About This Blog

Rated P is a sketch comedy musical about parenthood celebrating the wonders & lunacy of raising kids from conception to college. This blog, written by Rated P's author & lyricist, Sandy Rustin, offers up a humorous and heartfelt look at the nitty gritty business of parenting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Getting Played

There comes a point in every parent/toddler conflict, when the child gets the upper hand.   His two+  years of manipulation experience begin to pay off and he makes a seemingly spontaneous pointed comment with an adorable speech impediment that stops you dead in your tracks.  Just when you were counting to three (or else), you look into those sparkly crocodile tear filled eyes, lose your ground, soften the stern look in your eyes, and give in.

If this has happened to you, chances are, you've been played.

Pajama Power Struggle
(a short bedtime play)
by Sandy Rustin

Little Boy:  I don't want to get dressed here.  I want to get dressed over there.

He runs to a undisclosed location.

Mom:  (masking irritation) Where are you?

Appearing with a sheepish smile.

Little Boy:  Ta-Da! 

He runs again.

Mom:  It's time for you to put on your pajamas.  C'mon.  I want to see you cooperate.

Little Boy:  I want Daddy to do it.

Mom:  You said you wanted me to do it.

Little Boy:  I want Daddy to do it.

Mom:  (Calling off)  Honey ... Can you come do pajamas?  He wants you.

Dad appears in the doorway. 

Dad:  Can I talk to you for a minute?

Mom and Dad disappear into the bathroom.  It is unknown what the child is doing during this time, but chances are whatever it is, it is not good.

Dad:  He doesn't get to act like this.  When we ask him to do something, he needs to do it.  No negotiation.  We have to hold our ground, or he's going to think he can keep doing this every night.  We make the rules.

Mom:  (sigh)  You're right, you're right.  Ok. 

They emerge from the bathroom unified.  Team Parents.  FYI, a tower of Mom's shoes has been created.

Dad:  Mom is putting your pajamas on tonight.

Little Boy:  No.  You are.

Dad:  That's not a nice way to talk. 

Little Boy:  I don't want Mommy, I want you. 

Mommy rolls her eyes.

Dad:  Tonight, Mommy is putting on your pajamas.  There's no more arguing.

Little Boy trembles lip and makes his eyes look 14 times bigger than usual.  He fills his eyes with sweet tears.

Little Boy:  But Daddy, I missed you.

Dad:  What?

Little Boy:  We went on an airplane and you stayed at work and now we are home and I missed you and I want you to put on my pajamas. 


Dad:  (drastic tone of voice shift) You missed me, Buddy?

Little Boy nods adorably.

Dad:  Aww.  (glances at Mom apologetically) Well  ...  I guess  ... ok.  I can put on your pajamas for you.  I missed you too.

Big Hug. 

Dad:  Alright, c'mon let's do it.

Beat.  A squeal.  Little Boy runs to an undisclosed location.  While laughing.

Dad looks at Mom.

Mom:  You sir, just got played.

Mom exits.  Dad remains shlumped in the doorway.

Black Out. (Well, there's a night light).

We have the best of intentions to stand firm against these little people with huge control issues.  But, sometimes their strategies are so effective, we succumb to their perfected skills and become a mockery to our spouses. 

They're talented.  So buck up cause parenthood makes us suckers.

The good news is, before you know it they'll be putting on their own pajamas.   The bad news is, one day they'll want the keys to your car.

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