While there is the mundane bickering (both boys) and occasional crying fits (Dash) because of some vile offense like a misappropriated car or intentionally-ruined tile-wall foam-face, a former oeuvre d'art which now looks like something Picasso created while high on smack, there has never been a moment when I have worried about one of the boys doing serious, blood-shedding, scarring damage to the other.
Until this past Wednesday night.
When the following exchange came floating out from the bathroom, hitting my ears and making the hairs on the back of my neck (admittedly more copious in my current pregnant state) stand up as if Glenn Beck himself had walked through my door and announced he was my long-lost cousin.
"Wanna play Waterboarding, Dashie?"
You've never seen a gestating woman get so fast from the living room to the bathroom, where the boys were in the tub. Anything beyond a slow amble is quite a feat when you can barely see your toes beyond the protrusion of womb-engorged belly in front of you, so the veritable bounds I managed were quite miraculous, even if they did make me look like a mutant platypus on the run.
In the split second it took to react, I was, of course, imagining little-brother-torture; I was already trying to remember my CPR class; and I was picturing my four-year-old sputtering to life as I held his limp body. All the while, I was screaming (in my head) at my eight-year-old, and already having him admitted to a juvenile delinquent program, making tragic weekend visits to see him at some sterile facility where they were trying to scrub Dick Cheney's torture memos from his young brain.
Turns out, of course, that Waterboarding, in the sweet, play-based world my spawn have created, means NOT to drown one another while forcing confessions of hijacked Legos or swiping an extra cookie or two. Rather, it means taking the big plastic lid from the bin we use to hold cleaning supplies, laying it at the bottom of the tub, under the water, and surfboarding on top of it.
Maybe my boys should be the interrogation experts for the CIA.
I bet you'd get a lot more out of someone while enjoying some Hang Ten time, than from pretending like they were about to enjoy their last breath of oxygen.
I'm just saying.