First Born Male Child has been hard at work at his brand of crazy, and once again he’s pulled in his best buddy, Jiminy Cricket. If you don’t recall, Jiminy is First Born’s voice of reason and sanity. This time they went dumpster diving. Well, more like First Born decided to scavenge our neighborhood’s trash the night before garbage day.
On their first trip they scored a sliding screen door. Why? First Born thought he was being helpful, because ours is getting worn and wonky and needs to be replaced. (Add that to my infinite list of crap to get fixed.) And how did he haul this to our house? On top of his head so that the screen is all pulled out and stretched and the frame is further warped. Yes. So now this gem sits in my garage. I give him credit for his heart being in the right place at least.
The second trip was a far bigger score. First Born and Jiminy came running in the house all hot and sweaty, “Mom! I just got a playhouse someone was actually throwing out! You gotta see this!”
I let out a tired sigh, “What are you talking about??” I was picturing a dollhouse of some sort. Oh no. That would have been far too boring.
Behold: The House.
I went to the front yard, “What?!? What are you planning on doing with this thing?! Where are you going to put it?!?” I yelled.
“I’m going to put in my room and make it into a fort and reading nook!!”
“No you’re not! How on earth are you planning on getting it upstairs?!” I pictured the path of dirt and destruction that he would leave in his wake — you know, more than his usual. I didn’t want to even think about the various insects and vermin that are probably inhabiting it.
“No.” I stood firm.
“But Mom! I hauled it all the way here! You better not put it out with the garbage!”
“Well, it’s not going in your room,” I said firmly. “Maybe you could put it in the backyard with all the other junk you have back there.” It’s getting to the point where I wouldn’t be shocked to find a car up on blocks with a family of raccoons living in it.
“Fine!” he huffed. “But look! Isn’t this thing cool?! The doorbell still works!”
In the meantime, Warrior Princess was beside herself with glee and immediately began testing it out. She went in, slammed the door, declared it hers and officially banned her brothers from entering. This did not go over well with her big brother.
“No way! This is my fort! I did all the work getting it here!” he bemoaned.
Before the fighting really started, I just turned around and went in the house. Let First Born figure out how to evict his four year old squatter.
Then I started thinking, “Wait. Where exactly did he get this from? And how did he really get it here?”
Later when he came inside, I asked him and he casually said, “I dragged it from the cul-de-sac down the street.”
“You mean the one just down the block about 10 houses down?” I asked?
“No. The one over by Jiminy’s house.”
“What?! You didn’t cut through and drag it through people’s yards did you?!” I pictured destroyed lawns and trampled landscaping. I was horrified.
“No, we stayed on the sidewalk except for when we crossed the street,” he assured me. That meant he hauled it nearly a quarter mile and up a hill. Then I started thinking about all the neighbors who probably captured it all on their Ring doorbell and security cameras. Awesome.
And then it hit me, “Wait. You made Jiminy help you?!”
“Well, yeah. He just kept saying, ‘This isn’t weird, it’s normal. This isn’t weird, it’s normal,’ the whole way. He was trying to get himself to believe it.” Poor Jiminy. Talk about a loyal friend, though.
Well, it just goes to show what First Born can accomplish when he’s determined. Truth be told, the house is actually in pretty good condition, save for the mud, grass and the possible black mold between the walls.
Dear Husband came home later that evening and asked, “Do I even want to know why there’s a house in our garage?”
“First Born garbage picked it,” I said.
“Of course he did,” and he shook his head and went upstairs to change. Yes. Because this is a totally normal occurrence at the Pediatric Psych Ward.
So if you’re looking for a place to stay when you’re in the area, Warrior Princess is now renting her new “apartment” out on Airbnb. It’s a steal.