Friday, May 1, 2009

Guerrilla Assault: The Dark Underbelly of Jesse's 3rd Birthday

You know the Primary song, “Happy, happy birthday children dear…if I had a wish then it would be, a happy, happy birthday to you from me”? I spent Jesse’s birthday singing to myself a slightly different version: “If I had a wish then it would be, a little less mischief now that you are three.” And as the day progressed it became a mantra, a prayer, a fervent plea sent out into the benevolent universe because, really, if this boy does not at least tone down the shenanigans I may go stark, raving mad.

I thought that as a mother of 3 sons I had a pretty good handle on the mischief of a toddler boy, but this Jesse has topped all his brothers in terms of climbing, mess-making, raiding the fridge, pilfering adults’ belongings, and generating general, unrelenting trouble. He's an agent of chaos, tottering under our feet, quietly, determinedly spreading disaster. Some time ago I made the choice to cease blogging about his disgusting messes, but let me just allude to incidents wherein feces was found 1) on the garage floor, 2) on the driver’s seat of the van, 3) inside the heater vents in his bedroom. Multiple times.
Living with Jesse is starting to feel like living in a prison camp where my captors’ strategy—and it’s a good one, I might add-- is to erode my energy and will with ongoing, purposeless destruction. The result is that I spend my time whirling in a tizzy from one disaster to the next.

Every time an opportunity presents itself, the boy darts out the front door, sneaks into my bathroom to sprinkle makeup across the floor, empties a tube of toothpaste, pours water on my computer, pees on my bed. I’m constantly running into the playroom and shouting, “Who’s seen Jesse?” or “Quick! Go check on Jesse!” and the kids, who are almost as afraid of his exploits as I am, rush away. After a moment of suspenseful silence, we hear “Oh, nooo! Jesseee!” And someone returns to report, “Mooom! Jesse just ripped all the pages out of my math book!” or “Jesse pulled the clothes out of my dresser!” or most frequently, “JESSE’S NAKED!”

In a devious twist to the terrorist plot, the barrage of chaos and destruction continues all through the night. The other night I had just stepped out of the shower and thought I was heading to bed, when I heard a pounding on my bedroom door. In bursts Jesse, at 11:00 pm, brandishing a Nerf gun in each hand. The boy sometimes sneaks out of bed in the wee hours and is found, later, getting milk out of the fridge or raiding treasures from the big boys’ room in the basement.

I sleep on pins and needles, ready to launch into defensive action should I hear the sounds of, say, beeping microwave buttons or the shots of a Nerf gun.


  1. This may be seriously wrong, but I am sitting here with a huge grin on my face laughing at your misfortune. Literally laughing. It's not at you, and it's not with you really, it's more of laughing at the amazing awesomeness of skills the kid has - because come on - those are some mad destructive skills - like wicked awesome and whatnot.
    Anyway, with a huge grin and a stifled chuckle, I offer my sympathy and encourage you to find joy in "these days" for as you well know, they will soon be over.

    By the way, Jesse sounds like he could use some serious time on the farm just playing in mud, eating goat droppings, terrorizing fire ants and generally running amok. Yes, that is a standing invitation and we'd love to have the rest of you out as well!

  2. So, I can hear you asking me, "What needs of his are not being met as well as he'd like?" Maybe you have actually asked yourself that in my presence and that's why I can hear you saying that. Anyway - I think the real answer is the only thing not being met is his desire to make mishchief. I think he likes it. Asher likes it. They're just trouble makers. And we get to love them for it.

  3. Joe, we totally agree. It is pretty impressive and even entertaining.

    Nanc, I know I've fed you that line a few times too many! Really, I don't think he has many needs not being met--he's meeting them just fine. It's me with some needs that aren't being met. :) Maybe he'll grow up to be a dynamo like like his Uncle Joe who lets off steam at the end of his workday by ploughin a field or hammering metal.

  4. Great post! It speaks volumes of how much we love your family that we still want to come and risk the pilfering of our belongings this summer to hang out with you guys.

    Mainly we are very curious to see what he will do--and it can't help to have three or four extra eyes, right?

  5. I too feel very bad for you, but I too was laughing my head off about these tactics. I pray the Lord will bless you in your hour (or year) of trial and tribulation. (As in trib-e of boys trying to drive you wild-ulation)

  6. Wow. I wonder what goes on inside his little head? What if it is just untapped creativity and imagination...?

    Way to go Ang.

  7. I'm with Joe! I'm so sorry to laugh! It just really is almost unreal the degree of mischief! There could be a fantastical sitcom starring Jesse and his antics! But you know karma will come knocking on my door in the form of Roko shenanigans!

  8. I love the photo of the underpants behind the apron.

  9. It's probably good for him that he is so dang cute!

  10. Sis, you know you wrote that post to be as funny as possible, and you succeeded admirably. I am not ashamed to say that I was in stitches as I read it twice in a row. I was amazed at Jesse's energy when I visited last winter. He is like a shark that just cruises around near the floor searching for the next deliciously naughty activity. He never stops. What a special boy.