Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break

Spring break crept up...ominous...foreboding. An entire week where the children do not have school or homework to occupy their time. To add insult to injury, Michigan once again proves how miserable of a state it really is...the temperature drops and snow now covers the ground. In April. So, that also rules out carefree days of riding bikes and playing ball. Fortunately, my in-laws miss their grandkids. They offered to have the older kids come up north to stay with them for Spring Break.

Now, usually big things that the kids are excited about make for good threats to promote good behavior. However, the problem with threats is that you have to follow through with them. So I have been very careful to not use the vacation as a threat...because I do not want to punish myself along with them by forcing them to stay home. So I craftily avoid discussions about the vacation, and fall back on sending them to bed early, and separating them from each other.

I begin making a mental list of what they need to take with them...the most important items being those that will keep them busy in the car on the four-hour drive up so as not to annoy their aunt so bad that she brings them back before they get there. Let's see...Nintendo DS...check. Movie...check. Books...check. Duct tape....ok, maybe not. Well...it couldn't hurt...

The moment arrives. Their aunt arrives right on time to pick them up. They have been bickering all morning...mostly about who was the last to have the charger for their DS's. Along with the random confrontations over who was in who's way, what movie they need to bring, and how old Jackie Chan really is. They still have not found the charger...and an argument errupts, full force, in front of their aunt. She is preoccupied with talking to Owen. She does, however, make a couple of comments to him in regards to the older two.

"Well, I guess we won't be getting your brother and sister anything cool anymore, because they just lose it..."

Marissa snaps at her.

"Don't talk to the baby. If you have something to say, talk to us."

I flinch. In my head, I imagine the record scratch sound effect as all action stops. For a brief moment I imagine their aunt telling them they can stay home for Spring Break. Must. Do. Something. Damage control...quickly. I look sharply at Marissa.

"Apologize. Now."

She apologizes.

"Now, I suggest you get your things on quickly and go, before I change my mind and make you stay home."

She starts tugging on her boots and grabbing her stuff. Candace doesn't seem phased. She continues talking with Owen. Whew.

They make it out of the house, but Marissa is back promptly because she forgot an item.

"Jay is already complaining because he wants to sit on the right side of the car. He says 'I always sit on the right side.' I said, 'what, is that like a law or something??' He says, 'no, I just always do.' He's such a jerk."

I smile, tell her not to drive her aunt crazy, and kiss her good-bye. I quickly close the door...and watch as they finally pull away.

I'm debating whether or not to disconnect the phones. Hmmm...I wonder how far she can get before she decides it's not worth it to drive them all the way back home...


  1. MOVE! FAST! Leave all the stuff behind, you don't need it! LOL that's exactly how my girls were too when they left for the week... fighting about stupid stuff. OH this house has been so quiet for 4 days now! I would take fussy babies and a whiny toddler over bickering (pre)teens any day!

  2. See if you put the duct tape on sticky side out it leaves no marks!! The ride up actually was not bad, after the seating arrangements got straightened out. So far so good, only 3 days to go:)

  3. Yes, move. And change the locks :) I hope you're enjoying your week!

  4. LOL!! ENJOY your week!!!!

  5. As Napoleon would say "Lucky!" Do you think they would like a few more kids? I can diversify their ages to make it more entertaining for your in-laws...

    I love the "record scratch sound effect", Maureen. Great writing. And Candice gets mega thanks from me for the duct tape idea!!! Yay!!! : )