Chutes and LaddersDawn Meehan
“Guys, get dressed for baseball and hockey!” I called to the kids as I walked through the house, picking up all the junk they leave lying around. You can’t really blame them for leaving wrappers and junk on the floor since we have no garbage cans in the house. And it’s no wonder they leave their dirty socks on the couch or under the kitchen table since we have no laundry baskets. Of course it makes perfect sense that they pile their dirty dishes all over the counter tops since the dishwasher is glued shut and can’t be opened. And since no one has a dresser or closet, it only stands to reason that they toss their clean, folded laundry on the floor.
Anyway, I made my rounds, cleaning up after my kids. Apparently that’s what I do. I yell at them all day to pick up their stuff and then I give up and pick it up myself while stomping around and muttering under my breath about how I live with swine. Yes, it’s effective parenting at it’s best. In my defense, by dinnertime I’m tired. And I’m sick of hearing my own voice. And it’s just easier to do it myself. Okay, okay, I’m just a terrible parent.
So I picked up junk while the kids looked for their uniforms, socks, cups, and hats that are never where they belong because, as we discussed, we have no dressers in this house. Except for Jackson, that is. He stood guard near his bedroom and instructed me, “Don’t go in there.” (Translation for new parents: Go in there immediately and be prepared to be totally freaked out by a family of opossum nesting in your child’s bed, green Ghostbuster’s slime dripping from the ceiling, a mural drawn on the walls with permanent marker, or if you’re really lucky, a combination thereof.)
I pushed past Jackson, opened the bedroom door and witnessed an interesting scene. As a mom of six very industrious (Translation: CRAZY) kids, I generally feel confident that I’ve seen pretty much everything.
I was wrong.
Jackson had rearranged the furniture, moving his non-existent dresser under the window. The window that was wide open. Outside the window, the slide that had been unscrewed and removed from the playset was propped against the house. The kids had been taking turns scaling the bunkbeds, dropping onto the dresser, climbing out the window, and flying down the precariously perched slide.
I maintained a sense of calm as I questioned the kids about their latest um, experiment. “What on God’s green earth were you guys thinking?!!! Seriously, how do you come up with this stuff?! Did you really think this was a good idea? Tell me! How do you think up these ideas?! How, how, HOW??? Why?! You’re killing me! KILLING ME!
Someone tell me that my kids are creative and will be brilliant, well-adjusted adults, and not hoodlums. Please? Someone? Anyone? Although, in the game of Chutes and Ladders, it’s the rotten kids who use the slides . . .
Want to read more from Dawn? Whether you’re thinking about having kids, you’re pregnant now, or you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ll love her popular, You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth)!