Yesterday Kyle was walking around the playroom carrying the poor cat around and holding the poor thing waaaaaaay toooooo tight. Our beloved 13-year-old cat Cooper has become pathetically tolerant of K & O's antics. He can usually escape when he really wants to so I more-or-less stay out of it. However, this time I was really starting to get concerned when --from the kitchen where I was-- I heard Cooper yelp out a desperate sounding sound unlike any sound I've ever heard before. I shouted in to Kyle, "O.k., Kyle, that's enough, put Cooper down now." He ignored me. "Kyle! Put Cooper down!" Totally blatantly ignoring me. "KYLE! PUT THE CAT DOWN RIGHT NOW!" And then. This: Kyle, semi-sheepishly and semi-attitudinally (some people would call this passive-aggressively), still holding the cat, calls back (just loud enough so I can hear it) -- "I'm not listening to you Mommy." Then dead silence in the house. Owen was in the playroom but ran fast as lightening to come see my reaction in the kitchen. He peered around the kitchen counter with a look of sheer anticipatory curiosity on his face. "GO TO YOUR ROOM NOW!" I yelled to Kyle (halfway for the sheer disobedience of Kyle, halfway for the wide-eyed audience of Owen). Kyle dropped the cat quick as a wink and ran up the stairs to his room. Owen, still peering around the counter, now with a look of deep satisfaction on his face, says, "Kyle's in big trouble! Big time out!" Then, all dramatically angelic and sticky sweet (as if he's concerned about Kyle) Owen says, "Why mommy?" With the most stern look of 'I'm not buying it' I could muster on my face, I flatly said, "You know why Owen." Then he jumps out from behind the counter and says, all confident and serious, "Oh! Yes! I do know why! Because he talked back to Mommy!" "Yes, that's right," I said. Three minutes later I told Kyle he could come back down. He did the obligatory apology: "Mommy, I'm sorry I talked back to you." Then I did the obligatory, "O.k., don't do that again, o.k., big hug." And literally within about 5 seconds both boys were happily playing with airplanes as if nothing had happened. They were on the floor, just on the other side of the kitchen counter, definitely within easy earshot of me but --from a 3-year-old's perspective-- light year's away from me since they couldn't actually see me with the counter between us. And this is what I hear:
Owen: Kyle, why you worried about Mommy?
Kyle: I'm not worried.
K: I'm not worried, Owen, I'm mad.
O: Oh! You're mad?!
K: I'm mad at Mommy. I'm super mad Owen.
K: Mommy is not nice. Mommy is NOT NICE. Mommy is not nice. Right Owen?
O: Oh, right. That's right Kyle.
K: Mommy said hurtful words.
O: Oh. Why she say hurtful words?
K: She said, 'GO TO YOUR ROOM!' That's hurtful words to me.
O: Oh. That is not nice saying hurtful words. But I'm not mad Kyle. I'm not.
O: O.k. Kyle?
K: Oh, o.k.! O.k.!
O: Oh look Kyle, there's Cooper!!! Come on! We need to catch him!!!!!!!!!!
K: Yes!!!!!!!!!!!! Run fast Owen! Run fast!!!!!!!!!!
And, speaking of my darling little angel boys... A couple of days ago, this happened. The boys were playing, doing whatever, and suddenly it got way too quiet. When that happens it makes Braydon and I very nervous. I called out, "Guys? Kyle and Owen? Where are you? What are you doing?" Silence. "Guys?!?!" Silence. "Kyle and Owen!?!!!" Kyle, from the playroom, says, "We're in here. Doing a project. With tape." Then Owen appears in the kitchen, looking up at me like this: