The children are like boomerangs, they just keep coming back. Throw them as I may, they fly back to me before I know what happened. It is almost as if they have a mind of their own.
They are sent to play outside, either on the swing-set or on the hillside, it makes no difference. They can ride their bikes or play with the baby. They can play leap-frog, tag, or imagination as long as they play outside. The point is to lower the sound volume inside the house to give Wife and myself fifteen minutes of quiet. (Deep Breath)
Two minutes after the first throw, the two year-old, #5, is pulling his sister’s (#4) hair. This requires attention. “Tell him I said to not pull hair. He’s in trouble if he does it again.” A fine toss.
Five minutes later another returns; this time the three year-old, #4, is spitting on her younger brother, #5. “I’ve told you not to spit! Now, play over there away from him!” She is sent back into the wide-open.
Three minutes after that, a loud ruckus breaks out and #3 flies into the house complaining that the eldest is shouting at #2 over whose turn it is to push the baby (#6) in his swing. “I said take TURNS!” The two of them start sobbing explanations. “Well, listen to me next time and stop crying!”
Ten minutes go by without incident and then #3 crashes to the ground with a skinned knee. A band aid and a kiss from her Momma and she is tossed out the door again.
Not a minute later and #1 twirls in with the baby #6. His little bent, whining, and wriggling body is apparently ready for a nap. #1 is thrown back out while Wife lays #6 down with his bottle. The house is silent and still once more.
After another ten minutes and nothing happens. I strain my ears, but no one is crying. I look to the front door, but no child enters. They seem to have found a way to play with each other without interrupting their parents. I settle into the quiet.
Another couple of minute pass without disturbance, I start to wonder what the children are up to. Have I thrown them out so far that they will not come back? Children are very much like boomerangs; in the same way that they always come back it is also true that when they do not, something is wrong.
I got up to find the kids.