. . . the woman began to unravel. Through nearly a week of single-parenthood, of tripping over offspring at every turn, household disasters big and small, flu, and, oh yeah, her other half away in the hospital valiantly fighting battles of body for the FOURTH time in two years, she kept her chin up and her attitude (mostly) positive. But on the sixth day, fissures began to appear in the armor. The smile would momentarily slip into a snarl, her patience was worn to an onion-skin thinness, and she might be spied swigging straight from a bottle of vodka behind the closed bathroom door (okay, I’m just kidding about that part, but it kind of finishes off the picture, don’t you think?).
The children, too, were coming steadily unglued. The eldest child, saturated in teenage hormones, seemed to be doing a lot more stomping away than usual, huffily responding (or not responding) to his harried mother. The second child, normally a sweet, undemanding boy, developed an obnoxiousness rivaling his teen brother’s, a penchant for tattling to rival his younger sister’s, and he could frequently be found engaging in physical scuffles with his younger sisters. The third child, mischievous to her core since birth, became downright wicked. No avenue of naughtiness was beyond her scope of willingness, it seemed. The fourth child could not get a grip. She broke down in tears every 17 minutes around the clock and hovered over her mother constantly, wrapping herself around an arm or leg. The fifth child was given to wailing over every tiny little thing, real or imagined. WAAAAIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG! Over everything! (Sister, if you can’t deal with the small stuff now, you won’t be able to deal with the big stuff that’s sure to come your way, ever!) The sixth child decided that now would be the perfect time to step up his climbing skills and used whatever means available, be it chair, footstool, or discarded guitar, to climb as high as possible and engage in such activities as removing all items from bulletin boards (including thumb tacks).
The woman looked around her and screamed insanely to herself, “I HAVE TOO MANY KIDS!!! WHY DID I ALLOW THAT MAN TO IMPREGNATE ME SO MANY TIMES?!?”
She then began hatching a plan to sell a few of them on the black market.