Never say yes to your children. Whatever it may be. Just say no.
I should have followed my own advice on Monday night.
Typically Mondays are crazy nights for us. We usually have several activities going on at the same time. Because of rain on Sunday night, our field activities were cancelled leaving about an hour of playtime we typically don’t have. The boys begged to go outside and ride bikes.
I looked at my watch, calculated there would be 45 minutes of bike time, 15 minutes for dinner, and then we would be off to Andrew’s music class.
Before going out I placed frozen meatballs on a cookie sheet and some marinara sauce in a pot. Quick and easy meatball subs for dinner was the plan.
All 3 kids rode bikes up and down our street for 30 minutes.
Caroline and I were in the garage when Alex rode in.
“Mom, I need a styrofoam ball for school tomorrow.”
“We’re making the sun and I need to bring in the ball for my group.”
“How long have you known about this?” my voice getting loud
“I don’t think so. A teacher’s not going to ask you to bring in a styrofoam ball with 1 days notice.”
“My group just decided today that we were going to make the sun.”
“What’s everyone else in the group bringing?” my voice getting louder
“Lucy is bringing paint pens and Hoyt is bringing a picture of the sun.”
“Why are you bringing the styrofoam ball? When did you plan on getting this? Why didn’t you tell me about this when you first came home from school.” my voice getting even louder
“I don’t know.”
I grab the phone and call my husband. In an extremely irritated voice I say, “Your son needs a styrofoam ball for school tomorrow. Can you go by the craft store on your way home? Here talk to him. I am so annoyed.”
They discuss the situation while I calm down.
I decided to start dinner so I gathered the kids and tell them to stay in the garage. “Get off your bikes and stand here. I just need to go in and put the tray of meatballs into the oven. I’ll be right back.”
“Okay mom.” Also known as, “We haven’t heard a thing you’ve said. Nor do we care.”
I walked into the house, into the kitchen, grabbed the tray of meatballs, and put them in the oven. I was turning around to walk back outside, when Andrew came in running, “Mom, Caroline is crying and her chin is bleeding.”
In disbelief I say, “What? How did she get hurt?”
Alex (walking in calmly while his sister can be heard screaming in the background), “I was pushing her on her bike and she turned the handle bar quickly and fell off.”
I quickly think to myself – 1. she’s not supposed to be on a bike, and 2. you are not supposed to be pushing her!
I grab Caroline and inspect her chin. There is quit a bit of blood and I can see she’s got a gash. I quickly way the pros and cons of taking her to the hospital – on one hand the hospital visit will be expensive but on the other hand I don’t think she will especially enjoy looking like a turkey when she’s older.
I grab a bag of ice, throw everyone in the car, and call Derek. “We’re on our way to the hospital, meet us there.”
After arriving at the hospital I must retell the story of how Caroline hurt her chin probably fifteen times. Each time I try to emphasize certain parts of the story to lessen the chances that CPS will make a visit to my house – I was inside the house when she fell off her bike BUT SHE HAD A HELMET ON. I don’t know if she hit her head on the concrete BUT SHE HAD A HELMET ON.
I think I managed to evade a home visit but just barely.
Turns out Caroline only needed a band aid on her chin. I can’t wait to get the bill for that band aid.
While waiting to be discharged Derek mentions he got a styrofoam ball. With his hands, he demonstrates it’s about the size of a baseball.
I look at Alex. Alex looks at me then turns to Derek, “But it has to be bigger. It’s supposed to be the sun.”
Now it’s Derek’s turn for his voice to get louder. “You didn’t tell me it had to be big.”
“Daaaaaaaaaaaaad, it’s for the sun. The sun is huge,” whines Alex.
So after taking a post hospital trip to the craft store for a $15 styrofoam ball, we went home, ate cereal, and put the kids to bed.
Oh, and I threw the bikes in the trash.
At least I wanted to.