How about a play date, Dad?

August 27, 2008

Today was a good day. 

I got home from work tonight to find that the population of our home had grown significantly. When I stepped through the threshold I noticed that, instead of two boys, we had four boys and one toddling 2-year old girl. I have seen this before- it’s a phenomena that every parent has dealt with- so I didn’t turn and run but instead resigned myself to the task at hand and joined the fray. For those of you who have yet to enjoy this type of event (play date), let me highlight some of the events that I witnessed in a two hour period.

Break:

I heard screaming in the basement so I ran downstairs in order to apply pressure to the wound that I was positive Mack must have sustained while at play. Instead, I found him in the prone position being beaten vigorously about the head and shoulders with a foam replica of King Arthur’s sword “Excalibur”. His buddy was delivering the blows with such ferocity that I actually stood back to admire the sheer magnitude of his determination to drive my boy through the basement floor. Eventually I quit admiring the kid’s work ethic and stepped in to make peace between the two warring factions. I think Mack was pretty fortunate as I am sure his buddy had plenty of steam left in him.

Break:

The two youngest boys created an alliance against the two older boys in order to protect themselves. I still think they were a bit outgunned, but I admire them for drawing together like they did. To protect themselves, they built a cave made of pillows in the spare bedroom. Only a team of 5-year olds would consider this an adequate self-protection measure, but they were convinced that their impenetrable pillow fortress would hold off the attacking hordes. It took approximately 3 seconds for the big kids to compromise the perimeter and rain down destruction on their domain. The youngest kids scurried under the bed; I cleaned up the pillows.

Break:

One of the children requested a drink. I took him to the refrigerator and showed him three possible alternatives. He had to thoroughly examine each of his choices to include having me read the nutritional information of each while deciding. It took him 11 minutes to make an informed decision (he chose water). As an aside, were you aware that an open refrigerator door can actually bring the temperature of a 3,000 square foot home down to a glacial 57 degrees?

Break:

A swarm of locust flew through my living room, devoured my love seat, and escaped out the front door. How did this happen, you may ask? It was possible because every single exterior door and window in my home was left open to the elements. Why locust, you may ask? Isn’t that an every 7-year thing, you may argue? Nope, not when you’re Shane Groah. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the locust shot out from a volcano that suddenly appeared in my back yard. These are the things that don’t surprise you when you’re Shane Groah in the middle of play date hell.

Break:

While I was vacuuming the remnants of my love seat off the living room floor with my Dyson super vacuum (Mr. Dyson is a genius, second only to Mr. Carlo Rossi), I noticed a wad of gum slightly smaller than a world globe fastened to our rug. I broke out my tape measure to get data points. From my calculations, a child would need a mouth slightly larger than the opening of a common trash can to chew such an enormous mass of Hubba-Bubba. I find this only slightly less perplexing than the Stonehenge monuments and area 53.

Break:

Cayden just shot by me naked, wearing nothing but an Indian headdress and a pair of his Mom’s pumps. How can a child run that fast in uncomfortable shoes?

Break:

I made the mistake of following Mack into the basement where all of the children mustered during the fire (don’t ask). I almost threw up when I reached the bottom of the stairs. The look on my face must have been fairly unsettling because all 5 children stopped in their tracks to observe me. Every single container, drawer, box, cupboard, and closet had been emptied and their contents had been scattered across the floor. Not sure who was responsible, but someone named Snoop-D- Double-G tagged my back wall like a subway car and a group of homeless people were standing around a burning trash barrel where my sectional used to be. If it wasn’t for the small herd of llamas grazing peacefully in my gym, I would have gone completely berserk, but for some strange reason grazing livestock always puts me at ease, so I was able to hold it together. (Disclaimer-this portion of my post may be slightly embellished, but not by much).

So that pretty much ended the play date. As always, my kids helped to repair our home and what we couldn’t do ourselves we contracted out to professionals. Most of the kids went home tired, but happy- all except the kid who got bit by the baboon (they’ll never win that lawsuit; I don’t even own a baboon). The kids have another play date next week, but fortunately it’s at a friend’s home and not our own. I pity that family, but better them than me.

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