If You’re Looking for Me, I’m in the Pantry. And I Took the Rum.

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If You’re Looking for Me, I’m in the Pantry. And I Took the Rum.

*Facebook: The girls are calling each other Soul Sisters instead of Step Sisters. I think it’s just an excuse to hear Gabby sing HEY SOUL SISTER at the top of her lungs.

We have three nine-year-old girls. As of right now, the biggest problem we have with them is the ongoing argument called, “Who did it?” (“IT” could be anything …) Here’s the basic script of the argument:

1: Why did you do IT?

2: I didn’t do IT

3: Yes you did IT

1: And I’m gonna tell Mom/Jody/Dad/Bill

2: I DIDN’T!

3: Yes you did

2: Nuh-uh!

1: Yes –huh!

Yes-huh? Who invented this? And why is it that the number of syllables applied to the word “uh” is directly proportional to anger of the child talking whining? When I hear, “Nuh- uh-h-h-h-h-h” I run and hide in the pantry because I know someone is coming to get me soon. If the child delivering the multi-syllabic uh is also crying and/or throwing things, I’m always sure to grab the bottle of rum on my way to the pantry … I’m probably going to be in there for a while.

Apparently, our current nine-year-old issues are nothing compared to what we’re in for.

I have the same conversation every time I meet someone new. First I tell the story of our family. It is a classic [divorced] Guy [with three kids] Meets [also divorced] Girl [with three kids]. “Oh! The Brady Bunch!” They exclaim. “How old are they?”

I reply, “The boys are four and twelve, and the girls are five, nine, nine and nine.” “Wow,” they say, “three nine-year-old girls? Just you wait ‘til they are …” And this is where the story varies. Each person we meet has a different dangerous age we should be wary of, a different hellish story to go along with each number. In short, I’m pretty sure we’re in trouble for the next tewnty years or so …

“Just you wait ‘til they’re all eleven! You’ll be happy if they’re yelling at you because that’s the only time they’ll ever speak to you! Unless they need a ride to the mall …” Oh, that sounds fun. Can’t wait.

“Just you wait ‘till they’re all twelve! Can you imagine when they all get their periods at the same time? You know girls in one family always synch up, right?” Bill is especially scared of this one because there is the someday potential for five women in his house to be bitching at him at the same time. I do actually feel pretty bad for him—maybe I’ll show him the pantry hiding spot.

“Just you wait ‘til they’re all fourteen and they start high school! They’ll all want a car and they’ll have a million different activities they’ll want to go to!” All that and an older brother who’s a senior…and has senior friends! Ahh! We’ll need some kind of screening process for the boys and some sort of tracking system for the car …

(Perhaps we should just put the girls in the pantry.)

“Just you wait ‘til they’re all fifteen and they hate your guts! No matter what you say is wrong!” Fifteen sounds scary because I’m pretty sure that’s the age I was when my dad took my door off its hinges to keep me from slamming it.

“Just you wait ‘til they’re all sixteen and you have to throw three Sweet Sixteen parties!” I like throwing a party as much as anything, but sixteen-year-olds seem pretty dramatic and I’m pretty sure it’s tacky to drink rum at your kids’ birthday …

“Just you wait ‘til they’re all eighteen and want to go to college at the same time!” We have a financial plan for this one. It’s called, “Winning the Lottery.” Plan B is called “Scholarships.” We’re pretty sure the girls could win scholarships for sports, academics and a beauty contest. We’ll let you try to figure out which one is which.

“Just you wait ‘til they’re in their twenties and you have to throw three weddings!”

Yikes! I’m starting to hyperventilate. If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the pantry until they’re all twenty-five, graduated and married. I’m takin’ the rum. Don’t tell the kids where I am.

Copyright © Jody Hoffman 2011

In the past year, I have gone from single mother of three to married mother/stepmother of six (plus two dogs!), from second grade teacher to sixth grade teacher, and from Boston City Girl to South Dakota Country Girl. Blogging about our crazy life while drowning in children and frantically clicking my red-sequined heels. There’s no place like home… www.blended.typepad.com