One rainy, winter afternoon...
Max is two, so I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying at first: “Is no nina time...is no nina tiiiiiime!”
He ran out of the living room, fleeing his 5 year old brother, who was flailing dismembered cheese sticks like nunchucks and making funny noises. Max clung to my legs, shivering. “Is no nina time!”
I turned from the sink, “What’s going on here?” 5 Year old kept flailing the cheese. “Are you going to eat that or what?” I asked, sternly.
His brows were knotted. “No. It’s ninja time!”
The 2 year old screamed, “Is no nina time!”
Aaah, that’s what he was saying. “Ninja time? How do you know what a ninja is?”
“I saw it on TV.” He flailed at his brother.
“Have you gotten a hold of the remote again? Where is the remote? ... Zach, it is NOT Ninja time.”
Max, still clinging, said, “Yeah, Zach, is no nina time!”
“Why are you scaring your brother?”
“Because...” He pulled the cheese taught between his fists.
“OK, give me the cheese.” I reached out for it, but Zach dodged, turned and ran.
“Enough with the ninja,” I yelled into the livingroom.
Slowly, Max let go of me and made his way back to the living room. Receding, I could hear, “Is no nina time, OK Zach? OK?”
I gave ‘em about 45 seconds before they were out in the kitchen again.
...45 seconds later...
Max came running out of the living room, through the dining room and back to me at the sink where I was trying to wash dishes, yelling, “Is no nina time!”
Zach followed Max out of the living room at speed, like the CIA trained nunchuck expert he clearly is, “It’s ninja time!” He lashed Max with some cheese.
I turned off the tap, “It’s is NOT ninja time, Zach! Eat the cheese or give the cheese to me, I don’t care, but stop waving it around the place. What happened to the train set we set up?”
“Max destroyed it. There are tracks, like, everywhere! All over the living room.” I flinched. Zach sounded just like me, using the Valley-girl “like” I picked up sometime in the 1980s. “That’s why it’s ninja time!”
I peeled my gloves off with a sigh. “I’ll go help you set it up.”
I shepherded them out of the kitchen and back to the living room where I did, indeed, find train tracks everywhere. “Ok, guys, pick up the pieces, come on...”
It was ninja time for the rest of the rainy afternoon indoors, the train set never got set up again properly because of Max. I stopped them killing each other several times. I bribed with popcorn and oranges. Nothing worked, nothing brought down the level of madness. Except sleep, glorious sleep.