Couch time is usually family time. Carl and I attempt to watch grown-up TV, and Wendy wedges herself between us and demands Dora or Max & Ruby every thirty seconds. We think that making screeching noises, planting her head in my armpit and lodging her big toe between Carl’s ribs provides her with a sense of security. It reminds her of the baby-hood she spent in our bed.
The periodical double-couch situation provides the novel option for both adults to lie like broccoli at the same time while watching The Daily Show. In theory, one of us will get a whole couch to ourselves. A beautiful whole five minutes, baby-toe free!
For the proprietor of The Toes, this set-up precipitates an ultimate conundrum: which parent can I monopolize most effectively? Can I do both at the same time? How can I effectively streamline my attention-gleaning strategies to maximize cuddle-time while disallowing cross-cuddling, thereby assuring my genetic dominance over this genetic pool?
Wendy: Daddy, read it again.
Daddy: I want to go over and cuddle Mommy.
Wendy: Actually, I want to cuddle Mommy.
Mommy: You can cuddle Mommy too.
Wendy: But I want Daddy to stay on that other sofa.
Mommy: Mommy wants both of you to cuddle me.
Wendy: Only Wendy.
Daddy: That's not fair.
Mommy: What if I cuddle Daddy over there?
Wendy: That's my Daddy, not your Daddy.
Mommy: True. Also Irrelevant.
Wendy: Daddy is my best friend.
Daddy: Wow. That’s nice.
Mommy: Don’t let her play with your emotions. That’s how she gets you.
Daddy: But-can’t we all just cuddle on the big couch?
Wendy: *flings body across Mommy* NOOOOOOOOO! I DON’T LIKE DADDY!! ONLY MOMMY!!
Mommy: It wouldn’t hurt so bad if you steeled yourself against her wiles.
Living with a two year-old is kind of like having a jealous sibling. If you and your sibling were both under five and negotiated territory deals with third world country war lords.