Miss me? Yes? YES?

"Give it BACK! It's MINE!"

"No it's not!"

"I saw it first!"

"But Daddy gave it to me!"

"No, he didn't!"

"Yes, he DID!"

Two small but strong and completely rigid voices trail down the hall into my office. I slowly run my hand down my face as I try to recall why you thought it was a good idea to leave me alone with them. Taking a deep breath, I stand and move towards the play room.

"Give it back!"

"No! It's MINE!"

"Get OFF!"


I reach the doorway just in time to see our lovely, beautiful, sweet, adorable, darling daughter pull her hand back and punch her brother solidly in the nose.

"DAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYYYYY!" Bumi wails, his tiny face contorting into an overly dramatic expression of grief.

Kya whips around, her eyes going wide with fear at the realization that she has been caught red-handed bullying her little brother. "It's MINE!" she insists, her hands steadfastly gripping the stuffed toy in question.

I shake my head and release a heavy sigh. "What did your mother tell you two before she left?"

"She... took... my... toyyyy!" Bumi sobs, his eyes scrunched up with tears. He's facing me, but with his lids jammed tightly shut like that, I hardly believe that he can even see me. "You... gave... it... to... meeee!"

"But I saw it FIRST!" Kya snaps petulantly, stomping her tiny feet for emphasis.

Something in Bumi snaps. I see his face go red with rage, and before I can think to stop him, he's pushing her - hard - and she stumbles back, nearly losing her balance completely. The shriek that escapes from our little girl's lips can only be described as inhuman. Half a second later, the two of them are in a fierce scuffle, battling it out over a stuffed animal.

I take a deep breath in and begin counting.


Kya suddenly releases her brother and jumps to her feet, having caught my sharp intake of breath and knowing full well what it means.


Bumi looks up at me, dazed, as if he can't believe he actually had the audacity to attack his sister.


Kya's wide blue eyes stare up at me, silently pleading.


Bumi looks at me, looks at his sister, and looks back at me.


"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Kya wails, throwing the toy at her brother.


Bumi glances down at the stuffed animal as if it is diseased.


Kya, in a desperate attempt to show her remorse, wraps her arms around her brother's neck and pulls him in for a tight hug.


Bumi struggles against his sister's arms, angrily trying to push her away.


Kya steps on his foot to halt his struggling, and he howls in response.


I release the breath I've been holding, and the fierce air current that rushes through the room sends both children to the floor, arms over their heads.

The room slowly settles down, and in the quiet, Kya peeks up at me from under her arm.

"I'm sorry, Daddy," she whispers. "Don't be angry."

I sigh once more and hang my head in defeat. Kneeling down, I hold out my arms. Both children scramble into my arms so quickly that they knock the wind right out of my chest. Bumi snuggles against me, and Kya lays a gentle kiss on my cheek. They've won.

I hear a slight snicker behind me, and I turn to find myself staring right into your merry blue eyes.

"You could have gotten here two minutes sooner," I note dryly.

"And miss this? No way," you laugh.

As I look down at the suddenly angelic children in my grasp, I can't help but smile. I wouldn't have this any other way.

I feel like this one wasn't as good, but I'm running outta idears.

Any takers?