… has ended. (insert B movie scream)

I have to digress for just a moment to say, Oh my Lord! did you hear the ear piercing shrieks coming from Jennifer Love Hewitt’s mouth on last week’s episode of Ghost Whisperer? I’ll bet her Mama had an entire pantry cabinet devoted solely to the storage of ear plugs while that girl was growing up. My niece, Sweetpea… she has the same operatic abilities to make your eardrums bleed. Cutie that she is, it provides just another reason to be thankful for only having boys.

To segue, I’m forcing myself to find reasons to be thankful for boys. Because, the world? It has officially gone apocalyptic. The sky is falling, the oceans are rising, and whatever else can go wrong, I’m sure it’s going – at least according to Doodlebug. See, he figured out today that he cannot build a Lego ship from scratch like his brother. The wee mini-me, just this evening, exploded like an overstuffed burrito in a microwave on high because the ship building – it would not work. He’s now resting comfortably in a hastily constructed padded room. His brother’s karate shirt has been fashioned into a makeshift straightjacket and he’s been administered a healthy dose of rum-laced vanilla milk. The screaming and stomping has been replaced by a steady stream of quiet singing. It sounds quite a bit like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and while I hate that song… it’s all good.*

All of this full over Fruitbatting Legos!

See, Doodlebug’s ship – well, it’s just a great big pile of Legos waiting to happen. He could not get further than a debilitating case of Lego Builder Block (much like Writer’s Block if you look at the insanity quotient). I can’t find the picture of Shaggy’s latest but it was a gi-normous sailing ship with three masts, cannon doors (and cannons), a working hold with cargo, etc. His grandpa even made cloth sails (twelve of them) which he could raise and lower. Basically, it rocked.

Doodlebug has begged his brother to help him, for days – to no avail. Today, he asked me where I kept the Staples “Easy” button. Man, don’t I wish I had one of those. Alas, I missed out on the Easy button demo program. After explaining that it doesn’t really exist and is only a made up commercial, he thought for a long moment and then began screaming at his brother: “I do not believe in Shaggy! I do NOT believe in Shaggy!”

(Backstory – Doodlebug & I are reading an absolutely wonderful book called
Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer. Just as Tinkerbell came back to life from the chanting of, “I do believe in Faeries”… Clemency, darling girl that she is, manages to kill seven of them by screeching, “I don’t believe in Faeries,” and then has to go on a mission to right her wrongs with the help of a particularly snarky hobgoblin. Great book. I highly recommend it.)

To say the least, he was disappointed when his brother didn’t fall over dead on the spot (not that he truly wanted to kill him. I hope?). This would be the point where, clenching ripped out gobs of my hair in my hands, I cried, “Why can’t we all. Just. Get. Along?!” So cliché but, hey, I was losing hair! And then it hit me, like a lightning bolt between the eyes.


That singular promise a parent has knowledge of - that when their babies grow up and have babies… some day, when they least expect it, their own little spawnlings will finally get their comeuppance. Preferably, threefold. Payback is hell. And obviously, my own bouts of sibling rivalry are coming back to haunt me. ‘Hell’ is too nice a word for this.

I’ve done some thinking. Yes, there was smoke involved. Finally, I managed to hone it down to two situations where the old Parental Revenge could qualify as being responsible for the karmic backhand I’m getting:

When GypsyRose (Sis #1) was just a few months old (I was four), I attempted to make a trade with our feed store guy. He could keep GypsyRose and in exchange I would get the cutest, fuzziest baby chick I’d ever seen. I was unbuckling her from the car seat when my mother made it clear that the deal had fallen through. I was Not a happy camper. If I recall correctly, I had a complete meltdown about it. I really, really wanted that baby chick. I still wonder what that poor guy would have done had I handed him my sister and demanded my baby chick.

Some years later, I informed GypsyRose that she was not, in fact, my sister at all. I explained to her, most sympathetically, that it saddened me to tell her the truth but she deserved to know. She did not come from our mother’s womb. She had been dropped off on our doorstep by a roving band of gypsies who could not afford to feed her any longer. We heard a great racket outside the front door and when we looked, there she was – pitiful and scraggly… such a dreadful sight. They didn’t even bother to leave her in a basket so she lay on the doorstep squalling with hunger, her hair dirty and matted. We could hear the gypsies singing as they made their way down the road but when we called to them, they ran. I repeated this story to her so many times – Heh Heh – I finally convinced her it was the truth. I was an exceptionally blessed bullshitter. It took a LONG time for our parents to convince her otherwise. A Really Long Time. Even now, I still tweak her about it sometimes when the mood takes me.

I should be ashamed. It’s because I still laugh my butt off about it that Parent’s Revenge has struck my house with the full force of a Category 5 hurricane. Rita? She has nothing on this situation. But there is a silver lining. If I hang around for another 12-15 years, I’ll get a front row seat to my own parental revenge and damn it, I’m bringing Popcorn.

*disclaimer: You didn’t actually believe that, did you? While the thought might be immensely entertaining at times, I could never do something so foul to my child. He’s actually duct taped and in the closet.
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