Do you remember the d
rinking party game Never Have I Ever? I was part of a group of friends in college who loved to waste away long winter nights playing this game. It was a fun way to get to know someone you had a crush on or just learn new and interesting things about friends. If you’ve never played let me quickly catch you up: You all sit in a circle. The first person makes a statement beginning with “Never have I ever…” If you’ve done it you take a drink you’re out. The object isn’t necessarily to be last person standing, but rather to be the person to create the most awkward social situations.
Before I had the twins I had several very basic parenting standards. When it was just the three bigs (that’s what I call my older three sons) it was so easy to adhere to them that I really didn’t even know I had them. They were almost “parenting givens”. Then Laurel and Rhodes turned two. Now I have no standards. Seriously. They have won every round of “Never Will I Ever…” we have engaged in. They are masters at creating awkward social situations. Let me show you:
“Never Will I Ever buy a toddler something just to stop a tantrum.” In December my two oldest sons needed new shoes. I hauled everyone into the shoe store and set up camp in the aisle with the “almost man” sizes. Laurel and Rhodes were playing happily in the same aisle so I was lulled into thinking it was ok for me to look away. Rookie mistake. I looked up and Laurel was gone. We split up to find her perusing the clearance racks having chosen a new pair of very sparkly, very pink, 1 size too big, hello kitty, slip on shoes for herself. When we found her she was clutching them to her chest and had her eyes closed in reverence. She was in love. I admired the shoes and calmly told her that it wasn’t her turn for new shoes and we needed to put them back. She opened one eye and stated “IS my turn. MY shoes. YOU go.” and turned her back to me. The three bigs were standing behind me and I could hear them start backing away and begin silently putting away the shoe boxes we were done with. Rhodes summed it up with an “Uh Oh”. They knew what was brewing. I got down on my knees and softly asked her to put the pretty shoes back. She started shaking her head as tears were rolling down her cheeks. I asked her one more time. After she still didn’t move to put the shoes back I reached for them. Before I could touch them she began shrieking. It was a sound straight from Hell. It was loud, high, and unending. The screaming was so disorienting I almost couldn’t figure out what had happened. Laurel was backing into a storage room (still clutching her precious shoes and still shrieking) and looking at me as if I was coming to eat her. I grabbed her, grabbed my purse, and called to the bigs to get their shoes and meet me at the cashier. Sweet little Rhodes had found a display of koosh balls and was quietly rummaging through the bin (we won’t discuss why a shoe store had these for sale). As I called for him to come with us to the register he began whimpering and whining for a ball. At this point sweat was dripping down my back and Laurel was still shrieking while I held her horizontally across both my arms. “OK, Rhodes. Bring a ball. Let’s just GO!” When I finally make it to the register the cashier asks if I would like her to put the Hello Kitty shoes away. “No, No, I wouldn’t.” Twins: 1 Mom: 0
“Never Will I Ever have a car so dirty it’s embarrassing… or a health hazard”. In January I decided to get a car wash. Before pulling in I made sure to stop at a gas station and do a quick clean up so I wouldn’t be too embarrassed when dropping it off. After choosing a wash and paying I made my way to the waiting area which happened to be right next to the vacuums. I glanced over and saw that the man who had been vacuuming my car had stopped and was now pulling on gloves. I mentally shrugged my shoulders and assumed he must have been cold. Then I paused and looked again… he hadn’t put on leather or wool gloves. He’d put on LATEX gloves. That’s right. The carwash man had been so disgusted by the state of my captain’s chairs he’d felt the need to protect himself from communicable diseases. Guess who sits in that part of my suburban? My precious goldfish crunching, apple juice swilling, milkshake spilling, tissue needing toddlers. Twins: 2 Mom: 0
- “Never Will I Ever feel the need to host every playdate at my house for the rest of my children’s lives.” When the twins were infants I usually invited friends to our house for playdates because it was more convenient. I didn’t have to haul my giant twin nursing pillow to someone’s house. When the babies were sleepy I could put them down in their own beds. I didn’t have to worry about putting on real clothes. Now I usually invite friends to our house for playdates because I have more control over the environment thus reducing the potential for humiliation. After finding myself in the following scenarios I’ve learned my lesson:
- Twin locks themselves in bathroom
- Twin found in teen’s bedroom trying on their new lip gloss
- Twin rummages through refrigerator and helps themselves to pre-prepared lunch
- Twin found in bathroom brushing teeth with husband’s toothbrush
- Twin grabs host’s coffee and pours onto pristine white carpet
Thank goodness my friends were gracious and able to see the humor in these situations. Twins: 376 Mom: 0
Never Did I Ever think having two toddlers would be this hard… or this funny! I am so fascinated by these two little people. While learning how to navigate this big world they are having two totally different reactions to the very same situations. That is bound to leave this mama in some seriously crazy circumstances!
Tell me about a situation you never thought you’d find yourself in. Ready to play Never Will I Ever?