s sake.

Dylan’s got one end of a stick horse and Riley’s got his hand looped around its fake leather bridle on the other end. One of them is pulling the other or they’re pulling each other and the game seems to involve a whiplash effect and pshew pshew cowboy gun noises and what the hell, why are all the sofa cushions strewn around the floor again and oh shit is that lamp about to fall over?

“We just playing,” Riley tells me.

“A tick! Horse,” adds Dylan, not to be outdone.

Then they’re off again, the stick banging into walls, the boys screeching, a whirlwind of chaos and activity. I rub my temples, walk to the drawer with the ibuprofen, and from somewhere down at one end of the house I hear a crash and a delighted, top-volume scream and I yell at no one: “GUYS! STOP IT!

It goes on and maybe they eventually calm down but more typically it ends in tears, usually Riley, who refuses to take off his socks and thus inevitably slides across the wood floors and smashes into something and starts howling, and instead of soothing him or asking where it hurts I find myself barking SEE I TOLD YOU and WHY DON’T YOU GUYS LISTEN and maybe just for good measure I send them each off for time outs, because my god, my god, the noise, the screaming, jesus christ.

They play together like this every day now, and I’m so happy they like each other’s company. I’m filled to the brim with joy over our two beautiful boys, our rambunctious happy healthy kids.

But oh. Oh, oh, oh. I didn’t know how insane it would be. How it would sometimes drill right into my brain and leave me limp. How one day in the gym locker room I’d find myself watching some Maui tourism commercial that’s nothing but a scene of a nearly deserted beach, waves lapping, the quiet noises of the sea, fifteen seconds or so of this muted soft footage, and my mouth would be hanging right open, my pupils saucer-sized. Yesssssssssss.

Riley comes over to me crying about how Dylan poked him in the eye, Dylan squeaks “HUG! HUG!” with a worried scrunched-up face, Riley reluctantly hugs him, and it all starts up again. I don’t have any idea how four little feet can sound like that, like a giant stampede of prehistoric animals. Crash. Bang. Scream. Pshew pshew.

“I’m a COWBOY! No, I’m a SOLDIER! Mommy I’m the SOLDIER and Dylan is the HORSE! I’m a SKATEBOARD BATMAN!”

“Neigh! NEIIGGH!”

Guys, guys, guys! I say. What Mommy, what Mommy, what Mommy, they say. Oh, I don’t know. Let’s go look at a calendar together, and count the months until spring.

4265220888_f936197d29

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
65 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sandra
Sandra
13 years ago

Hi Linda,

This comment is actually about the awesome looking muffins right there on your left…what is the recipe? I’m doing my best to feed my family better but, alas, they’re not coming around like I expected. Maybe this will do the trick?

By the way, that college counselor? Ugh, what a b*tch! I’m in the process of getting information to go back to school too and OMG, I forgot about all the Red Tape involved…I look forward to reading all about your college graduation one day :-)

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

Just keep telling yourself “one day I will miss this age”.

warcrygirl
13 years ago

Sounds like a typical boy household to me. Pretty soon you’ll be able to add new noises, like bouncing basketballs and skateboards rolling down the hall.

Ter
Ter
13 years ago

A Trace Adkins song comes to mind… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG9XfJxMY8A

Shelly
13 years ago

Yes, yes, let’s count those days until spring, shall we?! Because once spring gets here, that house door will be locked and you two will be on the outside of it!

*ahem*, I mean, we have similar issues in my household.

Betsy
Betsy
13 years ago

A-freakin-men!

I’ve got 4 boys myself and the noise and chaos when they’re cooped up for the winter is unbearable at times!

Suzy Voices
13 years ago

I feel your pain. My boys are 13 and 7, and pretty much every night I say things like “Stop touching each other!” and “STAY AWAY FROM EACH OTHER!” What starts out as fun always ends in someone being pissed off. Usually me.

Jessica
13 years ago

My son is 16 months and I’m already getting irritated and telling him “I told you so” when he does something and hurts himself. I know he doesn’t understand that sentence yet but it just shoots out and then we cuddle. Why are boys so hard on their bodies?

Titanium
13 years ago

If I counted the days until spring arrives, I’d cry. That’d be well over 100 days…

On the plus side, there’s always kayaking at -40. Sure takes the edge off all energetic creatures, great and small.

wordygirl
13 years ago

What a great post. You’ve got me craving Maui now too!

jen
jen
13 years ago

Cabin fever is high at our place too and I’ve only got one who seems intent on finding the most dangerous place to play. It’s like they are little moths drawn to fire. I actually like the weekdays because he gets worn out playing with the other kids at daycare. That and our daycare provided bundles them up and takes them outside to play in the snow. She’s some sort of amazing for doing that.

C @ Kid Things
13 years ago

This, YES. Except in my case, add one screechy little girl into the mix as well.

Christina
13 years ago

Totally random but I was curious about the recipe for those muffins… the ones you posted on Flickr? I want to start making some additional changes to the way we make food. I started to about two years then I got pregnant/had a baby lost interest/energy… yada yada yada.

Will you post it or email it to me or something like that?! PLEASE :)

Our kids are the same way right now (always?) and both my husband and I have commented about a million times already this winter about how glad we will be when we can just throw up open the doors and let the older one run free. It sure seems like a long ass way off, no!?

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

That is EXACTLY what our house sounds like! And as you described the scene in the gym I could picture myself except with some drool running down my chin. My boys are 5/7 and I can’t wait for a break in the weather so they can go OUTSIDE! Did I mention that my MIL also got them a karaoke machine for xmas?? So now they can amplify the sound even more. And the echo effect reaaaaally makes burps sound cool!

Brigid
13 years ago

This post and the comments have helped me to feel just a bit more sane today. Thank you for that. Spring can’t get here soon enough.

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

I remember those days only too well. Now my kids are teenagers and one plays the drums and one plays guitar & bass. It’s loud at our
house.

Swiggy
13 years ago

Oh! I sooooo know what you mean. I’ve got two boys of my own and they’ve just started to drive me insane with the noise, and the running, and the shouting, …and the inevitable crying. At first I thought it was being off schedule for the holidays, but now I’m beginning to realize it’s more than likely cabin fever. I’m guessing it will go away when they are teenagers? (they’re 6 & 1 now, you don’t think they both have to be teenagers, do you?)

Bachelor Girl
13 years ago

What a lucky, lucky lady you are…

…who will be even luckier when spring finally gets here!

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

My two boys are 5 1/2 and 8 and they are so loud! If they’re not playing basketball or football in my family room they are running wild thru the house with the Wii swords my husband thought would be a great Christmas present. Someone always ends up hurt but they keep going back for more!

Rosie
Rosie
13 years ago

Oh the noise!!!! I sleep with earplugs – and have been known to put them in during the middle of the day – just to blunt the chaos. My husband, who was one of 6 (!) boys, does not even hear it.

Ris
Ris
13 years ago

You are a master of the onomatopoeia, Linda, in addition to being awesome.

Beth in SF
13 years ago

Well hats off to you, I only have one and I feel that way sometimes, lordy save me if I end up with two little boys.

Marie Green
13 years ago

Yes, yes, yes, this is exactly what it’s like with little kids in the house.

I actually say “guys” a lot too, and I have all girls.

I also say “See? Stop being so WILD” when they get hurt.

heidi
13 years ago

today, this post saved my soul.

thanks sundry.

and that youtube link just made me cry great hulking cathartic sobs! i’m gonna miss this.
genius.

js
js
13 years ago

Don’t feel bad about telling them “I told you so” when they get hurt. I kept telling my daughter (8) last night: Slow down; calm down; take it down a notch, you’re going to get hurt; SLOW THE HELL DOWN! And as soon as she went to climb up the barstool at a super-hyper pace, she slipped and fell onto the kitchen floor. Tears in her eyes, I just stared at her and said, “Hm, I called that one, didn’t I?” Gar. One day she’ll listen. Right?

Baking Mad Mama
13 years ago

Sounds like they have a lovely relationship – minor injuries aside. I have a 21 month old and we are planning on trying for another baby this year. I always thought I would prefer to have a girl this time to balance things out but you’ve made me realise that another boy could be wonderful. As long as I invest in industrial earplugs of course.

babelbabe
babelbabe
13 years ago

thank GOD someone else is living this too. seriously. it makes me feel a leetle bit less like curling up in a corner and sobbing, to know we’re all in it together.

Katherine
13 years ago

Ahh…my every day.

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

As I am reading this post – my kids are doing the same thing. My son is currently ramming a play vaccuum into the wall right behind me. Right there with ya. My husband gave me a gift certificate for a massage – think I’m going to make that appointment just for the peace and quiet.

JustLinda
13 years ago

“And THIS is why Mommy drinks vodka.”

OK, not really. The compromise is Bailey’s in coffee.

I mean, I heard. I wouldn’t know first hand.

{nervously looks around}

Cheri
13 years ago

Wait until they are in thier teens. My boys are 12 and 17 and now its loud ass video games with the loud ass soundtrack to go with it and the screaming/ argueing over that. Not to mention the “wrestling” where they are really beating the hell out of each other. Fun!
The girl already moved out and left me all alone with these icky boys.

Faith
Faith
13 years ago

I was going to say something along the lines of “Kids! When will they ever learn?!” But then I realized that I shouldn’t pretend I know any better. My husband and I still occasionally wrestle or have tickle or slap fights, and it only ends when someone gets poked in the eye or hit in the nuts.

That said, the craving for quiet seems to be a very common side effect of parenthood. Get this though.. I’m told that as they get older and start leaving the house for periods of time, you’ll actually start to MISS this chaos. Sounds batshit insane to me, but I’ve heard many mothers swear it’s true!

twojams
twojams
13 years ago

Excellent post. Our weekend days are exactly the same and I have the same reactions to those get-away-to-paradise type commercials too.

Tina
13 years ago

I read this quote on another blog and it has become our household motto–“IF you’re going to play rough, you’ve got to be tough.” Said with a hug, of course. I’m thankful the kids are 6 & 4 and for the first year can be shoved, um, gently encouraged to bundle up and play outside most days. Yes, even if it’s cold out…the artic blast last week made it too cold, but normally they do go out some…though I am looking forward to spring too, when they can stay longer and all the layers are not required.

Sharon
Sharon
13 years ago

Yes boys! Mine are 8 & 5 and it’s like that all the time. So loud, something always falling. And always ends in crying. But it makes them so happy.

Erin (Snarke)
13 years ago

That scene right there? Is kind of why I WANT to have kids… and because apparently I have lost my mind.

Kate
13 years ago

We are right there with you- down to the couch cushions and the always almost knocked over lamp. And I live in Texas, where it’s not even that cold! I think it might just be this time of year- just after Christmas, still wintertime, but for the moment there are no new colds going around. Everyone is energized and directionless. Just try to ride it out until we hit February and have an excuse to eat lots of chocolate again.

Brenda
13 years ago

don’t know if this will make you feel any better. but I had 5 kids. 3 boys.2 girls. one of our most favorite thing to do was to tear the couch apart and have a rubber band fight. everybody had to wear swim goggles. of course somebody always yelled ouch, but it was still a lot of fun. what always got my last nerve was when they wanted to slide down the stairs because I just knew somebody was going to knock out a tooth, but nobody every did… whew.and climbing one of the trees in the backyard and yes, one of my kids did break an arm when he fell out. of couse after I had said… don’t climb that tree or you’ll fall out and break your arm.sometimes you should just not open your mouth.

Tina
13 years ago

this is what I think about when people ask me if I will have another. You deserve a trip to Maui minus tots if you ask me. But sheesh…they are so damn cute! Neigh!!!

Kristen
Kristen
13 years ago

Life with small children is exhausting. Just as well they’re so cute. They have to be so you don’t end up putting them out with the trash every week.

Shannon
13 years ago

HA AH! thank you. I wondered why my house suddenly became a zoo…winter, cabin fever, sigh.
Thanks.

H
H
13 years ago

I transferred home videos from tape to dvd last weekend. I watched hours and hours of videos. It broke my heart to hear how I sometimes spoke to my oldest who, when I was obviously trying to film them for a special reason (like opening Christmas gifts from grandparents so I could send the tape to the grandparents) and my son (the oldest) was acting his age, but not according to my plan. He was in the way, he was annoying, he was jumping when I asked him not to jump, etc. etc. Ugh, how I wish I’d found his sweetness instead of being annoyed. I know it is hard, it really is, and I’ve said this before here – but it hit home again for me when I was transferring those tapes. I guess a mother’s guilt is endless.

sarah
sarah
13 years ago

My friend has two boys just a little older than yours. She finally gave up and now says “I don’t think that (whatever they’re playing at the time, running pell mell all over the house) is a good idea.”
And then when someone runs headfirst into the wall, she says “See, I told you it wasn’t a good idea.”
:)

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

Ha. We all want what we don’t have. I have two girls, who don’t really seem to like playing together all that much. On the plus side, it’s usually relatively quiet in our house, but my time will come . . . when they’re both teenagers.

Kami Lewis Levin
13 years ago

Your soundtrack plays in my house over and over as well. And their hugs – damned if it doesn’t just melt your heart. But I’m anticipating middle ear damage. MY middle ear damage. The noise is deafening! And stress-inducing. And the reason I’ve started drinking a glass of wine every night…

Melissa
13 years ago

This happens in girl households too. Running around and around the open floorplan through the kitchen living room hall. i wanted an open floorplan why? Stop it please, just stop. How do they not understand that we KNOW it’s going to end badly? and yet, it does and i’m with you – i say i told you so vs. consoling. oh well. glad to hear it’s not just my house that’s insane.

Joy
Joy
13 years ago

We have the game involving either a horse on a stick, a blanket, a tape measure, a long piece of string, anything they can each hold one end of and run while shrieking. Running around the dining room table is a huge hit at our house. It usually ends up with someone running into a chair, the wall, the corner of the table, and so on. I try to find my happy place in their laughter between head collisions and poked eyes. I try to be grateful they love each other enough to play together even if it is giving me a headache.

Andrea (@shutterbitch)
13 years ago

If it’s any consolation, my son and daughter play the same way. Usually some form of running from the dog, or riding the dog like a horse, or running from each other in an elaborate game of chase that involves blankets as capes and I can only hope when they crash and burn it’s not into the fireplace hearth and that they perhaps land on the blanket they’re ‘flying’ with.

But the belly laughs. Salve for the ravaged nerves. So too are the baby snores that result in such intense play.

Didn’t my sister and I lay around reading most of the time?

Trenches of Mommyhood
13 years ago

yes Yes YES!
Add one more little boy body in there and you have my Trenches.

KNOCK.IT.OFF. is going to be etched on my tombstone, I swear. I say it constantly.