From the other room I hear the twins singing their best version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, then the singing ends; abruptly. I hear the rapid pitter-patter of Jacqueline’s feet (one bare, one with a sock on) running towards me. She appears to be out of breath as if she’s run several miles. She clings to me as if her life is on the line, and I hold her, and smile, awaiting the tale that is to come. I ask her in my most concerned hush:
Dad: What’s the matter Jacqueline?
Jax: He’s going to get me.
Dad: Who is going to get you?
Jax: Theodore. He is trying to get me in the city.
Dad: You were in the city?
Jax: Yes, because, I was just trying to, trying to watch hockey.
Dad: You were in the city watching hockey?
Jax: Um, yes and Teddy is going to grab me and spank my bum-bum.
Dad: Teddy’s not going to get you. Let’s go check it out.
Jax: Ok Dad. He’s going to get me.
Dad: No he won’t. Let’s see what he is doing.
We enter the play area and see Theodore sitting on the floor quietly playing with some toy animals and some blocks. He’s seemingly oblivious to the mayhem his sister has been relaying to me. Then Jacqueline gives him an earful, which was completely her idea, triggered by nothing said or done.
Jax: Theodore you be a big boy! You need to potty train and wear big-boy underwear for you to go to school! Now, you don’t get me!
Dad: (I whisper to her) Theodore won’t get you honey. If he gives you any trouble, you tell me and I will take care of it. I take care of you and Theodore.
Jax: (to Theodore who still hasn’t reacted to her previously barked statement) Theodore you don’t get me! Dad will get you! He take care of me! I am a big girl with big girl underwear, and I get a necklace! I go potty all by myself! I prolly (probably) gotta go to work now. Bye.
I laughed out loud after she stopped preaching at her brother. Theodore never said anything; he just sat on the floor and played. Jacqueline is incented to continue her potty training, and a necklace is a prize planned for her as she continues successful training. Anyway, she turned, arms folded, and marched into the kitchen and beyond, on her way to work I guess. Theodore just kept on playing as he was.