Monday, September 28, 2009

A Wheelbarrow, Some Sand, and a Load of Balls

I should know better by now, but this morning I found myself thinking it had been a while since I had caught my children in some sort of disastrous mishap. Subconsciously patting myself on the back, I grinned at the idea that maybe my children are no longer at a stage where they secretly do naughty things or make insurmountable messes.


I took the rare opportunity to visit with my next door neighbor out by the mailbox in front of my home this afternoon, and all the while I was chatting away, my two littlest lovebugs and a neighbor boy made small work of project that took us much longer to clean up than it did for them to accomplish (I've noticed that's how mischevious messes usually turn out). The ironic part is that, although a little voice kept telling me I should probably check on the kids, I could hear them playing cooperatively around the corner of the house, so I dismissed the voice I know better than to ignore, telling myself how lucky I was today that the kids were playing so nicely. Am I naieve or what?

Finally, my older kids came around the corner from school, and sure enough, the first words out of their mouths were, "Have you seen what Regyn and Boston have done?"

A pit immediately formed in my stomach as I said goodbye to my neighbor, and bracing myself for what I might find, cautiously proceeded around the side of the house. The little neighbor boy must have heard my kids tattle because he ran up to me, spouting off excuses as fast as he could, telling me it was all Regyn's idea. Although I was nervous at just exactly what I was going to find, I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. Kids sure learn at an early age to pass the buck, I thought. But then again, knowing my four-year-old, I was also sure he was right--it probably was her idea.

I finally turned the corner and found out what the crime was: a wheelbarrow full of sand now also held 50 dozen golf balls (yes, 50 dozen), a dozen or more baseballs, and even a couple of basketballs. Dispersed alongside the wheelbarrow was a mound of empty egg cartons the golf balls used to call home, crushed into the pavement. Feeling somewhat responsible for the mishap, which probably would not have occurred if I had not been so neglectful--or at least not to such a great degree (I mean, perhaps if I had been more attentive, not EVERY carton of golf balls we owned would have been emptied), I decided to spare my kids my usual lecture and dig into help clean up the mess instead.

The worst part is that the balls were not only emptied into the wheelbarrow but also deeply buried in the sand, and seeing how the reason we have the entrage of golf balls in the first place is for my son's golf ball business, we not only had to dig out each ball to place it in the now-crushed egg cartons, but we had to sort each one by brand: Titleist, Calloway, Nike, etc. Since Regyn was the instigator of the crime, I was determined she would help--the only problem is she can't yet read, so we ended up resorting most of her cartons, only adding to our tedious task. Finally, near the end of our clean-up, that smart little cracker finally figured out that if she saw a "C" on the ball, it was a Calloway, a "T" it was a Titleist, and so forth. Too bad I didn't give her more credit sooner--we could have finished in half the time.

The good news is that Regyn was more than happy to help undo her actions; in fact, she even "pinky promised" she would not be repeating her efforts. "Doesn't that make you happy, Mom?" she asked cheerfully. It was hard to feel happy at the moment, covered in dirt, my nails burrowed with sand, and hundreds of golf balls still to dig out and sort, but I forced a smile anyway.

We finally finished the task, stacked the smashed cartons back onto the shelf, brushed off our clothes and washed our hands. All in a day's work, I thought. But next time I feel the urge to pat myself on the back, I hope to at least take note of the nagging voice inside my head that warns me I should probably check on my "well-behaved children playing so cooperatively" around the corner.

And for those of you who need used golf balls, I happen to know where 50 dozen of them are stored, meticulously sorted by whatever brand you desire--you just may need to brush off a little sand!


The Martinez Fam said...

How funny. I'm just glad Mireya wasn't there to be involved. I don't think "sorry" covers everything she has done while visiting!:)

Ashlie said...

Ah, kids. Life would be so boring . . .

Dixie said...

Ha ha ha ha ha. I'm glad it was you, and not me...ha ha ha.