In late 1864, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman took a Union army across the South and tore a path of destruction through Georgia and the Carolinas so complete in its totality that Sherman’s March is still the yardstick by which all military routs are measured today.
In 1985, the Chicago Bears, with Jim McMahon directing the offense, Walter Payton carrying the pill, and William “The Refrigerator” Perry being The Fridge, stomped across the NFL, destroyed nearly all comers (Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins putting the only blemish on the Bears’ season), humiliated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX (46-10, and it wasn’t really even that close) and became the greatest single-season football team I, or any other child of the Reagan Era has ever witnessed.
General Sherman and the ’85 Bears were certainly Hell On Wheels for their respective opponents. But as dominant as each were, I followed them from a distance.
For me, neither comes close to having the brute, physical impact as the experience of my daughters when they do a number on our living room.
And kitchen. And let’s face it, any room they enter. They are two tiny hurricanes of destruction and the only reason they can get away with their trail of wreckage is because they are both so damn cute.
When it was just Maddo walking around, the detritus of her activity could at least be somewhat contained as my wife, The Thoroughly Awesome Ms. Crums, and I had her outnumbered. Our younger daughter, Little Sis, could easily be dealt with by just sticking her inside her Pack ‘N Play, even though her screams were loud enough to make us wonder why we chose to have a second kid.
But starting three weeks ago, Little Sis began to walk. And everything changed.
And everything ended up on the floor, too.
Little Sis may just be getting her sea legs when it comes to walking, but she has already surpassed her sister in one area and that is in Number Of Things Grabbed And Pulled Down From The Tables And Shelves And All Over The Floor. You give this girl three minutes and there will be at least five magazines and three books dragged off of the coffee table. Uncountable numbers of toys are now strewn across the living room, turning it into a minefield of plastic animals.
And of course, no matter how well you pick up everything, you always miss that one plastic piece of fruit, that one stuffed animal, that one Mega Blok. The one that inevitably impales your sole when you stagger upstairs in the early morning darkness, still half asleep because you were up part of the night before picking up all those magazines, books and Mega Bloks that your daughters used to decorate the floor during their latest pick-it-up-and-drop-it-anywhere rampage.
I can’t blame them for everything that goes from their hands directly to the floor. Little Sis, in particular, has no concept about where things belong, and it doesn’t help to get upset at her too much when she tosses every one of the girls’ toy kitchen utensils onto the real kitchen floor.
But Maddo? Oh, she knows what she’s doing. She certainly did the other night when she dropped a miniature bundt cake mold on the floor, refused to pick it up, then came over and did pick it up…only to throw it across the kitchen. This could not stand, and for her punishment, there was no story time that night.
And I still had to pick up after her.
Sherman eventually left the South, and Super Bowl XX came to a merciful end for the Patriots. But Maddo and Little Sis? They, and their never-ending trail of toys, are here to stay.