Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Sneak Out Club

by Hero Jenkins

It was “too early” AM when I was startled awake by what sounded like a stampede in my hallway. 

I stepped out of my room and heard someone speaking Japanese. Then I and found my sons with pillows stuffed into their pajamas and the TV had been tuned to sumo wrestling. 

What I had heard was the sound of them falling and laughing and banging into the walls all while loudly parroting the Japanese they were hearing on TV. 

I thought it was funny… my sleep deprived wife did not. I needed to come up with something or we were all doomed.

The Sneak Out Club 

Early one Saturday morning my wife and I were startled awake. It sounded like a stampede or perhaps heard of wild horses had been trapped in the hallway.

I stepped from the bedroom and almost tripped on several pillows that littered the floor. I recognized the pillows; they were from the living room couch. Two more steps and I heard what sounded like Japanese. I reached the family room and noticed that the television was on and it had been tuned to sumo wrestling.

I found my sons in the living room stuffing pillows in their pajamas. They had already collected the pillows from their beds and those had already been stuffed, but apparently they were not enough.

They didn’t notice me as they waddled back to the hallway. They were in their socks so when they left the carpet in the living room and stepped onto the hallway’s wood floor neither could get traction. Still they backed up and as best they could they got a running start at one another. In their minds they were sumo wrestlers and their arena was the hallway. They immediately engaged one another… grappling and tussling and shoving each other about. What we had heard was the sound of them falling and laughing and banging into the walls all while loudly parroting the Japanese they were hearing on TV.

I thought it was funny. I may have even chuckled. Then I heard my wife come up behind me, she was not amused. My boys heard her too and they froze. One look at her face and they knew they were in trouble. They had no idea what they had done wrong. Neither did I, for that matter. Yet we all knew that mom was not happy and when mom is not happy… well you know the rest. At first I thought she was angry about the pajamas being stuffed. Perhaps she thought they were mocking her for buying them so big.

It really wasn’t their fault; their pajamas were two sizes too big. Buying them that big had seemed like the prudent thing to do. They were growing so fast that my wife figured she would get them a little large and let the little monsters grow into them. Boys being boys saw it as an opportunity. One thing led to another and we had Saturday morning sumo wrestling in the hallway.

As it turned out she was just tired. We were a young family with braces on the horizon. I was working as much overtime as I could find. She was working too and had the added responsibility of keeping up with the kids during the week. However, on Saturdays I was home and increasingly she looked forward to sleeping in on Saturdays. That was not going to happen, not with these two, not with the way they were behaving. My boys were not happy unless it involved running or jumping or banging loud things together. My daughter was the opposite. She could sit in her room for hours with all of her stuffed animals and dolls and drink invisible tea out of teacups and not make a sound.

I decided to take them out to breakfast on Saturdays, just to get them out of the house. It was a good idea but without the desired result. They made almost as much noise getting dressed as they did sumo wrestling.

I came up with a secret, boys only, club called the “sneak out club”. The idea was that each Saturday morning we would go to McDonalds for breakfast and then to the park and whoever woke up could go. From that point on they slid out of bed and eased into their clothes. What was once a thundering herd became tiptoes and shouts became a whisper.

They were still at the age where girls had cooties, especially their sister. Their mom too, after all she was a girl, but somehow her cooties didn’t seem to bother them. Because of their sister’s cootie infestation they were motivated to be extra quiet so as to not wake her. Little did they know their sister was happy for the peace and quiet… she liked to sleep late too.

While we were gone, my daughter would climb into bed and cuddle with her mom. They would sleep late and then enjoy Saturday mornings together in peace and quiet. Sometimes they would read books. I think they even sipped invisible tea together from time to time.

My sons didn’t tell my daughter about their secret club until years later, she didn't even care. To tell you the truth, I don’t think she ever missed them.
Please post a comment and tell me what you think.


  1. Hero,
    This was fantastic! I could picture your boys doing this and it had me smiling throughout the blog. I didn't know you had a blog and I'm glad you said about it. I'm going to follow you from now on.

  2. Genius Fatherhood! :D