It's their nighttime ritual. Some people take calming baths. Others drink herbal tea. Fathers and sons put the smack down on each other.
Johnny and Richie get on their jammies and climb up on our bed. If I'm feeding J.J. his bottle there, they tell me, "You need to go in the living room now. We don't want you to get hurt."
My kids obviously weren't there when I gave birth to them. Because then they would know that, in comparison, their wrestling moves feel like a fly landing on my shoulder. But I humor them.
Usually, I stear clear of this melee. There are some things that as a mom, you shouldn't watch: Your kids measuring sugar for Kool-aid, cracking eggs into a bowl, and wrestling. Disaster is inevitable, and it does no good to stand over them and yell, "Pour it over the pitcher, over the pitcher, over the...! Crack it on the inside of the bowl, the inside, no that's the...! Stop being so rough, somebody's going to get...!"
But sometimes I have to go into the room to get something.
"Have you ever heard of The Claw?" Justin asks them. "How about The Chin?"
In both these moves, Justin puts his hand or chin in the middle of the back, which sends them into fits of laughter.
Then they turn the tables on him, jumping up in the air and landing on him.
"Ow, ow, ow" he says.
It's amazing how a three and five year old, by sheer will and hyperactivity, can bring a grown man to his knees.
But not for long. Soon their daddy is tackling them at the same time, saying, "Ha ha. I'm your worst nightmare."
"No," Johnny corrects him. "You're my worst nightmare."
Either way, the boys sure enjoy this nightmare. But maybe not as much as their dad does.