Animal Kingdom

At any one time you can visit my home and declare it to be a zoo. Sometimes the children are as tame as manatees and there is peace in the household. Unfortunately that is an endangered species in my house. Most times activity at my house could be compared to a pack of hyenas sparring for the choiciest meat.
My children are distanced several years apart. I have a thirteen year old daughter, Nicole, an eight year old son, Tyler, and a four year old daughter, Lexi. The eight year old and four year old are the two who get into the most tumultous scraps. My preschool “angel”, who tells everyone she sees that her real name is Princess, knows exactly which buttons to push to drive my son directly through the roof and into the stars above. Tyler, on the other hand, enjoys “parenting” her where he enjoys assuming the role of disciplinarian. He can be an extreme perfectionist and any disruption to routine or carefully ordered toys will send him on a temper tirade and lexi is often all too eager to disrupt that order. Of course, Tyler is more than willing to report the tiniest discretion to me even if his dad is sitting next to him.
On this particular day the children were sitting around the lunch table nitpicking over seating arrangements and who knows what else. Suddenly Tyler yells, “MOOOM! She called me a giraffe!”
Rolling my eyes and growling in extreme frustration I turn from the stove with a smile pasted on my face, “Tyler, Giraffe is not exactly a put-down. At least she isn’t calling you a Hippo.”
Disgusted by the constant bickering, I stalked to the living room from which I heard my four year old daughter quietly say, “Hippo!”
I spent the next fifteen minutes listening to the two of them exchanging names of wild animals. “Lion!” “Monkey!” “Elephant!” Meanwhile I had my own quandry to settle. Should I let all of my frustration out in the form of a scream so hideous there was no animal who could match it or should I allow myself to wallow in hysterical laughter. I chose the latter. They say laughter is the best medicine but my question is, “Can youoverdose on it?”

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