The Anatomy of a Playdateby Rebecca Rodriguez-Brea
I came home today to find my son’s cousins have come over to play for the afternoon.
With my son suitably entertained for the time being and my husband on kid patrol, I am comfortably ensconced at my desk with a cup of hazelnut coffee and a croissant slathered in Nutella and apricot preserves, door tightly shut, hoping to get some work done.
My husband is supposed to be
keeping the kids from killing each other watching the kids, but I can hear that they are just about to begin a sword battle. No good can come of this. When it’s two 11 year-olds against a 7 year-old, there’s bound to be bloodshed, or tears at least.
“Ow, that hurts!” I hear one of them cry out. I can’t tell which one. I don’t hear my husband. I hear the playing continue. I hear a little body slamming, some running, jumping, banging, yelping, and more sword clanging. Still no husband. I wonder if he’s fallen asleep on the couch. I refuse to get up and check to see what’s going on. I refuse to let my coffee get cold, and I’ve only eaten half my croissant.
I sit and listen, trying to discern whose voice is whose. I hear some yelling, but can’t really make out what they’re saying... Uh oh. Now it’s quiet. Too quiet. I start to push back my chair...
Now they’re laughing. Laughing is good, right?
But then, the sword clanging has resumed. “I’m not kidding! Stop! Stop it!!” one of them bellows. Still no reaction from my husband. What is he doing?!
I am not getting up. I can hear feet scurrying. I hear rapid clicking sounds. I wonder if my husband’s even still in the house.
I take a sip of my coffee - still warm. And then the crying begins.
It’s the 7 year-old. From what I gather about the melee occurring outside my door, he got pelted between the eyes with a Nerf gun bullet and didn’t like it. When I came home, I noticed at least five Nerf guns out and enough ammo to take out a small (Lego) village, with the younger one sporting multiple weapons, dispatching foam balls and bullets at the two older kids. Turnabout is fair play, little man.
“All right guys, that’s it!” I hear my husband parenting (finally!). He tells one of the kids to put down the shield and for everybody to sit down and watch TV.
It’s quiet again.
I polish off my croissant. The doorbell rings: it’s the boys’ dad come to pick them up. I can hear them all talking and saying goodbye. I don’t move. I finish this post. And my coffee.
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