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Hide and go seek
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Summertime has already arrived, and I’m counting the minutes down till I hear the first “I’m bored!”

The Kid has pretty much been on a year-long skate. He was home schooled, which he hated but managed to slide through with straight A’s, and begged off on having to sign up for the junior lifeguard course down at the beach. He did it last year and it was really good for him, but he wasn’t happy about it.

I shrugged and figured if he wasn’t into it, then I wasn’t gonna pay for it.

He has enough toys that he can always find something to do or play with, and the twins come over every day to hang out.

The twins.

You couldn’t find two boys more different than these two.

One looks like the mom, the other looks like ... um ... hmm ...well, I’m really not sure who he looks like.

They are two minutes apart in age, but light years apart in every other aspect.

The older one is about a foot taller and can’t stop fidgeting. He is the one who has basically become a full-time resident at our place.

The younger one seems to be on guard all the time, not wanting to stir up any trouble.

They are both good kids, and are developing a good sense of humor. I reckon that’s because they are relaxed and comfortable over here, without me constantly drilling them on what they’re doing or where they’re going.

Their mom called the other day. She was trying to let me know, in a very nice way, that she expects those boys to be up at the family business every day after junior lifeguards so that she can tell them: what they need to be doing and where they need to be going.

Is it any wonder they stop at my house first?

I was unaware that they were under this mandate, so I let things go along as they normally do. It wasn’t til after she phoned me that I promised I would make them check in with her to get their orders.

She said she wouldn’t mind if The Kid hung out with them at their house, because they do have a nice pool, a batting cage, property along a creek ... lots of fun stuff for young boys to have fun with over the summer. She suggested they could ride their bikes down to the beach by their place and hang out, too.

I explained that since The Kid was forced by his dad to be at the beach all last summer, he refuses to go near it, at this point.

Unless, of course, it’s close to sundown and no other kids are around ... then he takes out all his diggin’ tools and gets to work on the sand. He goes from being a sullen pre-teen to an excited young adolescent who pouts when it’s time to go home!

From the conversation I was having with her, it sounded like she was trying to keep them at the  7 and 8 year old stage, back when they were easy to instruct and didn’t mouth back.

She feared that they were spending too much time on the computer over at my house.

I assured her that although they were on the computer quite a bit, I made sure they got out to ride their bikes and go do things that were fun, like having lunch out by themselves and doing things without me breathing down their necks.

She reluctantly agreed to let them keep coming over, but insisted that they call her immediately upon walking through the door to my house.

Fair enough.

So anyway, back to Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Thing 1 showed up a couple of times over the last two weeks when he was supposed to be at junior guards.

I was a little apprehensive about letting him hang out here and hide, questioning whether or not Thing 2 would rat him out to their folks.

“Nah, he won’t do that. He wouldn’t.”

I asked him why he was skipping the junior guard that day and he said, “It’s just so stupid...I begged my mom not to sign me up, but she did anyway. I hate going.”

He was all dressed and ready for the class, but because my house is on the way, he figured the shorter trip was the detour to my house.

The second time he skipped out was a day when Hubs had off.

Uh oh.

Hubs nearly blew a gasket that Thing 1 was ditchin’ class, but he calmed down after a few minutes. I told him he had to give the kid some breathing room.

“I know this will probably all come back to bite me on the hiney some day,” I told him, “but I feel like he needs the break.”

Hubs relented, but he wasn’t happy about it.

That day, they all rode over to the family business after Thing 2 stopped by, then went to the big house for a swim.

I was fine with it as The Kid needs all the outdoor recreation he can get. It’s no easy trick getting to their house either, it’s a workout and a half on a bicycle.

However, when I later found out that there was no adult supervision at the house at the time they were swimming, I informed all three that there could be no more swimming unless an adult was present.

The cleaning lady didn’t count cause she doesn’t speak English. Sorry, but you know ... if something happened ... I’m just sayin’.

So, Thing 1 showed up again today, with that funny look on his face like, “I’m here again.” I laughed and shook my head, telling him I would break off a switch and tan his hide if I get in trouble with his momma.

He handed me a shopping bag and asked if I could wash his swimming stuff.

I do speak English.

“Si, senor. Hand it over.”

“Don’t smell it!” he warned, “It’s pretty bad.”

He’d been hiding it, and it was starting to sprout mushrooms from what I could tell.

I decided I wasn’t gonna harp on him missing his classes.

That will be between him and his mom when he ends up not getting a certificate at the end of the session.

They have been calling their mom every day since she and I talked, but they aren’t going up to the shop the way she would like. They’ve figured out how to get around that.

I heard Thing 1 talking about how he skipped one particular class most of last year, and The Kid thought it was really funny.

I looked at him and said “You do realize what would happen to you if I ever found out you were doing it, right?”

He got that deer-in-the-headlights look and said, “No ... what?”

“I’d make you go hang out at their house. With their mom.”

I feel pretty confident I have nothing to worry about after telling him that.

Besides, he can run.

But he can’t hide.