I have four children—a daughter and three boys. My daughter is 12 and the youngest boy is almost 6 months old. The two in the middle are 6 and 4; the 4-year-old will turn 5 in May. They are a duo of precocious little scamps. They play all day long, turning various rooms in our home into danger zones and impassable zones of Magna-Tiles, Bey Blades and dinosaurs, which hurt much more than you’d think if you were to step on them.
I’ve written about my children at various points for various reasons. For instance, I wrote about the fact that I think my (at the time) youngest boy, while potty-training, tried to end me by peeing all over a bathroom floor and when I entered, the calamity I endured had me prepared to meet my maker. I can safely report that he didn’t end me and was successfully potty-trained.
Now, my soon-to-be 5-year-old is the one in the house who lives his best life. He runs around with reckless abandon, fights with invisible people in some sordid mashup of martial arts, and smiles endlessly (unless you piss him off, then he feels wrathful with the same energy). He loves watching videos about pranks and other families engaging in shenanigans. It is with that inspiration where I believe my kids tried to (unintentionally) end me.
Let me set a scene for you.
On the top floor of my three-floor townhouse, there is a huge open space that serves as my children’s playroom. It is a colorful room with educational posters and books and toys and kitchens and bins full of stuff that used to be part of a set but has since been separated, rendering the set useless but the individual pieces as toys of their own. It’s a jolly space. In this space is also my “professional” work space. It is where I spend most of my work days writing articles like this one and watching and helping my kids with their virtual schooling; in this playroom are desks for them to watch and participate in their classes.
Yesterday, after their classes were done and while I was working—editing something or other or arguing with various people about the business acumen and cultural stickiness of Ray J—my kids ran to the second floor (where their bedroom is) and for a solid 15 minutes, all I heard was snickering and “this is going to be so good” and things moving about. Now, it’s pretty common in this home for my kids to decide that the spaces dedicated to them for play do not suffice and they will fill entire hallways with shit that doesn’t belong in a hallway. They turned my second floor hallway into Tokyo one day, and I unknowingly became Godzilla as I kicked toys to and fro in my annoyance at being unable to peacefully and seamlessly walk through the hallway.
So they’re laughing, and tiny feet that sound way heavier than they should are running all over the place, yelling in whispers and things that sound like they don’t belong there are being placed wherever they are. And then, the moment of truth comes. My kids can hear when I get up from my desk, and as soon as I did, all I hear is, “DADDY IS COMING, DADDY IS COMING.”
As you can imagine, I’m curious, thinking they just did something they would normally try to hide from me. I was right. As soon as I hit the top of the stairs and looked down I realized my kids had set up (what they thought to be) the world’s most dangerous trek down a flight of stairs. They set up cars and dinosaurs and things to slip and fall down, blankets and books and pictures (?) down the stairs, in the second floor hallway and then down the stairs to the first floor. Visibly annoyed at the sheer amount of things they’d placed (they turned their rooms upside down looking for stuff to place in my way), I made it downstairs having to dodge and step over things that if I wasn’t careful, would lead to my peril.
I get all the way downstairs to where my wife is sitting, and the youngest, clearly the ringleader, busts out in laughter: “YOU GOT PRANKED YOU LOST THE PRANK, DADDY!! YOU LOST THE PRANK!!!” Both she and I were confused. I explained to her what was to befall her should she go upstairs and she looked at the young one and asked him, “What was the prank? Was Daddy supposed to trip and fall down the stairs?”
“YES! YOU GOT PRANKED YOU LOST THE PRANK!”
Thankfully I didn’t trip and fall—though, later that day, I did step on a car that they didn’t pick up after I made them clean up, so they were almost successful, even if they don’t know it.
So yeah, I think my kids tried to end me yesterday.