By Sean Ellis
Living in Amityville, my wife Laura and I are frequently stopped by out-of-towners and asked "Can you take us to the Horror House?" We comply and lead them directly to our house and the three children. That is true horror. At least ghosts and phantoms only work at night and you can get some rest during the day. Our girls, Sarah, age 6 and Kerry and Kayla, age 2 alternate eight hour shifts and manage to haunt us twenty four hours a day.
OK, I exaggerate. The truth is I can't be away from my kids for more that a few hours without missing their interrogations. However I am checking the Geneva Convention Code of Conduct to see if the methods used by my children can be classified as torture. If so, I have earned a Purple Heart and Laura the Distinguished Medal of Valor for bravery in combat.
It perplexes me when I think that at my job people actually listen to what I say, seek my council and follow my instruction, yet at home these three small poltergeists blatantly ignore my orders to stop standing on the couch.
I often wonder if the great leaders of the past found themselves in similar situations. Before Napoleon crowned himself king, did he first chase around his little ones. "Put those knickers on, we're going to be late for my coronation!" Did George Washington ever utter the words "Stop touching your sister!?" It has been theorized that Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was so short because his son was tugging on his leg proclaiming he had to go potty.
Children are the great equalizers. They have no regard for who we are or our social status. They want a cookie and they want it NOW! And being good parents and wanting to provide for them and wanting to avoid the humiliation of a total meltdown in the supermarket, we rip open the Oreos and hush them up. I recently tried this meltdown strategy at the office and whined incessantly for a raise and more vacation time. My request was denied so I flailed my arms in the air and threw myself to the floor and began sobbing uncontrollably. My court date is later this month. Apparently, the special bond between parents and children does not transfer to the workplace.
So we forge on like most parents, with plenty of beer and wine and a daily call to the church asking for an exorcism. If a priest ever decides to investigate maybe he can say mass when he's here. Taking the kids to church.. now that's another story all together.
February 28, 2005 5:45 PM Eastern