My kids are the scourge of the neighborhood. I'm serious. The police are involved and everything!
I'm sure you're wondering what these precious young innocents could have been up to to cause so much trouble. Well, it all started when Drama Queen went down the street to play with a couple of the neighbor girls, one of whom just moved in last week. After about an hour, she skipped merrily through the door.
"So, did you have fun? What did y'all do?" I asked.
"Well, it's kind of hard to explain."
(This is when my mommy radar should have gone up. Must be defective. Time to take it in to the shop. The way my luck is going, though, the warranty probably ended yesterday.)
"Well, did you play pretend, or play with toys, or run around outside . . . what?"
"It's just kind of hard to explain."
And with that I turned back to my task of bulldozing the kitchen countertops. Ooh ooh! A $10 coupon for JCPenney! Aw, nuts, it expired yesterday. (See what I mean?) Suddenly the phone rings . . .
Neighbor Down the Street: Hi, I just wanted to see if Drama Queen is okay. She was so scared after the police officer left, she shot out the door before I could talk to her.
Clueless Mommy with Broken Radar: Scared about what??? What police officer???? Why?????
Neighbor Down the Street: (incredulous) You mean she didn't tell you?
Turns out that the local police had paid them a not-so-friendly visit after Drama Queen and the two girls had called 911 at least 3 times! They had taken turns reporting that there were snakes in the house. (I don't know about snakes, but there were definitely 3 rats.) The officer gave them a stern talking-to about how serious a matter this was, and the girls were scared out of their wits.
After a lengthy debriefing with Neighbor Down the Street and Drama Queen, I deduced that Drama Queen honestly believed that: a) the phone was a toy; and b) that they were just pretending. (The phone looked like a toy; she once played with an educational kids' telephone that had a real-sounding "operator" which spouted real-sounding messages when you dialed 911. Also, there was some sort of interference going on with this particular phone so that the girls were unable to understand the person on the other end.)
However, I was naturally extremely upset with her for not telling me what had happened, and told her so in no uncertain terms. You'd be proud of me, though; I did not yell even one teeny bit. I spoke very calmly and didn't even raise my voice. (But it would have felt a little bit better to yell.) Now we come to the part in which you understand how Drama Queen got her name. She started bawling and wailed - with 100% sincerity - "Are you going to kill me???" (I racked my brains trying to think of anything I'd ever said or done that could have led her to think this, but thankfully I came up empty.) Her punishment ended up being that she had to go to bed immediately after supper, and tomorrow she will write a letter of apology to the police department. (I'm thinking of asking Hubby to have her also write me a letter of apology for lying. What do y'all think?) We thought about grounding her, but the weather will be yucky for the next couple of days so she wouldn't have been going anywhere anyway. I hope this will be enough to drive the point home. She had never done anything like this before.
Of course, you know this all happened because she's homeschooled and has no social skills. (Never mind that the other two go to public school.) Actually, I think that there was a huge let's-show-off-to-the-new-girl-and-see-how-silly-we-can-be factor going on here. I am concerned, though, and long for the days when Drama Queen was the one who kept her head on straight and kept everyone else in line. (I remember when she was six, lecturing a 9 year old and a 10 year old because they were speaking unkindly to one another in her presence. Just a few months ago, she eschewed American Girl Felicity because she was "sneaky.")
Oh - I forgot to tell you about Pete's antics. While I was in the middle of dealing with the fallout from Drama Queen's drama, I learned that he and his friend (another homeschooled hoodlum) were tormenting the dogs next door, pretending to shoot them. They were barking up a storm. So, I had to deal with them and call that neighbor as well. Good grief.
Believe or not, during all this insanity Screech was a perfect angel. (She'd gotten all her naughtiness out of her system this morning when she screamed and cried throughout Wal-Mart this morning. Nonstop. For an hour and a half. And for 30 minutes at Wendy's.)
What a day! Calgon, take me away!