When the fog cleared slightly, we figured it out. Those kids had dropped an extension cord out their bathroom window overhead, down to the alarm clock they’d duct taped to the window. Outside the screen. With the volume jacked into the red.
That may or may not have been the day we changed our last will and testament, leaving all our earthly goods to a charity called Feed My Starving Children. After receiving a dose of nocturnal terror from the “starving children” we’d fed for years, we may have willed our estate to truly starving kids who weren’t ruining our Cokes and pulling pranks. (“May.” I said “may.”)
There was another smaller bedtime caper that he’d orchestrated once. Having sent them off to bed, we had gone into FCM, or Full Collapse Mode, a state that parents everywhere will know.
It’s the end of the day. You’re tired, shot, pooped from working, raising kids, helping with homework and making dinner (you know — the short list). You’ve got everyone bedded down for the night, each in their little stalls. They’ve been pottied, prayed and kissed, and now it’s time. It’s time for your collapse.
Just as your exhausted posterior begins to sink into your share of the cushions, you hear it. A tink-tink-tink on the window. What on God’s green earth? And like that, your tired husband, who’s just settled his own exhausted posterior, finds one last shot of energy, bolts up the stairs and finds the source of the noise.
It was Kid Kaboom, caught red-handed with the tape measure he’d lowered, using the metal tip to tap on the window. Clearly, he’d gotten out of bed. Clearly, he needed redirection, and clearly, he was stunned at the speed of his father’s reaction, judging by the new placement of his eyebrows. The only thing that wasn’t clear was whether or not they’d come back down again in time for the upcoming school pictures.