I don't know if all kids have some unwritten rule that when you're on the phone, they're supposed to go crazy...but it seems that the more important the call, the wilder they become.
On this particular call, the "pings" raised my interest and I knew enough not to ignore them. I cautiously went to the top of the stairs to look down and saw a gumball flying through the air...then another...and another. "Ping" one hit a wall, "Ping" another hit the door. All the while - the kids were laughing their heads off. As I covered the phone with my hand to go try to yell at them through clenched teeth, I realized that they were running and ducking throughout the house in between throws. It was as though they were having a paintball war with gumballs. Ethan would beam one at Preston as Preston dove behind the couch. Preston would throw one at Lauren and she would scream and run behind a wall. The floor was covered. White, blue, orange, yellow gumballs were everywhere...our downstairs looked like a board game of Candy Land.
I quickly realized that they had found the "Motherload". Last Christmas we found a great big gumball machine that was completely full. We thought it would look so pretty and magical under the tree as we had visions of the kids finding it Christmas morning.
When the day finally arrived and it sat beautifully by the tree, we were happy to see that it was one of the first things the kids screamed over. "AWESOME!!!" They all ran straight to it and turned the knob. Out rolled the first gumball...and then we realized that we never really thought about actually trying one of them before giving them to our kids. They were as hard as your head...little, pretty colored rocks to be exact.
We strategically hid the machine and planned on emptying it out to fill it with new gumballs that wouldn't break their teeth. Again...that was last Christmas. We obviously hadn't gotten around to finding the new gumballs - but the kids were taking care of the emptying it out part just fine.
I got off the phone and screamed..."WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Everyone stopped as I stood in a sea of hard candy. "Do you guys seriously think this is okay?!" I could barely move - knowing that I would end up just like a cartoon character, slipping on marbles and flying through the air, feet first.
The kids spent the rest of the afternoon picking up who knows how many gumballs from all over the house and throwing them in the trash.
Needless to say, we won't be buying replacement gumballs anytime soon. I'm still finding the old hard ones in places you couldn't imagine. I don't know what we're going to do with the great big gumball machine but I'll give it away to the first caller. At least you'll know that when we're on the phone, the one thing you WON'T hear in the background will be a lot of "pings"...I can't say the same about the giggles though.