Easter came early when four little bunnies were dropped off at our house Saturday night. Even though it was complete chaos at times, I love watching these cousins build their relationships.
I'm fortunate to have been born and raised in the same town I still live in, along with nearly all of my cousins. We grew up congregating at our grandparents house, whether it was for the holidays or to enjoy their pool. Living near cousins means you have ready-made playmates who have to play with you whether they want to or not.
It's at the point now I don't have enough gates to block everything off from the toddlers. What were they thinking having babies just three months apart? My daughters may have planned this on purpose after I harped on them for so long to give me grandbabies.
The whining began almost immediately when the toddlers began fighting over a Fisher Price vacuum sweeper that's been duct taped together so many times it's sticky. They want what the other one has, no matter what it is, whether they're fighting for lap time or toys and when they're victorious their smile has "nah-nah-nah-nah," written all over it.
Just when I thought I had the whining contained, the 4-year-old boy decided to get in on the action. He would imitate the toddlers’ whines so well I was getting really confused who was having an issue with what. When I finally figured out it was coming from him, I had to laugh since he basically had resorted to sitting on a small plastic horse because everything he tried to play with the toddlers destroyed.
Even though Papa looked pretty frazzled most of the evening, I felt most sorry for the 7-year-old girl. She's at the age where being outright silly is only cool with people your own age, yet she also loves the concept of helping take care of the babies. It's hard to do much of anything since the twosome followed her every move and have their mind set on tearing up anything she might try to do. Eventually she moved to the dining room table to color a picture, only to find out they not only knew how to climb up on the chairs but how to remove the lids from the markers.
We were making an attempt to watch “Alice in Wonderland,” the 1-year-olds were attacking the boy as he was trying to play cars, while she was trying very hard to hear the movie. Throw two 90-pound dogs into the mix and you have a living room resembling a circus act and Papa as the ringmaster.
The toddlers were trying to slap each other in the face over a Cheerio they found on the floor when the black lab stepped on a matchbox car, which got stuck on his toenail. Everything came to a screeching halt so Papa could "operate" on the dog who was just trying to find a quiet place to lay down.
It was a circus, but it's our circus and when the older grandkids left they were asking when we could do it again as the toddlers tearfully waved goodbye to each other.
Nobody will understand the craziness of your family better than your cousins, who begin as playmates and end as forever friends.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org