Sunday, October 23, 2011

No means no!

So last week there was near universal agreement that I am a sleep-over pushover.

I'll take that. It's true.

I don't know if it's the idea of last week or what but I was much less agreeable this weekend. Ali had a sleepover Friday with Amanda, and they switched it up Saturday to be at our house.

Jeff and I had gone out Friday (after a Tuesday night date) again to Radio Radio for a concert. It was fun, but as we all know, I'm pretty boring and two concerts in the same calendar year, let alone week is way beyond the envelope for me.

Saturday, Ali had a belt advancment test at taekwando, I had a baby shower in the afternoon and Jeff had to work. That evening, I had a surprise birthday party and a last minute opportunity to see good friends who'd gotten sideswiped by summer and kids. Then, we had a request to have another child over on Sunday.

So I started the weekend a little bit worn out. The threesome of Alison, Amanda and Dominick is a good one, though it is generally fraught with sporadic fights and appeals to a higher being. And demands for candy. Lots of demands for candy.

Jeff had to work. It was a lovely Fall day, so I left the kids to the Wii and television and mowed the back yard. They had zero interest in seeing the Prodigal Sun.

I'd gotten the front yard done on Saturday and had no gym time at all, so I was happy to get outside. Afterward, I built a fire in the chimenae and settled in for a cozy read.

Two chapters in:

"Mo-om, can we go to Snappers?"


"Can we go to a bounce house? No! Laser Tag!"


"Mo-om, can we play in the car? We're bored. There's nothing to do."


Somehow Alison ends up in the car. Amanda and Dominic pound on the windows. "Miz Reed, will you unlock the car?"

In my head, I'm shouting, "Reading here!!!!"

In my voice, I say, "Alison, get out of the car."

The alarm starts blaring. I sigh. I go save the neighbors' hearing.

"Mo-om, can we roast marshmallows?"

"Sure. Go get them and the skewers."

"Where are they? I can't find them. Mo-om."

"Miz Reed, where are the skewers. Can I have some water?"

Then a game of tag ensues with the marshmallows as the prize. Finally, they start roasting. Which was hilarious. Many marshmallows were sacrificed.

I give up on reading. I suggest a walk into Broad Ripple to feed ducks.

"Nah. We don't want to go outside."

I leave them to their Pixos, TV, lap top and Wii. I check the paper. I check Facebook and email. I check on why Amanda suddenly fled to Ali's room, left Alison to referee the fight between the other two and denied requests for candy.

Later, bored again, they decide that walk would be a good idea afterall. I see them in the front yard and check downstairs. I force them to return to the family room, turn out lights, the TV and pick up three or four hours worth of crap and dirty dishes on the floor.

I grab the loaf of bread intended for the ducks. Alison wants to carry it. Dominic whines that he wants to have it. Sixteen steps onto the Monon Trail, Dominick informs me that it's too heavy. Could I carry it?

"That would be a negative," I say, shooing him along. He has one hand on the bread and the other holding up his pants. I shake my head. A third of the way there, I make him switch with one of the girls. They fight over who has to take it. Then, they fight over who gets to have it last.

Three-fourths of the way to the ducks, Amanda asks me when it's my turn to hold the bread. "That would be never," I say.

We get to the ducks. Dominic is afraid of the geese. Alison claims she'll protect him. Dominic eats some of the bread. Then says he needs some water. I tell him he can hold out til we get to Kroger. There's probably a water fountain there. (Turns out there isn't...)

We get to Kroger. They ask if we'll buy candy. Can we rent a movie? Can we get doughnuts? No. No. And no.

"What do you want for dinner? They shop. Dominic can't decide. I tell him the clock is ticking. We buy sweet Italian sausages for grilling. Dom is still pondering his culinary fate. I inform him that I can take him home and he can have dinner there.

Dominic discovers there's no water fountain. The girls try to hide from him in the store. Which means I can't find them either. I hate that game.

I get just enough food to feel my muscles flex. We set out for home. Dominic remembers that he left his jacket with the ducks. I sigh. We go back to the canal, retreive the jacket.

"Do we have to walk all the home?" he asks.
"Can we have sno cones?
Can we go to BRICs?"
"No. We're going home to have dinner, remember?" I say.

"Will dinner be ready when we get home?" Amanda asks me.

I took a deep breath, swung the bag of groceries that contained most of said dinner.

"Remember when we went to Kroger and we decided you'd have sausages and we bought them and put them in this bag right here?" I ask.

"Oh. So it won't be cooked, I guess," she said.


Actually it was a fun afternoon. They're more hilarious than they are annoying. And I was happy to have them here. In between the piles of boredom, they seemed to have a good time.

I, however, am exhausted and will soon be finding my bed, my book and a remote. Should anyone want anything else from me, I have one word...

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