28 JunWe Ambushed Our Kids: They Never Saw It Coming
Let’s just say it’s Parents 1 – Kids 0.
I’m a school bus driver, among other things, and all school year long I dream of summer. Now that summer is here I’m not going to waste one moment saying the words It’s too hot. It is plenty hot, but there are things you can do about that.
I have a thirteen year old daughter who will come into my office, put her hands on her hips and say, “What are we going to do that’s fun!” I use an exclamation point in her statement because she isn’t really asking a question; she’s laying down a challenge. Most of the time I feel beaten by her challenge because I don’t know what we can do that’s fun.
Today I knew what to do about the heat and for fun. While in town I purchased 150 water balloons and a hose attachment to help me fill them. I didn’t let the kids know about the water balloons. They are expert water fighters. My wife and I know better than to go up against them in a straight out fight. We had to have a plan.
I snuck out of the house with the water balloons and a couple of towels. I pulled a hose over to the side of the house secluded in choke cherries and lilac bushes. There I filled up fifty balloons and sat them on the towel so they wouldn’t pop on the dry grass. While my wife and I were preparing for war my kids sat clueless and unprepared watching a moving and playing computer games.
After I filled up the balloons I fetched four large mixing bowls, filled them with balloons and distributed them in different hidden places in the yard. At this point my wife came out and took her position by the wet towels that covered ten of the water balloons. She held one water balloon behind her back. I went in and interrupted the kids from their electronic devices. This irritated them. Their irritation turned to anxiety when I told them Mom was outside and she was mad. I almost felt bad when I saw them running through in their heads what they may or may not have done. Mom was mad. Somebody had messed up.
Mom played her part perfectly. The kids came around the corner of the house under the canopy of choke cherry and lilac branches to find Mom standing above her good towels that were lying wet in the dry grass. She wanted to know who was responsible. The confused kids started into their honest denials and then suddenly stopped. I had snuck around a bush to pick up two hidden water balloons and couldn’t see, but I knew Mom had just uncovered the pile of water balloons. My kids, not accustomed to such subterfuge from their parents, were slow to recognize the ambush. They just stood there wondering who was responsible for the balloons and the wet towels. Mom’s first balloon caught them totally by surprise.
I thought they would dive for the remaining water balloons, but due to lack of training Mom beat them to it. The kids turned and ran—right into me. I launched my water balloons and kids got wet. They didn’t understand that I had hidden caches of balloons around the yard. Finally, after Mom and I kept coming at them with more balloons they caught on. As they found one depleted cache Mom and I ran to another. By the time the kids started scurrying around looking for more caches the balloons were gone. The kids never had a chance.
The kids, stunned, but smiling, meandered back into the house. Their parents had never behaved this way before. My fifteen year old son looked at me with—well, I think it was respect—and gave me a grin and a nod as he passed. “Not bad,” he said.
Nope, not bad at all.