Life with five small children remains hectic, unpredictable, and full of small precious moments surrounded by nonsensical behavior. Amazingly, the nonsensical behavior came from our neighbors – unbearably busy raising one child while a mother-in-law cleans their house every day.
Michelle was in front of the house watching Laurel (5), Sophia (3), and Amelia(1) when Sophia had a bathroom emergency. Michelle rushed Sophia into the house (with Amelia on her hip) and into the bathroom – narrowly avoiding the bathroom disaster. Emerging back outside with the girls, Michelle spotted our neighbors Steve Martini (41) and Jeri Martini (40) pulling into their driveway. Unfortunately, Sophia had left her tricycle in the center of the neighbors driveway (devious three year old probably did it on purpose – we all know about those insidious preschool plots). Inside the Martini car, Jeri began screaming and violently jerking her arms up and down while banging on the car horn – quite a natural emotion when confronted by a tricycle. Michelle immediately came out, recognized the egregiousness of the situation, removed the tricycle and apologized twice. Apparently it was not enough! Jeri complained it was not the first time something has been left in their yard (the horrors!). Steve even got into the action and asked Michelle if there was a problem (even though he was in the front seat with his wife). Showing their god given intelligence, they iterated it was dangerous because Francine (their cleaning lady who sometimes doubles as a Mom) can’t see well and might hit the tricycle – I guess scratching your paint is more of a danger to them than running over a child. The Martinis proceeded to fume, huff, and puff back into their cozy little house. What is truly amazing is that we never leave anything in their yard! I know they are some of the world’s biggest neat freaks and would panic if toys were ever found in their yard. They have a garage floor cleaner than our kitchen table (not really an amazing task on most nights).
Michelle came into the house and informed me of the neighbors’ reactions. Being a calm person, my initial reaction was to properly place the tricycle inside their rectum. Slowly my temperature lowered and I began to view it as quite humorous and visualized different reactions they may have in the future (it will happen again if I have to ride the tricycle myself). Oh my god, there is a tricycle in my driveway! How will we ever get into our house! Call 911! Call a moving van, we cannot take these intrusions into our life! I never realized Jeri was really either Bewitched’s Gladys Kravitz or Margot Chester from Christmas Vacation.
I now have a tricycle revenge master plan and it is only dependent upon winning the lottery (at least $30 million). Immediately upon collecting the lottery winnings, we shall purchase a beautiful new home. Instead of selling our current house, I am going to rent to the biggest redneck family in Georgia – at least 10 kids from six different marriages without a dentist visit to their name. I shall provide free beer throughout the year, the loudest available indoor/outdoor stereo system, six disco balls, two backyard Tiki huts, the largest pickup truck on the market (muffler optional), and free hubcaps. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I don’t think God is going to reward me with the winning lottery numbers this week (alright – I won’t include the hubcaps).