My wife, Susan, wrote the following:
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This was the year of Indiana Jones for our son, Daniel, who recently celebrated his 4th birthday. While my search for Indiana Jones themed party plates, cups and other Indy birthday paraphernalia turned futile (all the party stores were expecting shipments next week) I did manage to find the requested toys. There is the Indiana Jones Lego set which took my engineering challenged brain a mere hour to assemble. There is the action figure, complete with a press button which repeats bits of dialog from the movies. And of course where would an aspiring four year old Indiana Jones be without a genuine whip? The model I found is undeniably cool – looks authentic but is still soft and cushy and best of all, it makes genuine whip sounds followed by a bit of the Indiana Jones theme music. Cool huh?
We are already starting to regret the whip. On the first day it was cute and amusing to see not only Daniel but his two year old brother, Gabriel running adventure style throughout the house with whip in hand. Good footage for the video camera. But we are now on Day Three and the amusement is starting to wane and fast. It all goes back to that blasted ‘theme music’. Man, oh, man I never realized how that tune can get stuck in your head and just when I think I have about got it dislodged, one of my little budding archaeologists starts it up again! Now I feel as if I am going through the motions of the day ‘in time’ with the music – cooking, vacuuming, taking a shower all to the tune of, “Da, da, da, da, da….da, da, da……..da, da, da,da,da……..da, da, da, da, da.” I am starting to feel like Lucy in the old “I Love Lucy” episode when little Ricky gets a drum set and drones on with the same beat over and over. Lucy and Ricky go nuts but at least Ricky mercily escapes to his job at the Tropicana. It is now Monday morning and my husband is about to make his great escape too and I won’t be a bit surprised if he doesn’t have to work late until conveniently, after the kids are in bed. Can’t say I blame him. If I could I would bolt too.
Now I know what you’re thinking….”Just take out the batteries, you idiot! Problem solved.” Well, not quite. You see I have acted in this particular drama before and the outcome was rather upsetting. Seven years ago, when my oldest son, Parker, was about two I faced a similar dilemna with his beloved Barney stuffed animal. When you squeezed Barney’s belly, he would repeat a series of phrases and sing the “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family…” theme song which I ultimately decided was composed by a demon in the pit of Hell, out to destroy parents’ sanity. When I finally had enough, I took out the batteries. Parker squeezed and squeezed Barney’s belly with no success. He furrowed his little brow and then looked at me helplessly. “Barney’s broken”, he surmised. At first I feigned ignorance. “Oh really? Hmmm.” I shrugged. Then his little eyes got all watery and I fessed up. “Actually, honey, I took the batteries out…..but just for a little while. Let’s take a short break and then we’ll put the batteries back in.”
He raised his little head and gave me a look of not just disappointment but abject betrayal. He didn’t throw a tantrum. I could have handled that easy enough but it was this look of incredulity, this newfound knowledge that his own mother had been conspiring against him. I was no longer the same woman he knew and trusted. Paradise was lost. Even though Parker no longer remembers this incident I can’t help but wonder if it was somehow burned into his little two year old psyche. If he grows up to have relationship problems, particularly issues of trusting females, I will probably still hold myself accountable and pay for his therapy.
So with that bit of guilty mom history looming, I can’t simply remove the batteries and hope my crime isn’t found out. Perhaps I can designate certain ‘whip cracking’ hours of the day and other times when the whip is off limits. Or I can just go around most of the day with my headphones on. One thing is for sure, with a houseful of boys I definitely agree with the Indiana Jones talking, action figure when he says, “Thats why they call it the jungle, sweetheart.”