Well, let me assure you that two 4-year-old boys certainly thought that they were treasures. In saying that, let me explain several things: first of all, my parents have raised 5 kids and frequently take care of multiple grandkids. There is NOT a shortage of toys in the house. For crying out loud, my Mom still has toys that SHE had as a little girl, not to mention the thousands (literally) of other toys and games crammed into drawers and boxes and cupboards and closets all over the house. Secondly, Yikealo and Zavier don't actually PLAY with the items in question; instead, they are used solely for the purpose of taunting the other. For example, Yikealo would thrust the "sword" in Zavi's face and say something like, "Zavi, I have the sword. Ha ha!" which would, of course, cause Zavi to start screeching that HE wanted the sword. You get the picture.
So, on Wednesday, the sought-after item was this three-inch plastic sword.
Now, maybe it's just because I'm a girl, but I really don't get the appeal. It's not like you can actually use it for anything, right? (Other than taunting, that is.) Anyway, after we had listened to the bickering for quite some time, David removed the wonderful sword to the top of the refrigerator where neither Y nor Z could reach it.
On Thursday, they both had to have this horrible stuffed snake:
You're kidding, right? Not only is it ugly, but it's about a million years old, the thread is looping out of its right nostril in a disturbing way, and the stuffing is all bunched around inside, leaving certain areas strangely limp. It DOES make a keen whirring noise when you swing it around your head, but come on! Needless to say, the snake was also removed to the top of the refrigerator.
On Friday, it was the yellow plastic pliers (or "tweezers" as Zavi calls them.)
Now, I will grant that toy pliers could serve some purpose, but really, with the HOST of other toys around, are these really fight-worthy? What about them just screams "I HAVE to have that!!" to you? After some ear-splitting yowls from the boys, Casey (Zavi's mom) decided to set the timer for two minutes at a time, so that they could take turns holding the pliers. Once the reason to argue was removed, both boys lost interest fairly rapidly and ran off to play hide and seek. Apparently, however, Mr. Y hadn't completely forgotten the precious bit of yellow plastic, because at some point he managed to sneak them upstairs and "hide" them under his blankets - just so that he could wave them in Zavi's face first thing on Saturday morning. At that point, the pliers were also removed to the top of the fridge.
So, we're up to Saturday morning by now, and my Mom was busy completing last-minute preparations for the entire family to descend upon the house within a few hours. The noisy boys got sent off to the basement to play, with many injunctions to "STAY AWAY FROM THE PRESENTS!!!" A few minutes later, Zavi came back into the family room with an utterly dejected look on his face and asked Casey, "Mom, how old am I?" Casey looked confused and said, "Four. You know that." Zavi looked very relieved and replied, "Well, Yikealo said that I couldn't play with anything because I'm not four." Then he ran excitedly to the steps and called, "Yikealo, my mom said I'm four!" I made Yikealo come upstairs and asked him why he'd told Zavi not to touch any of the toys. Yikealo's response? "Well, I didn't think he was four." I asked what that had to do with anything. Yikealo replied, "I thought that he would make a mess." I gave him a little lecture about the fact that he was NOT the boss, and if he couldn't be nice to his cousin, he was going to be standing in the corner for awhile. The two boys headed back to the basement and peace reigned for a few moments...
...they came back upstairs arguing over whose turn it was to hold a ping-pong ball (or "pinkle" ball, as Yikealo calls it.) Never mind the fact that there were many other "pinkle" balls in the basement - this particular one obviously had special powers. Or something. Anyway, my Dad went to the basement to get balls for Zavi and Lexie too, since Yikealo was refusing to give up his right to "the one." You would think that if each of the kids was holding the same type of ball that they would stop fighting, right? Not so. About a half hour later, Yikealo and Zavi were playing tug-of-war over one of the balls on the staircase to the upper floor. David was heading down from our upstairs bedroom, didn't see Zavi and tripped over him, sending him tumbling down 2 or 3 steps. Zavi started wailing, and David (who had obviously had ENOUGH) put the offending ball down on the hard floor and stomped it to bits. He then calmly picked it up, walked to the kitchen to throw it away and told my Mom, "I owe you a new "pinkle" ball."
And lest you think that Zavi is always the victim, on Friday evening, about 45 minutes after we had put Yikealo to bed, some kids started shrieking from the other room. My brother Seth went to investigate and found a sobbing Zavi, who told him that "Yikealo just pushed me!" Seth informed him that Yikealo was sound asleep upstairs. Oops! Seth returned to the dining room with a little smirk on his face and said, "Hmmm...I wonder if ANY of the things he tries to blame on Yikealo are actually true?"
So, to all of you parents of multiple children...is this what my life is going to be like continually when we bring a second child into the home? If so, how do you keep from going insane? Is it that they're just so cute?