The Struggle for Freedom

As we inch closer to the Fourth of July, I thought it’d be the perfect time to parallel two epic struggles for freedom — The American Revolution and one which you may not yet know about.

Freedom — it’s a tricky little paradox, no? Though entire wars have been fought to attain it, neither side of those wars has ever defined it the same way. To the British colonists, freedom meant escaping the tyrannical rule of the throne. Yet to England, that same freedom was experienced as nothing more than dangerous insubordination. Fast forward nearly 250 years to the other fight for freedom, the one that’s happening as we “speak” in my very home.

That’s right, Lovie and I have been under attack for quite sometime now, as our wee threesome have teamed up in an attempt to collectively undermine our authority. Though there are many small skirmishes each and every day, of late there has been one flat-out battle, and it’s waged at bedtime. Which brings me back to the paradoxical nature of freedom. To Lovie and me, it’s attained when we finally get our three monsters down for the night. Yet our trio will never go quietly into that good night because, to them, being told when to go to bed violates their freedom. Simply put? They’re not going down without a fight.

The parallels between our ongoing fight and the American Revolution do not end with the paradoxical takes on freedom. They’re only just beginning, though I will admit, they may not be readily apparent to the casual observer. No, there’s not an ocean between us, but there is a flight of stairs. And, no, the reigning authority doesn’t speak with a cockney accent, but we do roll with a mild southern drawl. And no, our insurgents haven’t gone so far as to throw a Boston Tea Party. But the do Often Pee in the Potty.

And though they haven’t come up with a slogan behind which to rally, it’s simply because they’re too young to formally articulate one. While the colonists were galvanized by “No taxation without representation,” our guys seem to circle the wagons with something along the lines of “Bedtime’s bullshit, y’all.”

Betime's bullshit, y'all.

Little cutie-pie C, believe it or not, was the leader of the charge when the attacks first began. The only one to have graduated to a “big bed,” she took it upon herself to repeatedly get out of that bed and scream bloody murder. At first we thought it was just a phase, which to be fair, it was. But it was also a grim harbinger of things to come.

Having roused the rebels into action, C now goes to bed without event. She’s passed the baton to her brothers, A and B, who currently carry the midnight torch while my adorable little peanut gets her beauty sleep. Each night, we can hear the boys plotting in not-so-quiet tones, speaking much like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid — with little or no regard for grammatical nuances such as tense or subject-verb agreement.

The Bedtime Bandits hours before the battle.

After such strategy sessions, a period of eerie silence ensues which will inevitably be broken by the tell-tale thump-thump — not the beating of a heart, mind you, but rather the landing of little feet. The noise serves as confirmation that one of our junior associates has scaled the thirty-inch crib wall and leapt onto the plush carpet of freedom, from whence he can and will openly defy the monarch by playing with his toys, grabbing a book, or perhaps even rocking a forbidden nighttime deuce on the big potty.

You know what will sometimes put an end to the uprising? A swift smack on the ass. That’s right. The King is a spanker. And while he completely understands and respects parents who don’t spank their children, his counter to their stance is but one sentence. Show the King a parent who doesn’t spank, and the King’ll show you a parent who doesn’t have toddler triplets. Once the King administers his can of whoop-ass, order is often restored.

But not always. You see, it seems as if the freedom fighters have learned to execute the landing of their forbidden jumps with silent agility, thus pushing their nighttime envelope further still. Yet even if they hit the carpet of emancipation without alerting the ruling party, sooner or later, the duo will slip up. Like the other night when the King and Queen heard the sound of muffled screaming through the royal monitor.

The King and Queen quickly scurried upstairs to see what was the matter, more than a little puzzled. Why are their cries muffled? they wondered. Predictably, A and B were out of their cribs. Unpredictably, they had locked themselves in the bathroom which adjoins their sleeping quarters which explained why the cries weren’t as loud as normal.

“Just open the door,” the King urged the rebels, though his words were probably inaudible thanks to their deafening cries. “I don’t get it,” he told the Queen. “They know how to open the door even when it’s locked. All they have to do is twist the handle.” Another thing he didn’t get was why the air was heavy with the scent of lotion. Or was it baby shampoo?
The King retreated to Princess Pookie’s quarters to look for something to help him spring the soldiers who by that point were nobly screaming “Mommy!” With the glossy cover of a Hannah Montana notepad, the King jimmied the lock and sprung the little idealists from their ironic and temporary incarceration.
The regal couple were not prepared for what they next saw. Virtually every single thing in the bathroom was covered with a mixture of lotion and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. (No more tears, my ass.) The floor was completely coated in a goopy mess. As was the vanity cabinet. Even the boys, themselves were covered with the concoction from head to toe, so much so that B’s ongoing cries were accompanied by bubbles each and every time he opened his mouth to emit one.
The doorknob was not immune, either. It got slimed, too, which, incidentally, is why A and B were trapped — their hands couldn’t hold a grip as they tried to twist the handle. In their efforts, they must have accidentally pushed the button and locked themselves inside. (Good thing the King used to be a garden-variety hoodlum, or they might still be trapped). Newly freed, A and B scurried to the Queen, slipping and sliding along the way like intoxicated chimpanzees ice-skating across a frozen pond.
The Queen gave them a bath after which the King gave them a spanking and order was eventually restored. But the ruling authorities weren’t born yesterday. They know another battle will soon be waged. And another one after that. And another one, still.

It is with equal amounts of dread and thankfulness with which they will await said battles. After all, their kingdom is a blessed one. And they know it. That’s why they fight to keep it in tact.

Happy Fourth of July, y’all.

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • Rachel

    wow. excellent. I read this with the sensation that I’m reading about life on another planet…with such curious and bemused “aghast-ness”. love it!

  • Rachel

    wow. excellent. I read this with the sensation that I’m reading about life on another planet…with such curious and bemused “aghast-ness”. love it!

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I want them running in circles, crying out, “The parents are coming! The parents are coming!”. Maybe I will send them muskets for Christmas.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I want them running in circles, crying out, “The parents are coming! The parents are coming!”. Maybe I will send them muskets for Christmas.

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    Wow, I simply love this.

    Moving beyond the fact that I do NOT envy you, and have NO idea how you and Lovie do it…

    This post is hilarious. Well written, sweet, touching. Without a doubt one of your best. I may or may not have had a tear in my eye when I finished.

    My momma had three of us, each less than 12 months apart. She may not have had triplets, but she had the battles. Stories upon stories of walls painted in molasses, and dogs painted in peanut butter, and bowls filled with koolaid milk.

    You have your work cut out for you, my friend. Fortunately, I think you and Lovie are up to the challenge. :)

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    Wow, I simply love this.

    Moving beyond the fact that I do NOT envy you, and have NO idea how you and Lovie do it…

    This post is hilarious. Well written, sweet, touching. Without a doubt one of your best. I may or may not have had a tear in my eye when I finished.

    My momma had three of us, each less than 12 months apart. She may not have had triplets, but she had the battles. Stories upon stories of walls painted in molasses, and dogs painted in peanut butter, and bowls filled with koolaid milk.

    You have your work cut out for you, my friend. Fortunately, I think you and Lovie are up to the challenge. :)

  • http://www.fabricmarketknoxville.com Laura Higdon

    Long live the King! I agree totally with your disciplinary tactics, as you know. We also had a similar incident with personal hygene products.
    Charlie & Frances down for a nap in toddler beds which were on either side of the changing table and all the lotions and potions stored in the caddy on the side (Frances’ side, I might add). Upon opening the door to the end of nap time, I found there two little ghosts. Covered in baby oil and baby powder. I have pictures, but they don’t do the scene justice. We’re all in this together. Carry on!

  • http://www.fabricmarketknoxville.com Laura Higdon

    Long live the King! I agree totally with your disciplinary tactics, as you know. We also had a similar incident with personal hygene products.
    Charlie & Frances down for a nap in toddler beds which were on either side of the changing table and all the lotions and potions stored in the caddy on the side (Frances’ side, I might add). Upon opening the door to the end of nap time, I found there two little ghosts. Covered in baby oil and baby powder. I have pictures, but they don’t do the scene justice. We’re all in this together. Carry on!

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    Trying….not….to….howl….with….laughter!

    Especially since I know that if I collapse into hysterics, I risk being drafted onto the list of baby-sitters whose sole task is to allow the King and Queen a well-deserved, if all too brief, break. :-p

    Yeah, the battle for freedom is wages daily in households everywhere. And the soap-bubble bandits got a little more than they wanted and/or expected from their race to freedom. Give them some points for asserting their ability to fight for the right to party. Or at least give them a high-five for it. Oh, wait, you did. That was more of a series of low-fives though.

    -grin- Battle on, and count me among the Royalists in this battle. Long live the King and Queen!

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    Trying….not….to….howl….with….laughter!

    Especially since I know that if I collapse into hysterics, I risk being drafted onto the list of baby-sitters whose sole task is to allow the King and Queen a well-deserved, if all too brief, break. :-p

    Yeah, the battle for freedom is wages daily in households everywhere. And the soap-bubble bandits got a little more than they wanted and/or expected from their race to freedom. Give them some points for asserting their ability to fight for the right to party. Or at least give them a high-five for it. Oh, wait, you did. That was more of a series of low-fives though.

    -grin- Battle on, and count me among the Royalists in this battle. Long live the King and Queen!

  • Tsiler

    Is a Royal Pain in the Ass the product of a Royal Ass Beating?

  • Tsiler

    Is a Royal Pain in the Ass the product of a Royal Ass Beating?

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    I’m with Laura. Long live the King! HAHA. Oh, and I fully agree with the can of whoop ass thing.

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    I’m with Laura. Long live the King! HAHA. Oh, and I fully agree with the can of whoop ass thing.

  • http://www.holymolytoledos.blogspot.com susy

    This is awesome! My apologies for feeling that when the King and Queen are in the midst of battle though.. I know at that time it’s not so awesome. 😉 I was cracking up as I read, most likely b/c I see this in my oh-too-near future since the boys are growing and learning super quick! I have a friend that discovered her daughter covered in head to toe in vaseline! Happy 4th of July, ya’ll!

  • http://www.holymolytoledos.blogspot.com susy

    This is awesome! My apologies for feeling that when the King and Queen are in the midst of battle though.. I know at that time it’s not so awesome. 😉 I was cracking up as I read, most likely b/c I see this in my oh-too-near future since the boys are growing and learning super quick! I have a friend that discovered her daughter covered in head to toe in vaseline! Happy 4th of July, ya’ll!

  • http://Youthinkyoucanblog.wordpress.com Angelia Sims

    Ha, Love C’s battle cry! Wow on the bathroom Johnson massacre. Tears and all. :-)

    Let freedom ring…Happy 4th to all the gang!

    This was excellent.

  • http://Youthinkyoucanblog.wordpress.com Angelia Sims

    Ha, Love C’s battle cry! Wow on the bathroom Johnson massacre. Tears and all. :-)

    Let freedom ring…Happy 4th to all the gang!

    This was excellent.

  • http://www.mytwinsforlife.blogspot.com HT

    I loved reading this post because I’m going through a similar “power struggle” with my four year old girls. It’s not really a power struggle since I’m not in it to win. I just want to teach my girls, but alas they are “big” girls and therefore do not want to follow anybody’s lead. They know it all, you see.

  • http://www.mytwinsforlife.blogspot.com HT

    I loved reading this post because I’m going through a similar “power struggle” with my four year old girls. It’s not really a power struggle since I’m not in it to win. I just want to teach my girls, but alas they are “big” girls and therefore do not want to follow anybody’s lead. They know it all, you see.

  • Claire

    Wow, love it. Fun, fun, fun!! Very well-written. We have a similar story involving peanut butter. A HUGE, Sam’s size jar of peanut butter – spread on every inch of a sofa and completely covering two little girls, while Mommy was sleeping/vomiting from being in first trimester pregnancy.
    Thanks for sharing your story so eloquently! I can’t wait for the next one! :-)

  • Claire

    Wow, love it. Fun, fun, fun!! Very well-written. We have a similar story involving peanut butter. A HUGE, Sam’s size jar of peanut butter – spread on every inch of a sofa and completely covering two little girls, while Mommy was sleeping/vomiting from being in first trimester pregnancy.
    Thanks for sharing your story so eloquently! I can’t wait for the next one! :-)

  • http://www.thejaxon4.blogspot.com cjaxon

    Mine wages his battles with dirty tactics. He puts his arms around my neck, squeezes tight and says “Mommy stay?” and then keeps repeating it in plaintive tones. It is only through sheer will and a determination for a few moments of alone time that I escape nightly.

    Oh, and my birthday is Friday …. whadidja get me? :)

  • http://www.thejaxon4.blogspot.com cjaxon

    Mine wages his battles with dirty tactics. He puts his arms around my neck, squeezes tight and says “Mommy stay?” and then keeps repeating it in plaintive tones. It is only through sheer will and a determination for a few moments of alone time that I escape nightly.

    Oh, and my birthday is Friday …. whadidja get me? :)

  • http://bitguru.wordpress.com bitguru

    nice reading, but please spell “intact” correctly

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      @bitguru, thank you so much. i forgot to have my editor look at the post before i hit “publish.” how fastidious of you. (hope i used that correctly.)

      you might like my other blog. it’s at http://www.getalife.com

  • http://bitguru.wordpress.com bitguru

    nice reading, but please spell “intact” correctly

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      @bitguru, thank you so much. i forgot to have my editor look at the post before i hit “publish.” how fastidious of you. (hope i used that correctly.)

      you might like my other blog. it’s at http://www.getalife.com

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    I keep hearing History of the World- “It is good to be the king.” 😉

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    I keep hearing History of the World- “It is good to be the king.” 😉

  • Katybeth

    Very funny. I don’t agree with spanking ever…but your right I don’t have triplets and sometimes you just have to go with what works.

    Wishing the King and Queen Luck…sounds like they already have the most important thing…a sense of humor.

    Happy 4th!
    Katybeth

  • http://oddlovescompanycom/blog/ Katybeth

    Very funny. I don’t agree with spanking ever…but your right I don’t have triplets and sometimes you just have to go with what works.

    Wishing the King and Queen Luck…sounds like they already have the most important thing…a sense of humor.

    Happy 4th!
    Katybeth

  • http://www.fooddontgrowontrees.blogspot.com Sindy

    Hilarious! It sometimes seems to me that A and B just cannot get to sleep without the get-out-of-crib and get-paddled-by-the-Queen routine (C, having pulled that stunt and gotten her spanking ONCE, never does it anymore – a girl thing, maybe?)

    I sometimes end the night routine of kisses-cuddles-sing Twinkle, Twinkle wondering if I should just go ahead and spank them now so as to save myself the bother of coming back upstairs in ten minutes.

    I haven’t yet but when it comes to triplet toddlers, this Queen is keeping all options – including preventative ass whoopin’ – on the table.

    Oh, and triplet toddlers with unfettered access to a bathroom? You and Lovie are fearless! (Or amateur plumbers….)

  • http://www.fooddontgrowontrees.blogspot.com Sindy

    Hilarious! It sometimes seems to me that A and B just cannot get to sleep without the get-out-of-crib and get-paddled-by-the-Queen routine (C, having pulled that stunt and gotten her spanking ONCE, never does it anymore – a girl thing, maybe?)

    I sometimes end the night routine of kisses-cuddles-sing Twinkle, Twinkle wondering if I should just go ahead and spank them now so as to save myself the bother of coming back upstairs in ten minutes.

    I haven’t yet but when it comes to triplet toddlers, this Queen is keeping all options – including preventative ass whoopin’ – on the table.

    Oh, and triplet toddlers with unfettered access to a bathroom? You and Lovie are fearless! (Or amateur plumbers….)

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    Breaking and entering skills have helped me many times as well. I only use those skills for noble purposes though. And you get no grief from me about being a spanker. Very funny post!

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    Breaking and entering skills have helped me many times as well. I only use those skills for noble purposes though. And you get no grief from me about being a spanker. Very funny post!