Imagine Godzilla as a toddler. That is my Goo, whom I now lovingly refer to as, “Todzilla.”
Goo has, on occasion, presented a bit of a challenge in the parenting department. Remember the nail polish incident? Yeah…me too. She goes through phases where she just defies every rule I have worked so hard to establish. Recently, we’ve been working on our clean-up routine. Every night, about 30 minutes before bed, it’s clean-up time. We sing the clean-up song, put away all the toys, books, and dress-up clothes. It’s been fabulous, as I have much less to pick up once the kids are in bed, which means I get to lay in bed watching Hulu and eating ice-cream even earlier every night. Yay.
However, yesterday, my Goo was replaced by an impostor dressed as Goo. An impostor known as Todzilla.
Sunday mornings are always hectic as I have 4 girls to get fed, cleaned, and dressed for church, with the fleeting hope that I will be able to do all that on time. Yesterday had an added stressor as I was supposed to help out in nursery, which meant I really, really needed to be out of the house on time. We were also planning on having a few friends over to hang out after, so added to my Sunday morning insanity was the pressing issue of keeping the house clean and company ready. I should have seen it coming. Todzilla left a trail of destruction throughout the house.
It started with toys. Toys. Everywhere. Todzilla just pulled out one thing after another. I told the girls to pick up their shoes. Todzilla took out all the play dough. I told the girls to put books away. Todzilla took out the dress up clothes. Every single dress, strewn across the floor.
Next came the untouchables – the totally-off-limits containers of tiny particles that seem to vanish into the dark abyss – or get eaten by the baby. Either way. My jewelry box was the first to go. Then the sewing basket. Then the bucket of yarn and beads for Punkin’s friendship bracelets. Todzilla was on a mission, and there was no stopping her. As she plowed through one room after the other, I watched in horror, unable to stop the utter destruction that had set foot in my home.
So Todzilla got a time-out. I even rounded up to 3 minutes, since she’ll be 3 in a month. I wasn’t messing around, no siree.
So why, then, did I get myself, Punkin, and Smush ready to head out the door, only to turn around and find Todzilla’s next target of mass destruction: herself? Hair sticking out of the back of her head, shoes, pants, and underwear taken off and thrown into multiple disaster zones. Now I not only had to capture the miniature monster, but get her dressed. Again.
Somehow, we make it out of the house. The kitchen has been ground to dust, the floor has vanished from the bedrooms and the playroom. There are 427 safety pins nestled into the shag carpet in the girls’ room. But I’m out the door. Huzzah!
After church, we go home, and I breathe a sigh of relief. I survived the morning. The reign of Todzilla is over. Goo is now seated at the table, happily eating her lunch. And once again: I should have seen it coming.
I get the milk out of the refrigerator, and hear a noise.
Was that the door shutting? No, I closed the door when we came in.
I look up and glance out the kitchen to discover a terrifying sight: Todzilla has escaped.
Sheer panic sets in as I watch her making a break for the church next door, undoubtedly bent on spreading another trail of mass destruction.
She’s good. Too good. She pacified me, convinced me that Todzilla was all but ready for her afternoon nap, then struck when I least expected it. I flew out of the house, gallon of milk in hand, and issued a command to return immediately in my meanest I’m-the-Mommy-and-I-will-take-you-down voice. Todzilla stared at me, then started to take baby steps toward the house, taunting me with each one.
I ran out, grabbed Todzilla by the hand, and walked her back in, straight to the time-out chair. That’s what the Japanese always did in the movies, right? Gave Godzilla a good stern warning and a time-out after he had single-handedly destroyed their entire nation?
Sigh. The afternoon nap did seem to calm Todzilla a bit. My only thought was this: how will my house survive another day in the reign of Todzilla?
Oh, I know. I scheduled a play date for today. She can go destroy someone else’s living room.