In a blended family such as ours, equality among the crumb snatchers is a constant balancing act. Chief Money Maker has always wanted a little girl to spoil, but instead has been provided two crumb snatchers of the male gender by his ex wife. And the only oven that I, Mama Bread Baker, will be baking in will be the double ovens residing in the kitchen at the Thacker Reservation. My baby making store is out of business! So needless to say, when my daughter decided to live with us, Chief Money Maker was excited to start his campaign of spoilage. And crumb snatcher Sweet Pea had no complaints either. I now face the constant challenge of reigning in Chief Money Maker to balance his treatment of Sweet Pea in comparison to that of the male crumb snatchers.
I first realized we might have an issue that needed to be addressed when Sweet Pea was invited to play nerf gun wars with her softball teammates. Sweet Pea is only fifteen and this would be the first outing with friends that drive. I was a little nervous. Sweet Pea and I discussed the outing with Chief Money Maker and he thought it would be perfectly fine for her to join her teammates. We discussed what time she would return, and I suggested a curfew of seven-thirty. He glanced at his watch and wondered if I should give Sweet Pea a later curfew given that it was currently seven fifteen. Sigh, he was spoiling her already. I acquiesced to a curfew of ten-thirty. Sweet Pea batted her lashes and thanked him.
Together, they ran upstairs to check out the nerf gun arsenal of the other male crumb snatchers in the household. They returned empty-handed and I asked Sweet Pea what she was going to do for weaponry. She replied that the team said they had an extra nerf gun if she didn’t have one of her own, and bounced back up the stairs to get ready. Meanwhile, Chief Money Maker and his truck had disappeared. Something was a little fishy here.
Fifteen minutes later, Chief Money Maker returned with a bag from Wal-Mart and a guilty sheepish grin on his face. “What have you done this time?” I asked, as he unloaded the latest and greatest model of automatic firing nerf gun machinery.
“You can’t send that baby off to her first nerf gun war without her own gun! You know they will give her the worst one they have!”
“And you can’t start spoiling her! What was wrong with the nerf guns upstairs?”
“They weren’t automatics,” he replied as he began loading the nerf bullets into the rotating holder, installed the batteries, and packed extras in a waist pouch for easy access.
Sweet Pea came down the stairs and squealed in delight, throwing her arms around Chief Money Maker’s neck. He showed her how to work the gun, and she and Chief Money Maker tested it out….on ME!
Battered and bruised from the repeated firings, I piled in the truck with Chief Money Maker and Sweet Pea, and we delivered her to her friend’s house. They would carpool from there to another teammate’s house to begin the war. I walked up the driveway with Sweet Pea where we were suddenly stampeded with a squealing herd of teenage girls. After the initial introductions were made, and the inquiries into who would be driving, what speed they would be driving, would both hands remain on the wheels at all times, and would the radio be tuned to a volume of no greater than one, I released my baby girl into the hands of her friends. While walking back to the truck, I heard someone squeal, “Your gun is sooooooo cool. That’s much better than the one we were going to give you!” And Chief Money Maker, watching from the truck with his window rolled down, smiled.
“I told you!” he said as I climbed back into the truck.
I think I replied with something like shut up and drive, given that I didn’t have my cast iron skillet to hit him with.
After an agonizing three hours of avoiding the urge to text and ask if she arrived safely, if she remembered what time her curfew was, and if she just wanted me to go ahead and come get her, she arrived home ten minutes before her curfew. Chief Money Maker was more than anxious to hear the results of the nerf gun wars.
“Well, the gun was cool and all, but I lost.”
Chief Money Maker was shocked. “How in the world could you lose with that gun?”
She explained that they had decided to play indoors…and in the dark. Apparently the latest and greatest model of automatic firing nerf gun machinery also went “ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch” when turned on, alerting the other girls to her location inside the house.
I smiled at Chief Money Maker and said, “I told you not to spoil her!”
Mama Bread Baker knows best after all.
© 2011 CThacker