Stella: “Let’s play the hitting game”
Me to myself: What the ever-living hell did she just say??
Felix: “I’m going to make a horrible noise. TTTTTTRRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGG!”
Me: “I absolutely forbid you from playing the hitting game. That’s the worst idea I’ve heard in weeks.
It started about a week ago. I was, as usual, trying to prepare something meal-like to eat after work while my children were playing in the living room. They invented a new game which I like to call “chase each other around the couch about 12 times before Stella snags Felix by the collar of his t-shirt, nearly decapitating him, whereby he screams for me, I yell at them to stop, and then Felix proceeds to pummel his sister.” Stella, recognizing that brevity is the soul of wit, has shortened it to “the hitting game.” Much pithier.
I didn’t experience this – sibling squabbling and uncontrolled wrassling – as a kid. I do have a younger half-brother, but he’s 9 years my junior and due to the fact that I lived full-time with Crispi, he and I just never occupied the same household long enough for this to be a “thing.” Now, I have to deal with this “thing” as a parent. I’m clueless, y’all.
Honestly, I’m quite cool to let them have at each other. If only they wouldn’t get so damn loud about it. I do recognize that most of it is play: “Tag! You’re it,” punctuated by some quick left jabs. There are also the times when Stella foolishly falls down (on purpose) and Felix jumps on top of her, rubbing his butt on her head, kicking her upper body, and – my personal favorite – grabbing mouthfuls of her hair in his teeth like a cat just dying to barf up a hairball STAT. To her credit, Stella is usually very tolerant and stoic about it. She could squash him like a bug if she wanted to.
Then there are the “He’s touching me,” moments, always uttered in every parent’s least favorite language, Whinese. Just this morning I had to sit between them because Felix was touching Stella (he accidentally put his foot on her while watching cartoons). In retaliation, Stella announced that she was Beethoven, not Felix. He became incensed and shouted back “I’m Beethoven.” Her rebuttal, “No, I’m Beethoven” was a killer. It also cemented with certainty that the cycle of “No, I’m Beethoven” would continue for at least 2 minutes before yelling or hitting would commence. In my crazy-ass household, telling my son he’s not, in fact, Beethoven are fighting words.
I just hate the hitting game. I hope it’s a short-lived phenomenon. With my luck, however, it will probably be replaced with the “I’m going to smear you with boogers and chocolate milk Olympics.”