They walked through the front door looking like Roma ultras after a beating at the hands of Lazio. Defeated, salty, and looking for a fight. I couldn’t blame them for that. They’d just arrived fresh from a nine hour drive in a sexy but rather smallish Kia Soul. That’s a hard trip for anyone. The fact they were all teenagers did not help one bit.
They greeted me properly enough. I hadn’t seen the step-children since their last visit during the holidays, but it didn’t take long to be brought up to speed on current events. Girl problems, boy problems, that sort of thing. (Although I found it quite entertaining that the girl’s problem was with her boyfriend, while the boys’ problem was that neither had a girlfriend.)
My younger, full-time children were of course delighted to see everyone. They believe the sole purpose of their step-siblings’ visit was to entertain them twenty-four hours a day. Well, that’s toddlers for you. Cute, sometimes funny, often confused little narcissists. Don’t worry, I tell myself, it’s just a phase. An eighteen year long phase, but a phase nonetheless.
The older children were agreeable enough at first. Painting nails, braiding hair, playing with toys, and listening to stories with wide-eyed fascination. But by the 7,000th viewing of another scribble drawing (“it’s not a house, it’s a pony!”), the fascination began to wear off. As an outsider you can see things happening. Headphones become a regular accessory, people start making frequent trips to the bathroom for asylum, snack foods begin to disappear at an alarming rate, and the adults have to intervene in the occasional toddler dust-up.
Somehow we all made it through two weeks of that.
It did scramble up my routine a little. You try working in the center ring of a three ring circus. But now I’m back, as motivated and inspired as ever. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me this month, and then it’ll be time to switch gears to handle the business end of the business. When summer vacations are over, people start scrambling to tie up loose ends before the holidays. Strange to think of that in July, but it’ll be here before we know it.
I’ve got a couple of book reviews to tell you about, but we’ll save that for later. In the meantime, let me know how your summer is getting along…