Last weekend I got The KingofHearts and I tickets to see The Manhattan Transfer, because - and I do not think I am not exaggerating here - they are the greatest singing group known to mankind.  

You may not agree, and that's fine, but that's just how seriously I take those four and their band.  

So you can see why, when we suddenly found ourselves without a babysitter, I pawned my kids off on someone prevailed upon a friend and her family to watch them so our tickets didn't have to go to waste.  I usually like to have someone watch them in our home so they can go to bed at a reasonable hour.  When they are at someone else's house, that doesn't always happen. But that wasn't an option for various reasons, so we left them at this friend's place.  And, as expected, when we got back to pick up The Shortlings and found they were both awake way too late at night, I knew there'd be a price to pay.  Sure, they looked happy enough -- The Dormouse was watching a movie and The Caterpillar was busy on a computer someone had foolishly let her use, playing the songs from Frozen on a perpetual loop, probably for the past three hours.

So, two things about The Caterpillar: 1) she does not deal well with extended periods of screen time exposure.  Neither of my kids do, as a matter of fact.  They are happy to play a computer game for two to six hours straight, but everyone will pay for it later because they become cranky, belligerent jerkoffs for the rest of the day and no one likes that. Least of all, me.  So we do our best to limit their time in front of screens, particularly computer games.  Number 2) thing about The Caterpillar: She does not handle Tired well. Oh I know no kid does, but she is particularly bad with physical symptoms like Hungry and Tired.  This is why my kids have a relatively early bedtime and we don't tend to leave them at people's house where they play fast and loose with Going to Bed at a Not-Stupid Kind of Hour.

Fast forward to the end of the evening.  We walked in, both kids were fine and happy.  We stayed to talk to some of the adults that were there and my girlfriend said, nodding at The Caterpillar, "Once, while she was back there, she just started crying for no reason.  Then she stopped and it was fine after that."

"Yeah, she's tired," I said, "She doesn't do well with Tired.  She just needs to be in bed."

"Well, she was fine after that and has been happy ever since."

"For now," I corrected, "but the time bomb is ticking on that one."

We talked for a little while longer and then got ready to go.  I told both girls to go find their shoes and we started to make our way through the house.  At this point, it's about 11:30 pm not ridiculously late, but late enough. 

As I was walking out, The Caterpillar tugged on my shirt tails and I looked down at the tears in her eyes as she suddenly started crying great dripping tears, "But I never got cake!"

I had no idea what this meant, but I wasn't about to feed her cake at 11:30 pm even if there was cake, so I just told her we'd worry about it later, but now we had to go home.

This turned into a knock down, drag out, screamfest, complete with her throwing her entire six year old body on the floor kicking, screaming and with the patented Curly Howard Floor Spin but not in a funny Yuk Yuk Yuk kind of way.


The owner of the house didn't have any more cake.


She kicked. She bawled, She screamed.


Someone pointed out that she ate an entire bag of chips, three sodas, several cookies and eighy-six pieces of candy.


Someone tried to put shoes on her feet, Cinderella-style and distract her.


A guest of the house offered to go home and get more cake.


Someone else offered at Twinkie as a substitute for cake.

That's when I was about to do the Curly Howard Floor Spin because NO I AM NOT GOING TO REWARD THIS BEHAVIOR WITH CAKE AND ALSO IT IS 11:30 AT NIGHT STOP OFFERING HER CAKE.

Finally, I picked her up, threw her over my shoulder, walked out the door and deposited her in the car.  Then I got in the car and waited for the rest of my family to figure out we'd gone, while I texted my friend in my best sarcastic texting font (we really need one of those, by the way), "So I guess that was goodbye, let me know when you want to watch her again! :)"

It was actually really uncharacteristic for The Caterpillar to lose it like that, so, while totally exasperated, we were fairly philosophical about it all and just drove home wordlessly, while she calmed down and heaved great sobs, each successively quieter. Then we dumped her in bed; she was asleep before her head hit the pillow.  It was over.

Except it wasn't.

Because the next day, we had to take The Dormouse to her Solo and Ensemble festival and while we were waiting in line, we got bored and probably a little slap happy, and The KoH and I started randomly calling out, "BUT I NEVER GOT CAAAAKE!"  And that would make the other person laugh hysterically, and embarrass The Caterpillar greatly, who would hide her face in her jacket every time we did it. Then when we finally got calmed down and serious again, someone else would moan, "CAAAAAAAKE!" and we'd all start guffawing again while The Caterpillar got really mad, which made the whole thing even funnier and I explained that if she was going to act silly she better be prepared to deal with the aftermath and YES I AM A MONSTER.

Then, still waiting, I texted my friend, "BUT I NEVER GOT CAKE!"

And she texted back, "Still?? You know, I could make a cake and bring it over..." 


And then I told some of my friends at work and we all laughed hysterically and now someone will randomly moan while walking through the hallway, "But I didn't get caaaaake!" on the way to the bathroom.
And that's been going on for days.


The Caterpillar eventually overcame her embarrassment by our antics... somewhat.  But then we declared that she would now, henceforward be called, not Caterpillar, but Cake and she got mad at us all over again. It was only after we and threw her a bone and gave everyone on the family nicknames as well (Junk, Buttfunk, and BoobsMcGee... I'll let you figure out which nickname belongs to whom) that she finally found the humor in it all.

It's a hard thing to be a member of this family.  I figure if these children survive it, they'll be ready for the anything the cold, cruel world has to throw at them.