Last night we hosted the neighborhood Saturday Night Bonfire. We’ve only officially hosted it maybe one or two other times, and we really didn’t expect to host it this week, but it was getting late and no one had really offered so we stepped up to the plate. After the last one, I now realize it’s a wasted effort to spend much time cleaning only to have your house practically trashed by the army of children (ages 4-12) running wild inside while all the adults hang out around the firepit outside. But, at least it serves to be great birth control.
Case in point: two little girls run up to me and ask me to make them some popcorn. Okay, easy enough. I make it and dish it out in little PLASTIC bowls (I at least know that much about little kids). I go about my business refilling my drink, making dip, setting up a DVD for the boys downstairs, when I suddenly hear “Hey, let’s play kick the popcorn!” Before I could yell “NOOOO!” and run in slow motion up the stairs to stop them, I see the little plastic bowl filled with popcorn go sliding across my hardwood floor, crashing into the tiny foot of a little 5-year-old girl, spilling the entire bowl onto the floor (thank goodness it was popcorn and not something like spaghetti). And then the little girls laugh, because apparently popcorn scattering all over the floor is hilarious.
About a half hour later, I’m called into the house because I’m told one of the girls knocked a picture frame over on the couch. The couch is soft so I think it’s no big deal. I walk upstairs and was suddenly completely confused because all my picture frames were displayed nicely on the end tables. And then I looked up. It wasn’t just some little picture frame that was knocked onto the couch, like I’d been told, but the giant art work that hangs ABOVE THE COUCH was knocked sideways, hanging by a thread, almost crashing to the floor or on top of some kid’s head. Lesson learned: even pictures that are hung 5 ft in the air, mounted above a couch, are fair game in the war between little girls and breakable things.
But rather than chase other people’s kids around all night, fetching popcorn, and chips, and marshmallows, and drinks, and searching for “things that aren’t breakable and might be considered toys if you think creatively”, I’ve found it works much better to just add another shot of vodka to my drink and go out to the firepit, completely ignoring the tornado that is occurring inside my house at that moment.
This tactic doesn’t work so well for my husband. He has a much different way of handling other people’s kids. But before I get into that, I should give you a little background. You see, my husband likes to tell people that I hate children. He says that I don’t like kids, that I don’t want kids, and that he will one day be the one initiating the whole “let’s have kids” conversation because I never will. Of course, he exaggerates a tad, but he truly believes that he is way more into kids than I am. And therefore, much better at handling them. Well, we all know that saying, something about actions speaking louder than words?
My patient, child-loving husband, found himself cornered by two little girls begging him for marshmallows (ZOMG! MARSHMALLOWS!) So what does he do? He tells them to sit – on the floor, in the kitchen – and tosses marshmallows at them like treats. I think my poor husband has confused little children with furry pets. The funniest part? The girls actually did it and seemed to enjoy it. But when one marshmallow fell to the floor and a little girl scurried to pick it up, I’m proud to say that my husband was thoughtful enough to tell her not to eat. Instead, he told her, to go downstairs and give it to her brother.