Time 10:25 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 – high school homecoming eve:
“Do you want to paint our capes in the foyer,” – Eldest Daughters friend.
I’m caught between the point of sleep that I don’t want to talk to you but I can still hear you. I pick up my cell phone and call the downstairs parent. “I just heard one of the girls ask if they wanted to paint their capes in the foyer. Please tell them to take them outside and paint in the grass; NOT THE PORCHES, NOT THE SIDEWALK, NOT THE DRIVEWAY.”
Laughing, he said ok.
I have a total of eight kids in my house when I awake at 6 a.m. Friday morning. The five high school girls are awake and on the move. Hair is being flat ironed, two are sitting against the bedroom wall looking like a mug shot (not sure any of them slept) and one is in the shower.
I go downstairs, make coffee, wash dishes, drink a glass of water (the start to the 100 oz. my boot camp instructors says I have to consume each day – I may drown on this diet) and make my protein shake. I wake the kid who lives in the toy room with the cat and then I ascend the stairs to wake bunk-bed kid and then onto the boy who gets lost in his down comforter every night; making me search for him every morning while worrying that he was kidnapped in the middle of the night.
I hear a chatty group of girls heading out the door and I rush out to grab a picture of them before they go to school.
I open the front door, step off the stoop and stop dead in my tracks. I am faced with an orange and blue “J SWAG” painted on my porch. The faint, spottiness of the paint tells me that the neighborhood preschoolers didn’t form a gang and paint some gang lingo on my porch overnight. My second clue comes when I look up and see an identical emblem draped across my daughters back.
After the girls head off for one of the few days they will remember the most in high school, I ascend the steps again to interrogate the “downstairs” parent.
I gently rub his arm to wake him and softly say, “Hun, when I called you last night with direct instructions to give the girls at what point did you drop the ball? There’s an awesome orange and blue J SWAG painted on the front porch. Did you not tell them to take it to the front yard and keep off the porches, sidewalks and driveway?”
He pleads a weak case saying he told them to take it to the grass, BUT I learn he didn’t explain all the places NOT to paint. He just assumed…
Math lesson: Obviously, if they thought they could paint on the hardwood in the foyer, then they probably couldn’t figure out that the paint would bleed - just a quick calculation I was able to make while in a fragmented coma like sleep.
I’m going to have to make flash cards with possible parenting scenarios – if these work I’ll market them for all moms. Keep your eyes open, I can already see the infomercial in my mind…
Look at “downstairs parent” making us rich with his assumptions about teenager’s common sense. Huh, Necessity IS the mother of invention, right?