It sounds like an exaggeration, or a lame joke, but it's not. LuLu simply cannot leave or enter our house without breaking into tears.
Out of the last twenty or so times I've been with her, be it walking to the car to go to school, heading home from swim, or just plain walking inside from the backyard she will find a reason to cry.
She doesn't like that she has to sit on the passenger side of the car. Or she's decided that her shoes, which were fine all day at school, no longer fit her. Sometimes she's angry because Smiley got to the door quicker, or because her schoolbag is too heavy or because the fourth moon of Saturn aligned with the northern hemisphere of Pluto.
Last night I thought we were home free. We got back from a bike ride (tears on the way out - check) and she made it all the way to the door. Then she stumbled and fell to one knee, a distance of all of six to eight inches at a speed of .5 mph, not even tearing her tights, and the waterworks started.
As my Grandma would say (and excuse the phonetic spelling) Maria Baja, Zomptnee Thromba. Which, as far as I knew as a kid, meant Mary Mother of God, Knock it the F off Dan.
70% of the time the kid is great, but in that other 30% she is the whiniest, most insecure, tearful, wimpiest loudmouth in all of Milwaukee. It's always 'why don't I ever get X' or 'why does he/she always gets x" or "That's not fair!' or 'I wanna . ..'
As I told her the other day during a tantrum, "Lu, I feel sorry for all five of your husbands."
Not that YaYa is any better. Oh, she doesn't cry. But when it comes to how she interacts with LuLu you can look her in the eye and see the evil little wheels spinning. The other day my sister was over and put the kids to bed. From the kitchen downstairs I heard Lu complain about her stereo and YaYa graciously offered to switch with her. My sister praised her for her generosity.
Paniced alarm bells started going off in my head. I ran to the stairs "Chrissy, don't you dare fall for that! Check her radio and see if it even works!"
It did work actually, to my genuine surprise. But it didn't come with a headphone, which is what YaYa desired. YaYa was born to be an only child, and every day she silently curses us for not making that a reality.
Smiley's rather exempt from this conversation, as he's been relatively well behaved of late. Granted he is always the last to fall asleep, and 'round about nine o'clock I'll hear the far-from-heartwarming pitter-patter of little feet upstairs and have go up to set him straight. But that's small potatoes.
Lump, on the other hand, is shaping up to join the crew. The heck with sweet nicknames, I should refer to her as 'The Destroyer'. In the last ten minutes she has dug through the garbage, poured a cup of water on the floor then used the distraction of my efforts to clean it to go the bathroom and ditch the cup in the toilet. Moreover I just now, at this very moment, finished an epic five minute battle to prevent her grubby little hands from pulling down the keyboard as I typed.
Dangit. I just lost the keyboard battle.
Most days I can handle the chaos just fine. But last week when I came home to a destroyed living room, YaYa in tears outside, Smiley and LuLu fighting on the trampoline, my mother-in-law sitting on my couch, and a backyard covered in half-broken toys I just couldn't handle it.
"I told you," Lisa said later. "You should start getting liquored up before you come home. It helps."