I dislike being asked questions with obvious answers. It makes me incredulous and cross. In an effort to hold onto my sanity, I often cloak my irritation with sarcastic humor.

It must be said that I am not always troll-like. I do try to modulate my exasperation levels and I will make allowances for persons in my company who have just begun using full sentences.

But when my patience evaporates, and it inevitably does, these are the kinds of exchanges my kids and I have:

“Why do you have to get out of the tub? Because if you don’t, you’ll get sucked down the drain.”

“Are we leaving now? No. We’ll wait until you scrub the floor on your hands and knees with toothbrushes and your brother licks the toilet clean.”

Recently, the kids were dancing on my last nerve. It was bath night and things weren’t going well. Multiple objections, unresponsive zombie stares, and various forms of dilly-dallying had me at wits’ end.billygoat

“Liam!” I hissed through clenched teeth. “For the last time, stop reading and go take your shower! Do you want to keep smelling like a goat?”

Unperturbed, he placed a bookmark between the pages of his book and casually closed its cover. Looking me straight in the eye, he shot me a wicked smile. “Ma-aa-aaa,” he bleated.

I started laughing. The kind of laugh that makes your belly hurt. He got me. He gets me. And with that, my goat-boy ambled off to bathe.