Would You Rather Be a Girlieman?

I like to play a game called “Would You Rather” with my sillier friends. It’s kind of like Truth or Dare except without the dare and where the truth is entirely hypothetical — just the kind of game risk-adverse control freak first-born romantics love to play. Each person takes turns answering questions like, “Would you rather have a tiny little man living in your ear who sings Cotton-Eyed Joe all day for a month, or eat whatever is flossed out of Lady Gaga’s teeth for an entire year?” This is obviously a really good use of time.

A variation of this game is “Would You Still Be My Friend If…” This was a hilarious way to pass the time in college at the Aggieland Visitor Center with my fellow tour guides — when we weren’t walking around campus with a bunch of wide-eyed college seniors and their sensible shoe-wearing parents, that is.

“Would you still be my friend if I had a single eyebrow that extended all the way from my sideburns up across my forehead and down the other side, forming a frowny-face of hair?”

“Would you still be my friend if I had a magnetic head?”

“Would you still be my friend if I had a little man who lived in my pocket and insulted your mother nonstop?”

It might be noteworthy that little men always seem to be involved in both games.

Whoever wins or loses these games is never recorded because there is no set point system or applause meter; calling them “games” is how we justify their existence. Would you rather justify something’s existence with empty labels or feel like a complete waste of space for 18 minutes? Exactly.

This weekend felt like the wrong choice in a round of Would You Rather. Would you rather have a belligerent 4-year-old with poopy pants on a hot streak, or two kids committed to crafting memorable displays of public hysteria?

Hey, how about both?

I suppose the days would go better if Thing One didn’t wake up every morning at 6 a.m. with a poopy Pull Up. I think Gordon and I would have a better outlook on life and better general health. The worst is when Drew himself wakes up in a bad mood, because when it is the first order of business for two people in bad moods to deal with one of their bowel movements, the most likely result is yelling, screaming and general malaise. That was Saturday.

The rest of the day was fraught with time-outs and obnoxiousness. “Is it bad that I kind of don’t like him right now?” Gordon asked me as we poured our spiced rum and cranberry drinks after putting the kids to bed.

“Let’s just forget about it and watch SNL” I said, and took a swig.

The time-outs generally centered on Drew’s new favorite toy: a robotic-looking claw that he calls his Pick Up Toys.

“Mommy, yook, I’m picking up Yighting with my Pick Up Toys!” he says. He picks everything up: Madeline’s blanket, his cars, cup, used Kleenexes. The real draw is that as he uses his Pick Up Toys he is able to see all his other toys in a new — rather industrial — light. But the Pick Up Toys also means another way to “interact” with his little sister and this means, among other things, time-outs. Drew has unfortunately adopted some Terminator tendencies.

That was also Saturday. After a public meltdown in Babies R Us and an aftershock meltdown in the car on the way to Chick Fil A, Gordon and I were ready to throw Drew and his Pick Up Toys out the window to fend for themselves along South Hulen.

On Sunday it was Thing Two who had the public meltdown. We were at IHOP and Drew was moving the Blueberry syrup back and forth from the caddy to the table with the Pick Up Toys, when I scooted Maddie’s seat up to the table and accidentally pinched her fingers. It was the wail heard ‘round the world. Ten minutes later she was consoled and we ate. Then I offered her something, probably a bite of eggs or a magical pony or something equally delightful, when she burst into wails for no apparent reason, like she was just due for a good scream. The lady next to us said her son was even LOUDER in restaurants, which was a sweet thing to say but was evidently the biggest lie this woman had ever told in her whole life.

I think the CIA will show up at my doorstep one day and tell me Thing Two is a biological weapon developed to burst the eardrums of enemy combatants and could she come in for a diagnostic check?

“No,” I’d say. “We need her here at home to protect us from her brother who is on a rampage against the human resistance. He told us he would be baaahck.”

“Oh, fine,” the CIA agents would say. “Let us know how all that works out with Skynet.”

Epic screamers, poopy pants-ers, clawing teasers? No thank you. I’d rather not.

Will you still be my friend?

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1 Comment to “Would You Rather Be a Girlieman?”
  1. Liz says:

    don’t worry, i’ll most definitely still be your friend…and not just because I’m also your sister :-) Hang in there!

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