This use of the phrase is not a rare phenomenon; however, adults seldom get the full import in their observation of this ancient language. The best time to observe this primal call is when Mom is at the grocery store, and you, like the idiot you are, volunteer to watch the children. Now the stage is normally set on a rainy weekend afternoon. (Since you are trapped inside with the monsters, you are now in an excellent position to watch.) You have just pulled the boys apart from life and death combat, which is normally spawned over which channel to watch, and have sent them to their room. You then go into the kitchen to pour yourself a cup of coffee, with the little one keeping her eye on your every movement. This latter coffee step is mandatory, since you must remain awake. (Mainly because if you attempt sleep you will surely die at the hands of the little darlings........) What happens next is the most terrifying dynamic a parent will ever face.....
For the first time, you are presented with the one rare occasion where the three little ones act in complete and total concert with each other. They do this much like a herd of wild dogs would stalk prey, but in this instance your only shot at survival is to be saved by the “Aahhooooooo!” The little one keeps the boys informed as to your movements, thereby allowing them to sneak into things they aren’t supposed to get into. If you wander close to a point where you will discover the boys’ handiwork, then the little one will run a diversionary operation that would put a Green Beret to shame. This is all designed to permit the little sweet things to inventory, catalogue, and rifle through your intimate personal belongings, like mom’s closet or dad’s dresser. (Oddly enough they still won’t mess with going into their big sister’s room. I still suspect this is only because the EPA and NRC haven’t lifted their ban on entry without HAZMAT protective equipment......)
The first time I noticed this hidden child language was on the infamous Sunday when the screaming sweeties discovered Dad’s old Army Saber. (While mostly decorative, it still has some ceremonial use, and is normally stored lovingly in my closet.) Like the fool being led to the gallows, I grinned and said, “Sure Honey, I’ll watch them while you run out for a few things......” Lord, were those famous last words. No sooner than Mom had pulled out, the fun began............. Turning from the doorway, having waved goodby to my bride, I heard voices raised in anger in the living room. Like a cat chasing a mouse down a snake hole, I stupidly went to investigate.
After the requisite verbal battle over the merits of flying with or without a cape as a superhero, the boys had escalated their discussion into a brawl that would have made a sailor in Honolulu proud. Not sure that it wasn’t a good idea to let them kill each other, I finally broke down and decided to intercede. I pulled them apart and sent each to his bed thinking that I had done my duty and protected life and limb. While very high-minded, it was one of the more naive thoughts I would have that day. In short? BOY, was I wrong!!! All I did was allow the forces to consolidate!!
Satisfied that I had done my bit for God and Country, I decided to pour myself a cup of coffee. No sooner had I made this decision than the little one made her move. She came up, all cute and cuddly, and began her “I want your attention” act. Meanwhile, the boys have infiltrated from their room to my closet, and have started their in-depth inspection of its contents. Finding the sword, they then began to experiment with its range as a ball bat. Unfortunately for me, the ball they were hitting belonged to their Mother’s favorite antique lamp. Now imagine my sitting with a sweet little girl in my lap while sipping coffee. I was totally unsuspecting of the quasi-criminal behavior of the boys, when a horrendous crash resounded throughout the entire house, thus bringing me from my false sense of security. The horrid sound of breaking glass was then followed by a second crash as each boy attempted to either hide or destroy all evidence by playing hot potato, thereby breaking their Mother’s other lamp.
As if this wasn’t enough, the next sound made my blood run cold. It was the infamous and most dreaded “Aahhooooooo! I’m tellin’!!!” At this point I leaped to my feet, thereby launching the hot coffee all over the dog’s tail, and as my littlest one giggles and the dog howls, I charge up the stairs to see the extent of the damage. Naturally, the boys are all sounding off with the requisite “he made me” or “It wasn’t me” or the ever popular “I don’t know what happened, I was just walking by the door, when all of a sudden.....” The truth will never come out, since all of the witnesses wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them; however, it wasn’t that relevant anyway since the real show was to come later when Mom got home. As soon as she walked in from the store I smile at her and said, “It wasn’t me, ...... I don’t know what happened, I was just walking by the door, when all of a sudden .....” ~Michael S. Pauley