Calling the Kids

I call the kids from the first floor. They don’t respond.

What are they doing up there?

I am as a voice, whispering into the darkness of the world’s largest, deepest, darkest cave.

Cool water drips onto my forehead from a looming stalactite.

Kids!

The car is already running to warm it up – freezing outside. It makes it nice for them to get into a warm and cozy car, so I let it run. My gas mileage is terrible because of this.

“We’re gonna be late!

There’s a birthday party. No, it’s ballet. It’s swimming lessons. Soccer. Church. Camp. Grandma’s. Ugh

Is anybody up there?

If we’re late, there’ll be no [insert fun thing] for you this weekend!

It is the weekend. Half over. They know I am lying. I need the [fun thing] to get them occupied for a half an hour so I can fold laundry/do dishes/go to the bathroom/eat without sharing/feed the cat/sort mail/iron/build the addition to the house/get my car inspected/clean the vomit/empty diaper pails/exercise. So of course they’ll still get to do the [fun thing]. I really need them to do the [fun thing].

Sigh. My book is sitting on the nearby table. I finger the placeholder. Then I am half sitting over the couch arm, flipping through. Now I am fully eaten by the couch and here is where Liver Eating Johnson and forty mountain men are just about to fight off a menacing brace of Crow Indians. Hand to hand combat, arrows whizzing past, tomahawks flying … the musket! It’s empty! Liver Eating Johnson turns to face an enormous chief with a scalping knife high overhead …

Daddy!

Daddy! Come on. We’re gonna be late why are you laying on the couch? Such a lazy bones, daddy!