oh God, they are out there. I can hear them. I can hear their little fit pitter pattering on the hardwood floor. I can hear them snickering. I can hear them plotting. Oh God, they are out there.

Is that laughing? No, that's not laughing. Laughing brings to mind joyous occasions, friendships and families. No, that is not laughing. That's cackling like when the evil witch gives snow white the poison apple. Mirror, mirror on the wall who's that scheming in the hall?

There was no other place to go, no other place to slink away to. There was no other place that had a locked door, no other place that they couldn't find me. But I know that the safety of my reprieve is an illusion. They will find me, they always find me. I should be thankful that my downstairs bathroom has given me the 10 minutes that I have had. But they will find it, they always do.

Shhhhh! I can hear them coming. They can smell my fear, my desperation. They know that I am a broken man today. They know that today that they have snapped my will like the shell of a lobster that I am now to poor to afford because we decided to have children.

There was a time when I could go buy video games whenever I wanted. We ate out 4 to 5 nights a week. I could go to the bookstore and buy random magazines that I had no intention of reading, like Architecture Digest, that I would then leave out to impress the random visitors that would come to my home. I no longer have visitors, just guards.

Those days are gone and now I am reduced to hiding in my bathroom from my two children. Yes, they are adorable. Yes they are generally well behaved. And yes, they are very very mobile. They are mobile enough to chase down the cat and throw that cat into the extra large water bowl we keep out for the dogs. They are mobile enough to climb up onto the footstool and then launch themselves, feet first, right into my lap and my aching nutsack. They are mobile enough to chase me down when I try and run away, clipping my Achilles heel like that creepy kid in Pet Cemetery. I am an old man that can't outrun a 3 year old child.

Soon after mobility came vocalization. What was once sweet little first words soon became nonstop chants of "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy." I respond with "yes dear, yes dear, yes dear, yes dear, yes dear, yes dear." It never stops, it never lessons in intensity and now she has a little partner to add to the chorus. "Daddy (random scream) Daddy (random scream) Daddy (random scream) Daddy (random scream)

"Yes DEAR!"

"Fat cat poop on floor. Boy playing in it." The random scream has been explained.

They are at the door now. The laughing has now softened, becoming giggles. They have me pinpointed. They have vectored in on my location, Eagle one has found the package.

I am sitting in the corner, behind the fake plant hoping that the sweet smell of plastic fern will mask my own stink of fear. If you have read my past blogs you understand why I have a fake plant and not a real one. We can't have real plants in this house. We can't have plants and markers. Plants and markers in my house is the 7th sign that the apocalypse has come and it can't be stopped.

I can't stop shivering. Because they are out there and now they are not making any sound. No sound at all. 3 years of parenting and the first rule that you learn is that complete silence is a shrill alarm that something bad is going to happen. It's something bad and it's starting to touch the doorknob, demanding attention.

"Daddy" I hear softly as the lock holds, straining against the last of my will power.

I am afraid to answer. I am afraid to go back out there. Take me out coach, put Jenkins in, I'm done. Casey has struck out, Mudville sucks, bring in the hookers.

Nails start to dig into the door. Not fast, not at first anyway, but slowly. Slowly enough to let me know that it is intentional. That somehow my 1 year old son who can't understand "stay out of the trash", has figured out the usefulness of psychological warfare and terror.

Now there is a rhythm. "Daddy", knob turn, scratch. "Daddy", knob turn, scratch. "Daddy", knob turn, scratch. If at all possible I squeeze my 250 pound frame even further into the corner. It's funny for a moment. 250 pounds versus 45 pounds of twin toddler destruction and I know that I am going to lose. First my sanity and then whatever is left over from the soulless carcase that I will inhabit.

The door opens. God no, why is the door opening???? I locked the door, it should not be opening! The door didn't latch. When I shut it, it didn't latch. Haste makes waste.

The end, it cometh.

The hinges need to be oiled. What a funny thing to think when you are about to meet your doom. The hinges, the stupid, stupid hinges.

The door swings and I peer out into the dusk filled hallway. I see the shadows, I see my toddler destiny.

And neither is wearing any pants..............................................

1 comment: