I don’t know about you —but when we are visiting as a family in someone else’s home and my kids have no regard for the words, “OK kids— it’s time to go,” I tend to get frustrated.
Maybe it’s just me.
I mean…when I say it’s time to go (sometimes I even start with a 5 minute warning), the kids ought to know that they should bring the nerf guns back into the bedroom (neatly in the closet like they found them), clean up the mess that they created all over the house, politely thank the hosts for their wonderful hospitality, offer to pay for whatever they broke, and invite their friends over to their house in the future. It makes great sense to me —especially as our kids become teenagers and closer to adulthood. Heidi and I have taught them well and we fully expect them to comply.
Feels like home
Heidi and I took the kids to one of our usual summer vacation places this summer —Heidi’s parent’s home in the California Bay Area. It also happens to be the town where we used to live and usually when we go back, we catch up with old friends. One of the families that we’ve stayed in touch with over the years is the Padmos family. They are good friends and wonderful hosts, and each time we go back for a visit we reconnect, and this summer was no different.
They had our family over for dinner in their recently purchased (new to them) home. Our children grew up together before we moved and so we always seem to have a good time when we reconnect. As adults, we share current life stories and catch up, as well as reminisce about times gone by.
Loud and Clear?
So when it was time to go (or almost time to go), I made it clear that there needed to be some movement towards an exit strategy, and that the kids should be looking to clean up, gather their belongings, and start moving towards the door. My announcement seemed clear.
So did the second time I announced it.
When I announced it the third time, I realized that Sofia was finally getting a chance to play the Wii (the boys apparently hogged the first hour), so Heidi quietly nudged me to slow down our exit process — made sense I guess, but I did make it clear that we were leaving right after the third set of her tennis match (on the Wii).
Unfortunately, I was too slow in catching the end of the game, and another one happened to start – and it was even a whole different game altogether! Wipe-out —which was kind of fun to watch.
The 100 meter freestyle finals at the Rio Olympics were soon to follow…in the meantime, the boys were not waiting at the door like I expected — so when I looked up the stairs to find them, I got shot by Arie’s super powered nerf gun —a great shot to the side of my head —lots of cheers from the upstairs —“Boys—it’s time to go, put those things away and let’s go!” I belt out —but to no apparent avail.
Just hope for the best
This all went on for quite a while longer, until we finally made it to the doorway and were walking out the door. Some of us had even given a few hugs and said our good-byes (and I think one of the car doors had even slid open!) …and then the dreaded…
“Wait! We didn’t get any kids pictures!”
…and everyone filed back in the house.
By this time, I had resigned to just parking myself at the door, and if the kids came close enough, I would hold them nice and close…and when they tried to struggle free…I would hold them closer…and then hope for the best.
I don’t know about you but I think it’s time for school to start back up again — at least our kids listen to their teachers…