Those mice... well they will most definitely play!!
So a few weeks ago we headed to Las Vegas and left our teens on their own with a list of do and don't do items. I was asked how the kids did while we were away... Well on the most part they did a really good job, but they did end up having a party. We specifically left instructions that they could each have one friend each over at the same time and no more. No opposite sex shall step foot into their bedrooms and zero should pass our threshold into the master at all.
Saturday night Kaylee had a girlfriend over and one of her cousins (First teenage loop hole, we didn't specify cousins in the counting category in house list of rules.) Kyle had one of his friends over, who was expecting some other friends to drop by with his guitar they borrowed later. Scott ended up coming down when he saw the truck full of teenagers show up with said guitar and they all started talking out front. At this point the count was up 2 cousins and 7 kids who all had cell phones. According to Kaylee it was completely out of their control when others just happen to show up and they moved to the backyard to not case chaos out front. So now they had about 15 kids in our backyard, but not in the house. (Teenage loop hole number two, they were in the backyard and we said inside the house in our rules.)
By the end they had about 30 kids in our backyard (this was the official count from our neighbors anyway) and pizza was brought in twice. Our kids did have the common sense to remove those that brought alcohol right off, so they didn't have that problem at least. But the noise did get a phone call to police around midnight and that is when Kyle and Scott ended it all. They kicked everyone out and even started taking people home themselves to ensure everyone got home safe. (Teenage loop hole attempt number three, driving curfews couldn't be adhered to if they wanted to ensure everyone got home safe.)
During the evening a few kids decided they wanted to swim, which blows my mind as we didn't have the heater on and our pool is still VERY cold! But swim they did and they managed to break our cleaning spouts that lift on the bottom of our pool, so a few now need to be replaced. (We have a warranty on them but Alex and I have decided the kids can pay a few dollars anyway to ensure the lesson is learned. )
So the good news is that they were safe even while breaking (Kyle still thinks they bent more than broke) the rules and they were straight up front about it when we got home. Which was really good for them since our neighbor waited all of thirty minutes upon our return to come over with a pie to welcome us back and give us the run down on the kids gathering the night before. I don't think my kids appreciated the detailed run down we got, but I thought it was great. Going forward I know they will understand they are being watched like a hawk if and when we give them another opportunity to stay home alone again. Bless their hearts!
Also great news is that we haven't spent much time getting to know our neighbors but they seem like really nice people and we can't wait to get to know them better. We have invited the neighbors over to a "thank you" dinner in two weeks, since we have so much family stuff going on at the moment. They sent us flowers following the passing of Alex's father, which again floored us as we just haven't gotten to know them well and they have reached out to us twice in very tough situations. They are just a bit older than we are and they don't have children, but they seem like they are up to the challenge of living between us and Jay/Lori. They said they really love the energy all the kids have brought to the block and they absolutely adore my little monster puppy even though he likes to chew her roses every chance he gets... Another sign these neighbors are great!
So we have had two teens grounded for the last few weeks and are just now getting all their privileges back. Why does it often feel like we the parents get part of the punishment too when we ground them? I mean listening to the moans and seeing the sad little faces begging for release early is just as much a punishment for us in my opinion. But we both stood strong together and of course the loss of Grandpa G and the failing health of Grandma M have pulled us all close right now. We had a very quiet Easter yesterday, not our usual huge family gathering but spent it alone just the four of us. We spent the majority of last week traveling, saying good bye to Grandpa G and then getting back home to settle in for the week. It will take time, but we will all settle back down and celebrate what time we have left with grandma here on earth and remember we will all be together again one day.