The Ladies Man's 3 year old daughter is running full tilt. Her little legs seeming to cover more ground than they should be able to. Her arms are pumping up and down one second and the next they are flailing around like a crazy woman. The pony tail on the back of her head is bouncing and seems to be taunting "Catch me if you can, fuckers." At the top of her lungs she's screaming "No Daddy! Nooooooooooooooooo! I. Don't.Want. Play!" The last word is said with a spit. She is no longer Little Hoss' best friend, the Thelma to Little Hoss' Louise. Now she is a mauranding viking needing only a villiage to plunder. No one is stupid enough to get in her way. Both Dads and kids duck and cover with screams of "incoming!" All the Ladies Man's daughter has to do is make it to the corner of the house and her feet know the way.
In close pursuit is her father, the Ladies man. But oddly he's not gaining on her. Christ she's fast. How can a 3 year old run so fast? Because she's in trouble, that's why. It's almost superhuman. "Come back here!" he yells but I don't know why. That never works and I doubt she's listening to him now.
I tap DD on the shoulder, interupiting the quiet scene she was filming and point to the fleeing daughter and frustrated father.
"You're probably going to want to get that on tape." I say.
"Oh" she utters. DD spins, points the camera, and takes off. There is a three person race now. The daughter, the father, and the poor producer trying to get the moment on camera for the casting tape of the SAHD reality show. As I see them all go the phrase "Chasing a story" comes into my head and I start laughing my balls off, I can't stop. "That's a blog." I think. The other fathers and I just watch the parade and now all are laughing. Some are being polite and trying not to laugh to loud. Not me. I can't hold it in because I've been there. DD wanted our real life but seemed worried that perhaps Little Hoss and her friends would be to shy to really play on camera. I find that thought funny as hell. My daughter is not shy.
I imagine DD is getting a full dose of our life now, uninterupted mayhem and this playgroup should pretty much show that. This is our life, this is the reality. This is not a made for TV movie. This is a 3 year old taking off because she got pissed and her father is in hot pursuit. It could have happened to any of us, today was just his turn.
Throughout the day DD has witnessed and recorded the chaos that our SAHD life sometimes is. It's not a nice little family commerical, with everyone sitting nicely on the sofa sipping Snapple and eating cheese and crackers. In this life, the Snapple is ususally whipped at someones head and the idea that any of our children are eating quietly is almost hysterical.
Earlier in the day Papa Scrums boy had a melt down over lunch. Why? Because he didn't want to eat it, that's why. It didn't matter what it was. Little Scrum just says he doesn't want to eat it to get under Papa Scrums skin. I have determined that the boy is a mastermind and his goal in his young life is to make Papa Scrum explain so many things in a row that he forgets what he was explaining in the first place. So the kid isn't eating today no matter how much Papa Scrum trys to explain to him the facts of life.
The Hippy dad brought tofo. Nobody wanted to eat that. On that one, I will side with Little Scrum.
The odd exception to this playgroup that is being filmed is that Father Hitman's kid seems to be acting good. I'm calling bullshit on this one. I'm guessing that someone got a talking to before he got to playgroup. I once walked into a room as Little Hitman was walking out. I saw both my kids crying. But I don't worry because I know that they can't keep a lid on that one any longer than I can keep a lid on mine.
DD asked me if we would get any "rambuxtionous" from the kids. If perhaps Little Hoss and Little Ladies Man would create some havoc. She didn't want anything staged of course, but she is also trying to make a TV show. I laughed when she asked me that. It's not a matter of "if" with those two. It's a matter of "when" I told her to just leave the kids unsupervised for 10 minutes and she would get more than she needed. They feed off each other. One is the brains, one is the brawn. One is the mouth and one is the fist. They are Masterblaster from Thunderdome.
10 minutes into playgroup I told DD that she might want to go check on the girls. She went upstairs and witnessed the carnage. The room was destroyed. Toys were everywhere. All the sheets and blankets were ripped off the bed. The girls had long ago ditched their clothes to put on their princess dresses and were now very joyfully jumping on the bed. And what's worse, they were trying to get the other kids to do it to. I know my daughter, that's all I'm saying.
And now DD was chasing the Ladies Man's family around a house because the little girl didn't want to share, or play nice, or got into a fight with Little Hoss. It happens. They are so much alike that sometimes they don't know who's boss and both can get aggressive.
The Little Ladies Man is now in the front of the house. Hugging the bushes like some ninja assassin. She's looking for refuge, for sanctuary and has decided that it lies just around the corner of the house. Every corner. Either that or she is trying to give the Ladies man a heart attack by running him around the house.
He comes around the corner just in time to see his daughter turn the far corner and head for the backyard again. DD is right behind him, getting it all. He stops at the front door and opens it. DD asks him what he's doing, didn't his daughter just go that way? "I'm going to cut her off."
That, my friends, is an experienced parent.
He comes out the back door as soon as his daughter makes a break for freedom and grabs her. He puts her in the patented "football hold" that we have all adopted when the kid is truly kicking and screaming. Pick the kid up by the waist and pull her to your side. That way she can't kick you in the balls. The first time I saw this I thought "genius, my balls are saved." Bubba Hoss has some wicked heels.
Little Ladies man is screaming and yelling, kicking and throwing some choice words out. She might have called him stupid. I've heard it before. She is railing against the timeout that will follow. DD now has some pretty good tape of what it's like when a bunch of SAHD's get together for a playgroup.
It's been a full day and I've written only a part of it and what I saw. DD's day was planned to come to a playgroup to watch the SAHD's interact, interview the father's that haven't been yet and finally to interview some of the Mom's on their experiences as well. By the time she is done with today, she should have some great footage of the carnage that children can be. Tomorrow she will be spending an evening with Papa Scrum and his family and then she will be going back to California to edit the tape and get ready to pitch it to the network.