It’s Sunday afternoon. My 2-year old son is quietly playing by himself with his construction toys in the sandbox while my 4-year old daughter is singing to herself and riding her tricycle around our backyard. She rides over to him and stops. She suddenly picks up a sand pail, and out of nowhere, hurls it at him. It hits him on the head. Startled, and clearly stunned, he quickly stands up. He decides the best course of action is to head-butt his sister in the sternum. She falls off her tricycle. Dazed, but not defeated, she stands back up. They stare each other down. Suddenly, he charges like a rhino. She shrieks, almost as if she expected this. Four and a half seconds later, everyone is screaming.
I’m sitting in my lawn chair straight dumbstruck watching this situation unfold in front of my eyes.
“ALRIGHT, EVERYONE BACK IN THE HOUSE!” I stand up and start screaming over the screaming.
Nobody listens to me because everyone is screaming.
My wife comes outside wondering why everyone is screaming.
The kids start pointing fingers and screaming incoherent words at her.
My wife screams at me as to why I’m not watching the kids properly.
I scream back at her telling her that I am in fact watching them.
She doesn’t believe me.
“Well why are they screaming then?” she screams.
“Because she threw a bucket at the baby!” I scream.
“WHAT? WHY” my wife screams thinking I know the answer.
“I DON’T KNOW WHY” I scream back.
“BABY BOO BOO!” screams the baby pointing to his head and blaming his sister.
“I DIDN’T HIT HIM!” screams the 4-year old as she lies through her teeth.
“ALRIGHT, EVERYONE BACK IN THE HOUSE!” I try screaming again.
“Is everything okay?” asks my neighbor Steve over the fence.
“Everything is fine, Steve. He’s just not doing a good job watching our kids!” screams my wife.
“I AM WATCHING MY KIDS!” I scream.
“I don’t want to go inside!” screams the 4-year old.
“STAY OUTSIDE!” screams the baby.
“Alright, you play here and you play over here!” I scream as I break up and separate the two.
My wife screams at me to watch them properly and walks back into the house.
I sit back down in my lawn chair.
The 4-year old starts playing with chalk and coloring the pavement.
The 2-year old starts playing with his fire truck.
All is in order.
I can hear the birds chirping again.
The baby suddenly stands up.
“WTF?” I whisper to myself.
I watch as he walks over to his sister. He picks up a plastic shovel and throws it at her.
It hits her in the back of the head.
She yells and stands up.
They stare at each other.
She suddenly charges like a rhino.
Chaos ensues again.
Everyone is screaming.
I sit in my lawn chair straight dumbstruck.
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