In preparation for that glorious time in the future, I have started my bucket list. I am not putting places I'd like to visit on the list because I assume that the kids will be all over the world and I'll get my traveling in.
This is a bucket list of all the things I'd like to do while visiting my beloved, perfect, always compliant, forever grateful children ...
1. Empty the cupboards of all the cups, place them in the sink, and then be offended that they would accuse me of having a drink of water that day or of not washing my own cup.
2. After showering I am going to leave my soaking wet towel on the floor, right next to a huge pile of water I accidentally splashed onto the floor but somehow didn't notice was there.
3. Bring a backpack of books, pencils, devices, jackets, sneakers, etc. and randomly place items on the floor, sofa, and table. No need to pick them up, just go to bed when tired and let my kids deal with the mess.
4. The day after #3, repeat but this time shove items in hard-to-find and difficult-to-reach places like behind furniture and under sofas and chairs.
5. Wear every pair of socks in my suitcase (I'll pack extra for good measure) and then leave them scattered around the house, remembering to separate all matches so that when they are found, there will only be one of each. I'm sure that as soon as they decide to throw one away, the match will be found.
6. Every time I open a door to the outdoors, or a to a cabinet, or even a drawer in a dresser, I'll leave it open. When questioned, I will claim short-term memory loss and argue that there is no way I was ever in that area today.
7. Volunteer to unload the dishwasher but only unload half of it. I will then leave the room with escaping laughter as I watch my kids load the rest of the washer with dirty dishes and run them through another cycle. Wasted time, water and electricity? Who cares? I will no longer be paying for it. They will. Repeat daily throughout my visit.
8. When the grandkids ask me to play Monopoly (my ultimate least favorite game), I will gladly agree. Within 10 minutes, another grandchild will have asked to play checkers, I'm sure. Even though he is too young for this game, I'll agree. I will abandon Monopoly without cleaning up (and neither will the first grandchild) to play Checkers. Since he is too young for games of skill, we will just shoot the checker pieces around the table. Many of them will land on the floor but who needs them, there will be enough on the table to keep us busy. Then someone will want to go outside to ride bikes and kick soccer ball, and draw with sidewalk chalk. We will have one last checker shooting match to see who can get the remaining checkers onto the floor the fastest and then we will go outside without cleaning up. We will have a great time playing outside. When we are finished, we will put the bikes right next to the closed garage door, on the outside of the door, never inside. We will leave the chalk in the driveway to be run over when my adult child returns home from work, and the soccer ball will be right at the bottom of the front steps.
9. Hopefully DVDs will be around just long enough... Each time we watch one, we will leave it out of the designated cover. We won't pile them neatly, either. We'll just leave them all over the TV stand, a few on each shelf. Scratches might be a nice, added touch, for good measure.
10. Take the kids to the library and to Redbox, using their library card and credit card, of course. We'll stock up for the week. Then I'll forget where I've put them and when they're due.
11. Roll my eyes, sigh, and complain to my friends each time they ask me to watch their kids for a few minutes or help them out by taxiing one of them somewhere, even though I'm getting free room and board during my visit and I'm borrowing their car and using their gas.
12. Bring a few tiny Legos that I have saved before dividing them and sending them to the kids for their kids. Choose a Lego piece that best matches the floor and accidentally drop it when no one is looking. Ignore the cries of pain that come from your child when he or she steps or worse yet, kneels on said piece. When questioned, I will tell my child that I don't have any idea what Legos are being referred to or how it could have gotten out of its designated location.
13. Buy grape juice for the kids. Spill some on the refrigerator shelf, the front of the fridge, and the kitchen floor. Look at it, look around the room to see if anyone saw me, and then if not (and they won't because I'll choose my timing well), just walk away. The next day, repeat with honey or caramel sauce.
14. Dye water to the color yellow. Put drops on the toilet seat and a larger puddle on the floor in front of the toilet. Admit to nothing. (Could do this with actual pee but just can't see myself doing that. On the other hand, I may be persuaded by the time my kids are on their own.)
15. Go through their closets and pull out perfectly washed and clean clothing. Put it into the laundry still folded. Refuse to do laundry while at that house.
16. All day long, ask what is for dinner. Turn up my nose every time. In-between, remind them of the foods that I hate (which will be in the dish they are preparing). Sit down for dinner and remind them once again that I hate certain foods. Put a tiny amount on my plate. Stare at it. Give some to the dog. Hide the rest in my napkin. Tell them I am full. Ask for dessert. Eat lots.
17. Between meals, take food out of the fridge to be eaten in the living room and other off-limits locations. No need to use napkins. Just use the furniture. Best done with spaghetti or other messy foods. Leave plates, bowls, and silverware in the off-limit location but don't admit to being the offender. If napkins were used, leave these, too. Works best if they have a dog.
18. Carve my name into furniture, write my name on car upholstery, put stickers that won't come off onto expensive antiques, bang holes into the kitchen table with a fork. This way, my children will never, ever forget that I have been there.
19. Volunteer to cook a meal. Leave a little bit of food at the bottom of each pot, skillet, and bowl. When asked to clean them, I will insist that I need to wait because the food has hardened. I will put water in each container to soak, and then each successive day, when asked to clean the dishes, I will emphatically state that I will get them but they are still soaking.
20. Pretend to lose multiple items, barely look for them, and then ask my child to find them for me. Of course they will be in obvious or appropriate places and will be found immediately.
21. Say my child's name repeatedly but when acknowledged, I will have nothing of real importance to say or I will ask my child to get something that I could have easily gotten for myself.
22. When a band-aid is needed (or even if it is not), separate the wrapper into two pieces, leaving one next to the trash can and the other in front of the toilet. When I no longer need said band-aid, I will just drop it wherever the mood strikes. Face down on the floor is a good location as the ends stick and are difficult to remove. Another good choice is next to the sink where it can be both bloody and wet.
Note to my children who are about to abuse me in my old age, let me state for the record that this is a compilation of comments on a FB post where I was lamenting the issue found in #1. None of the rest of these are my own ideas or are actions perpetrated by children in this house but are clearly ideas formed by parents less loving than I.
Oh, and I have never, ever lied to you.