Thursday, August 9, 2007

When you're tired

If you don't have kids, you don't know what tired is. Oh sure, once in a while you yawn, wish for a day in a hammock, or loafing on a floating raft in a pool. But don't kid yourself; you don't know tired. Take today, for example. The knuckleheads (reference term for the kids) promised they would clean the basement today. I know they promised to do it, because I said they could use their gift cards to Toys R Us and get nerf guns on the condition they pick up their toys. So we got the guns, and they are wicked fun and shoot nerf darts like 35 feet, and have velcro tips and stick to the nerf chest protectors. It's a hoot. Anyway, on my way to bed last night, both knuckleheads were spawled over my bed and the wife, so I went back downstairs to sleep on the floor (back hurts from a patio install, but that's another story). So I didn't sleep well. And I had to move a ton of stone and hammer it down with a compactor in the morning, because all week it's been hot and humid and I sweat more than an hour episode of the Biggest Loser. So I didn't mind being too tired. And who knew the humidty and heat would break late in the day?

So I give them the option of helping me outside, or cleaning the basement. So they choose outside. And I move stone, and compact it, and sweat, and they get a little exercise. And then they get bored. Why? I don't know. It's what kids do during the summer when they have more than ten minutes free. The garage is littered with toys and sporting goods. The basement is a swamp of toys. But they're bored. Fine, you go clean the basement while I take a shower. And I presume that's what they do while I wash the stink off, because Utopia only exists in the mind. In the real world, they're playing Star Wars Lego on the computer. Or spiderman on the old Dreamcast. But not cleaning. So I start going through the big plastic tubs that hold all the stuff that isn't on the floor. "Keep it or toss it?" becomes the line. But now it's like christmas and a 20 year high school reunion rolled into one. Toys they haven't seen for days - "That's my mechanogodzilla!" "Oh look! It's the Power Ranger I was looking for!" and so on. Eventually though, i clear out 4 large plastic bins, have 2 garbage bags filled for some lucky impoverished kids via Salvation Army, and all I ask is they put the stuff they kept in the bins. I take the bags to the car. I decide we all go to the drop off bins now, to get rid of it. Gone, and done. We make a side trip to drop off returnable bottles, and from somewhere the idea comes that they should get paid to clean the basement. Fine, a dollar each if you do a good job.

So back home, I watch part of the Mets game, and am having trouble staying awake. The back is slowly locking up, and getting 5 hours sleep on the floor is paying dividends. One knucklehead tells me I'm falling asleep. I tell him it's because I didn't sleep well, since I was on the floor, and they were in my bed. Shortly after that, the other one is screaming to me that I am falling asleep, and can he watch something on the tv. No, I am watching the Mets game, go down stairs and clean the basement. So they go downstairs. After a while, they come up and want to go outside. Fine. I'll finish this later, I hear screams coming from the basement.

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