Saturday, June 23, 2012

Magnets and meltdowns

I'm writing this post on my phone so apologies if it reads like one really obnoxious run-on sentence your 8th grade english teacher used to snarl at......Well, today is the day. The day I spend what seems like a century in the air on airplane after airplane to get the kids down to visit their Dad in Arkansas. This has been a summer ritual and although it's grueling, it's worth spending a little bit of extra time with them, even if it IS in a small metal tube in the sky with a bunch of strangers, most of them smelling socially acceptable.  So let's start with the magnets. Some of us at work have this thing that if one of us travels anywhere, no matter where, your ass better be bringing back magnets for everyone else. The tackier the better.  Considering I'll be in several airports today, I have been instructed, in no uncertain terms, to have Arkansas magnets ready for dispersement as soon as I get back into the office. It's only right.  That about covers the weird magnet ritual. I'm pretty sure Megan and I created that monster.  Now on to the meltdowns. No trip would be complete without considerable bouts of screeching and crying, and it all began when, last night, I informed the kids that since they didn't get all As and Bs in their final quarter in school, a warning I had been spouting out for months, they would not be able to take their iPods on the trip....which lasts the entire summer.  You would think the idea of having to actually spend an entire summer without their noses buried in a little screen not talking to anyone or each other would be enough to jerk a knot in their butts and make them work a little harder on those grades. No dice. So the poop went down last night when they realized I actually wasn't kidding and those damn things were not going on this trip.  Since there were lasers shooting out of their eyes, I grabbed a glass of wine and sought refuge on the front porch so there wouldn't be any injuries. I immediately texted Megan (standard operating procedure) Me: "I'm on the porch with the thunder. I figure it's safer. I'm letting them calm down without me as an audience. Usually works faster." Megan: "They'll be singing a different tune when you drop them off." Yeah, we'll see. In the mean time I was making myself scarce for my own safety (and sanity). Things eventually settled down and since we didn't end up scratching each others eyes out, we headed off to the kids' "last night of whatever they wanted", which happened to be Chuck E Cheese.  That's okay, I didn't mind feeling like I needed to bathe in hand sanitizer while I was there watching small children run around like wild animals touching everything with their grubby little paws, but you can bet your ass I was resentful when we got there and they were out of beer. Regardless, the kids had fun and that was the point.  As I probably should have expected, they were delightful at 4am when we had to leave for the airport. A proper send-off indeed.  There were a few "I'm not going!"s (the hell you aren't, get in the car) but we made it in time despite all that unnecessary drama.  Flight 1....check.

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