Sunday, January 14, 2007

How to Lose Friends and Piss People Off

So we went over to Aiden's house tonight. It's been a long time since we've given the little munchkins a playdate, and Kathryn and I have long weekends this week (YAY government jobs!) so we figured we would have the energy. Upon planning this fiesta, we determined that we should do it at her place, since I had just had her over for a Pampered Chef party Friday night (at which she bought stuff... so it's not like I didn't get anything in return). But... since her place is so much cleaner than ours, I like to go there. It's like going on vacation.

Too bad we can never go back.

It all started innocently enough. Marcus was cute. Aiden and Athena played outside. The boys cooked on the grill (well, John cooked... Chris hung out) while they watched the football game. Kathryn and I lounged about (she's pregnant, and I get to lounge by default) while we watched Marcus eat Goldfish crackers and play with a Barrel of Monkeys (Best. Toy. Ever.). We ate dinner, we enjoyed each others' company, and the kids were generally very good. Even ours.

After dinner, Kathryn and I headed to Fresh Market to forage for dessert. Came back to find Athena shedding her pants. "Do you need to go potty?" I asked, expecting the normal, "NO!" Instead, she went and got a book, and trotted off to the bathroom. SWEET! Doesn't sound bad yet? Just wait.

She actually went to the potty... signaling that this evening was going WAY too well to last. We changed Marcus' stinky diaper and got him into pajamas (which is very similar to catching a greased pig, incidentally). Chris made him a bottle, and I sat down in one of those really deep chairs (with ottoman) to feed him while Chris moved back to the alter (HUGE flat-screen tv on which a football game was transpiring) in the den. John and Kathryn set about cutting the cake and distributing it. That's when Athena seized her moment.

The next bit was all slow motion to me. I'll try to portray it as I saw it.

Marcus is happily guzzling his bottle. I watch his cute little cheeks puffing at the effort.
I glance up.
I see Athena on a stool in front of the fish tank.
I see her arm go up.
I start to try to get up from the chair.
I see her lift the lid.
I start to sternly admonish, "nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"
Her other arm goes up.
Oh my God, it's the fish food!
Dump - oh yes... the whole thing
Fish go apeshit.
John and Kathryn turn to see what she has done. I can't even lie about it now, as there she stands, one hand on the fishtank lid, the other clutching the empty canister of fish food.

Athena... completely unaware that she has probably just killed about eight fish, goes to play with Aiden's cool helmet with the microphone in it. I realize that there is absolutely nothing in my skill set that I can do to make this better. I eat cake instead.

Meanwhile, John and Kathryn are rushing about trying to get the fish into some clean water so they (read: John) can clean the tank. Meanwhile, Marcus fills ANOTHER diaper and I have no more with me (who knew the boy would need two diapers in thirty minutes? I suppose most mothers would prepare... but not me). Fortunately, Kathryn has an extra in his size. So not only do we kill their fish (the fish are not actually dead... yet... please keep them in your thoughts and prayers) but we deplete their diaper supply. I believe I owe them a box of diapers by now, as this happens about every third time we come over. And soon, I may owe them a tank of fish.

And I wondered why it had been so long since we last got together. I expect they'll be calling us again, say, when Athena is in college.


Kathryn said...

6:30 a.m. and all fish are still alive. I think they may live to fear Athena another day. Believe it or not, it isn't the worst fish tank episode I've witnessed. When I was 8 years old my brother (age 4) threw my mother's clog (circa 1970's) through the glass of the tank. I think my mother seriously considered letting him "swim with the fishes". That was the last fish tank my family owned.

Besides, as John pointed out, Athena was probably working off the theory that "if a little food is good, then a whole lot must be great".

My theory: She's two.

The Carans are welcome back as soon as the workers finish installing the barbed wire fence around the tank. ;-)

Jennifer said...

Yeah....try STAYING at their house for 4 days and see what lovely events will happen. Been there, done that. Nice to see that it isn't only MY family that can cause havoc at the Gundlachs. ;)

Anonymouslemming said...

For the record, I have no idea why people call me crazy just for my hobbies - at least I'm not trying something _truly_ mental like raising children!


Honestly, I have no idea how (or more to the point, why ;)) you guys do this, or how you find the strength to keep doing it day in and day out.

eaf said...

Lemming... let me direct your attention to the pictures I posted! That's why! They are just so darned cute.

Trust me, I question my sanity every day. I suppose it IS quite similar to jumping out of perfectly good airplanes...

Anonymouslemming said...

You show me a perfectly good plane and I won't jump out of it - it's just that so far I haven't found one...

The only time I've chickened out of a jump so far and landed with the plane, I was terrified. I promised Cheryl, the pilot, 4 spanish guys who don't speak english and some random terrier that I would never, NEVER land with the plane again; it was just too scary :D

Back on topic though, yeah, I see what you mean, she's adorable. That's why I offer to babysit for people - I get them while they're cute, hype them up on sugar, then give them back. Oh, wait... I've just blown any and all chances of babysitting for you, haven't I? :D

eaf said...

Nope. You see, that's how desperate we are. Free babysitting (assuming the person is a trusted friend) is free babysitting... sugar high and all. :-)