What Happens When My Back Is Turned

I have two sweet, adorable, loving, havoc-wreaking sons. In the last week or so I think they have teamed up together and made some sort of secret pact to destroy my home, my sanity and, possibly, each other. They’ve always loved getting into mischief together, but lately they’ve taken their escapades to a whole new level. It seems that every time I turn my back–to wash some dishes, change my clothes, or (God forbid) pee in a room with a closed door–I turn around to find utter and complete disaster. And just so you know I’m not making this up so I have something to whine about, here are a few examples from a 2-day period this week:

Reason my back was turned: I was making breakfast
Time elapsed: 6 minutes
Resulting disaster: 3 large tubs of toys were dumped down the stairs and strategically scattered in the most debilitating places to step on them with bare feet.


Reason my back was turned: I was washing dishes after breakfast
Time elapsed: 4 minutes
Resulting disaster: Remember all of those toys that they threw down the stairs before breakfast? Well, now they shoved half of them out the mail slot and into the pouring rain outside our front door.


Reason my back was turned: I was vacuuming the hallway outside the bedroom door.
Time elapsed: 3 minutes
Resulting disaster: Both boys climbed on top of Jacob’s (rickety) changing table. They opened a bottle of Purel and smeared the contents around the room (well, at least one room got cleaned today). They took every book off the bookshelf. They emptied all 5 boxes of clothes from the changing table. They pulled all of the blankets out of Jacob’s crib. They attempted to empty the diaper pail (Haha! Mom scores 1/2 a point for preemptively moving the diaper pail off the floor).

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Reason my back was turned: I made a phone call to schedule a doctor’s appointment
Time elapsed: 2 minutes
Resulting disaster: Every drawer in my kitchen was emptied onto the floor (the floor which, by the way, is covered in filth because I apparently can’t afford to turn my back long enough to clean it properly).


Reason my back was turned: I was getting dressed
Time elapsed: 4 minutes
Resulting disaster: They dumped 4 rolls of toilet paper into the toilet, tried to flush the toilet, and then started swirling around the overflowing mess with a toilet brush. Oh yeah, and the other half of the toys that didn’t get shoved out of the mail slot? They were in there, too.


Reason my back was turned: I was going to the bathroom (the upstairs bathroom, not the gross one that they just demolished downstairs)
Time elapsed: 30 seconds
Resulting disaster: They emptied every drawer and basket in David’s closet and moved the clothes to the floor on the other side of the closet (by the way, I’d just finished folding the laundry and putting all of the clothes neatly away in said drawers). They dumped a bin of shoes and boots down the stairs for good measure.

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Reason my back was turned: I was loading the stroller into our car. So we could leave the house and take my childrens’ destructive tendencies elsewhere.
Time elapsed: 1 minute
Resulting disaster: David emptied and entire box of Kleenex and began throwing them around the kitchen like they were big, fluttery snowflakes. This is him cleaning up the mess–good luck to anyone who tries to take a tissue out of that box…


I’m exhausted just looking at these photos again. And the *best* part is, I know that this is only the beginning. Oh, Lord help me. Some day they’ll be big boys–and then teenagers— with access to things like rope and knives and fire and other mischievous boys. For now, though, we’re doing what we can to quench their quest to destroy. With super-effective deterrents like zip-tie locks on our cabinets:


And scarves tied around the drawers so nobody (not even me!) can open them:


And baby chains tying down the handle of the diaper pail:

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And duct tape over the mail slot:


We’re living in Fort Knox here, folks. I know that this is a battle I’m probably just going to lose again and again and again. And, even though it drives me crazy, I’m kind of okay with that. They are, after all, little boys who are exploring their world. They’re testing their limits. They’re experimenting (maybe they’ll grow up to be amazing scientists some day?).

In the meantime, though, know that I’m watching you, boys. Even when my back is turned.

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