Children mess with you. That is an undisputed fact. Their sole goal is to make you lose your mind, or at least make you think that you have. And they are really freaking good at it. Like scarily good.
There are two types of sabotage: physical and mental. Many people (one person. Me.) debate which is worse. Physical sabotage seems like the big one. It’s in your face, it hurts. But I believe that it’s the mental sabotage that’s the kicker. You have no opinion right now. In fact, you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. Allow me to explain.
If you live in a house with a child, then you know this. Kids like to keep you on your toes. Literally, on your toes. And if they can’t have that, then they want you on the floor, preferably bruised, ideally weeping slightly.
This is the purpose of the physical sabotage. You know the drill. The phone rings, you forgot to take something out of the oven, a child is making a noise that sounds like they are being strangled. So you begin to walk purposefully across the living room. You probably have bare feet. You aren’t really looking where you’re going, because you are being full of purpose, and you know the layout of your living room off by heart. Or so you think.
Next time you walk through your living room, stop and take a look down. You’ll notice that there are no soft toys on the floor. Oh no, the soft toys are exactly where they should be (in a big messy pile on an inconvenient surface). What you will see on the floor is a veritable obstacle course of the smallest, most angular toys your children own. I’m talking lego. I’m talking plastic figurines. My Little Pony ears are a killer. Bonus points for slippy toys. Double bonus points if they match the colour of the carpet.
Say hello to physical sabotage, my friends.
I know, right? I can see you nodding. Well, no I can’t, because that would be super creepy. But I can totally feel your agreement vibes.
This isn’t the sole method. There is also the ‘change direction right into your path, bounce off you then look at you reproachfully’ routine. The lazy version of this is to simply stick out a foot as you go past. Not to forget the ‘grab your leg as you take a step, so you have to do some Matrix-style shit so you don’t land on top of the child’ trick. It’s creative, I’ll admit. But it’s small beans compared to mental sabotage.
I have only one example of this. To think harder would be to invite insanity. In your children’s heads live evil geniuses, and they are plotting your demise.
This happened today. Now there’s one thing my house has in abundance. Stickers. Big Girl found a couple of those cheap, crappy metallic star ones lying around the kitchen at dinner time. I went off to do the usual bedtime routine and promptly forgot all about it. As you would, because it is insignificant, right? NO!!
The kids are all asleep, and I head down to the kitchen. Suddenly I notice something out of the corner of my eye. HOLY FUCKING SPIDER!!! But no. On closer inspection, it is in fact a green metallic star sticker, stuck right in the middle of the back door, for maximum exposure. FIVE times this evening I have done this. Why don’t I just take it down and toss it in the bin? Because she’ll know. And she’ll act all hurt. And most importantly to me, she will win.
Who am I kidding? She’s already won. And as she sleeps, she is smiling.
This is the worse of the two. I know this story may seem minor, but think about it. The first one hurts. It causes bruising, occasionally blood. The second leaves no marks, well apart from life-long paranoia.
Stay safe guys.