Take some time and watch your beautiful children. Just watch them. If you really look, you will be filled with overwhelming emotion about the future. In my case that emotion is despair. We’re all, basically, doomed.
My daughter does not like her personal space to be invaded. My son knows this. He has worked out that if he invades her space, just a little bit, repeatedly, it will drive his little sister absolutely crazy. Just a little finger prod, timed correctly. This discovery has given him enormous pleasure. His cackles are ostentatiously evil. Even when, in her rage, she manages to hit him, he doesn’t mind. Annoying her is worth it.
I’m not thick. I can open a packet of pasta without tearing the packet open and exploding pasta all over the floor. Well, sometimes. I’m sure there have been times when I have done that. The point I’m making is, I’m not completely incompetent.
And yet, keeping peace between my two small children is impossible. The hitting. The pushing. The snatching. The barging. The psychological torture. If they are typical human beings, there is no hope for us.
Then one day I find them sitting in the arm chair, side by side, in peace. Smiling. Blissfully happy. It cannot be overstated how startling this is. They see me come in. They are beaming at me. I watch them, speechless. Tears are welling up.
Then, grinning, my son points at my daughter’s lap. Only then do I notice that she is mashing the keyboard of my laptop like a concert pianist. My blood freezes.
What’s the worst that could happen? I retrieve it. My laptop starts talking to me. I had no idea it could talk. It’s saying something about resetting its password. My beloved laptop appears to be locked, waiting for a password. I have never set a password. I make a few guesses. Nothing works.
“What password did you set, my darling?” I ask. She smiles at me. A beautiful, evil smile. They both laugh happily.
Turns out what brings human beings together is a common enemy. In this case, me.