Tuesday, July 07, 2009
The 4-year-old feral beasts stalk their prey. Their sights have been set, the plan has been discussed. It is in motion. The drum beats thump in the distance as the childer approach. Dum, dum, dum, du, dum, dum dum... Soon they appear, wearing their native camouflage: the she-girl in a green butterfly dress, face and arms marked in purple - a clear sign that she wields her markers with abandon; the boy-child adorned in a green turtle shirt, limp rubber snake in hand indicating that he takes no prisoners alive.
Their approach - act fast, act innocent, do not relent. They come up from behind, but I already knew they were there. "Whatca doin' Mama?" "Can I help?"
Oh they are good! They have practiced their trade. Suddenly I am faced with having to respond to their attack. I must be strong! I think quick: "Oh, no thank you. Go and play, or I can put on a movie. Mommy's trying to pack." I try not to tremble, but my fear is apparent.
They don't buy it. They push on. "I'm bored. I don't want to watch a movie!" Damn, they persist. They want to wear me down. They press forward like hyenas, moving closer, tightening the circle. There is no escape!
They reach in the boxes, pulling out fresh meat. "Can I have this flashlight?" "I want to play with this notebook." Ohhh, the pressure is on. Stay strong, girl! Divert, divert! "No no. I just packed those. Let's leave the stuff in the boxes. How about I put on Shrek?"
Will they buy it? No. They don't go for it. They go into full-attack mode. "But I'm bored. I don't want to watch a movie. Can I have the flashlight, just for a little while?" "Yeah, and I need some more paper."
Oooohhh, the sweat is pouring now, my pulse is racing. There is no way out. Do I relent? But then I will be susceptible to further attacks. Then what? I may never survive. I dig deep and find some strength. "I said to not touch the stuff I packed. Now go do something else. There is still plenty else to do."
I wait. They wait. We stare at each other. Who will back down? One minute. Two minutes. Suddenly, they step back. "Ok. I think there is still some paper downstairs." "Yeah, and I was going to build a barn for my snake in the playroom." "Ok, bye."
They suddenly fade into the grass. The drumbeats stop. There is peace. I have survived. I pack the next box.