I’m a stay-at-home mom, so it’s fair to say that every day of my life is comparable to the heartwarming Christmas movie, Die Hard.
I (naturally) am the hero John McClane, who is trapped in a claustrophobic gauntlet with morally bankrupt antagonists, and is just trying to escape with his life (and save the hostages, but who cares about that).
My son Brandon (obviously) is Hans Gruber, the criminal mastermind, whose motives are as treacherous as they are villainous, and only John can stop him. Where Hans Gruber wanted to kidnap and murder, Brandon wants to eat cat litter and throw things off of our 3rd floor balcony. And only I can stop him. But, am I trapped in here with HIM, or is he trapped in here with ME?
My daughter Ayanna is (clearly) Karl, the most loyal, bloodthirsty and adorable of all the henchmen. But she isn’t so much bloodthirsty as she is MILKthirsty, I don’t think I’ve ever met a hungrier person in my LIFE.
Our tiny apartment doesn’t have all the scope and grandeur of the Nakatomi plaza, but it’s just as claustrophobic when you’re locked in overnight with terrorists. Oops I mean, children.
My husband is Al, the beat cop who was not physically available to help John, but was the best damn moral support a hero could ask for. Moreover, Al was John’s only link to the world outside of the murder maze. They communicated via the world’s most powerful walkie-talkie, just like my husband and I, as I send him endless texts complaining about all the non-stop 80s action going on up in here and BEGGING him to bring me a bottle of wine when he gets off work.
While Hans and Karl were agents of chaos and mayhem, John was the custodian of order and justice. And it was in the keeping of order and justice that John was compelled to pick up the biggest machine gun he could find and dole out lots of justice with lots of bullets.
I (fortunately) don’t have a machine gun at my disposal, but what I DO have is a little tool called TIME-OUT, and I will use it on my little Hans Gruber every time he gets out of line. And I THINK it works. Sometimes.
In fact, we ACCIDENTALLY acted out a key scene from Die Hard the other day. It was the scene when Hans and Karl shoot out all the glass after realizing that John hadn’t been wearing shoes for the entire movie. Our crippled hero dragged himself and his shredded feet to temporary safety, and later, he nursed his wounds while Al regaled him with a tale of the time he accidentally shot a child. I similarly dragged my lower half to safety after I damn near broke a toe on the edge of a chair as my little versions of Hans and Karl screamed vaguely European baby gibberish at me. After I crawled army-style into the bathroom and kicked the door shut, I laid there texting my husband a stream of angry emojis and curse words until he got home from work.
And EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Brandon and I act out the final scene when Hans WOULDN’T LET GO of John’s wife’s wrist, and was dangling out of a billion-story-window, refusing to die, like a true gangsta. But in OUR version, it’s me trying to get my son to go the living hell to sleep at a decent hour before midnight. Because the closer it gets to midnight and he’s STILL awake, the more I feel like my parenting game is super ashy and needs some industrial strength lotion.
But even when you think Hans and his henchmen have been subdued, SURPRISE! Karl tears out of his body bag holding a machine gun (because they packed the gun INSIDE of the bag with him for some reason) and tries to murk John once and for all. Once I finally get my son to stop fighting it, and let the force (I mean the sleep) flow through him, Ayanna starts to stir, and she is ready to WRECK SHOP if I don’t do something about it immediately. So, I’m like, quick! Cram a boob in her mouth so she’ll shut up! And she usually settles down and finally, they are BOTH asleep. Then, my husband wraps a thermal army blanket around my shoulders, and tells me everything’s gonna be alright.
Because we’ve got to act out Die Hard all over again tomorrow.