Recently Parker asked me to replace the batteries in the shake ‘n go race cars. The batteries were replaced at the same time that regret set in. The house has been full of growling idling engine sounds occasionally punctuated with the phrases each car says.
Dadgum! That was fu-u-u-un!
You're one gutsy racer.
Speed. I am speed.
Cute phrases the first two or three times. Hours turned into days and days turned into missing Mater.
No, it’s not what you think. I promise!
The constant noise was bad enough but then they started these races that weren’t really races. They would sort of take turns letting the car screech across the kitchen floor, bump onto the rug and turn or sail over the rug and bounce off the couch.
The whole time I heard, “Watch out Gavin/Parker/Gwen! It’s my turn!” Then the high pitched squeals of delight followed by elephant stomping around the wall to the starting point on the other side of the kitchen.
I know I describe it as if I hate being a stay at home mom. I don’t. When my nerves are completely frazzled I try to imagine how sad I will be when the noise stops. It’s hard to imagine right now but soon the silence will be more deafening than anything those Banshees can dish out. In the meantime I am grateful for sunshine and send the kids outside.
We have a rule. No inside toys outside. I broke the rule.
Me: How about if you guys go outside to play.
Me: Take the cars with you.
The novelty of the cars wore off fast. I was not surprised. Soon they were running through the mud, wading in the drowned sand, and jumping in puddles. I didn’t care. They were outside and happy. I was inside with the window open so I could hear them and cleaning. Total bliss.
Eventually the happy noises didn’t sound so happy anymore. Parker was giggling in his patented ‘I’m being naughty’ way while Gwen was screaming angry, frustrated cries. Gavin was chasing her trying to help. I think anyway. It was a game of keep away with the Frisbee that dissolved into chucking it at her head. I intervened of course.
They were told to put everything away and come inside for a snack. Ahh . . . somehow we reached nap time and boy did they need it! I peeled off sopping wet socks and pants. By the way, those pieces of clothing still weren’t dry 24 hours later when I added them to the laundry. The kids washed their hands and sat down for a snack. Then Parker made his announcement.
I can’t find Mater!
They finished up and I had both boys go back out to look for Mater. They wandered aimlessly. Fearing that more rain was coming, I found my flip flops and ran out to help. I looked in every logical place I could think of. Then I tried to look in weird, illogical places. No Mater.
Being the great mom I am I was more annoyed that I lost the batteries than the toy. Parker quickly gave up saying that he could just ask for it for Christmas. What am I teaching these kids? That respect is not nearly as important as replacement? Eventually I conceded. Mater was not out there.
When I told Heath, he was as upset as I was. He lectured the kids that this is why inside toys don’t go outside. I admitted it was my fault in a way that he immediately sympathized with. The darker it got outside after the sun set, the more I could not leave Mater overnight. I sent the boys back out. Heath went with them and came back in with a growling, idling Mater.
Me: Where did you find him?
H: In the grill.
Of course. Because if my mom let me play with my cars outside that’s where I would put them!