The trailer looked nice.
That was the problem.
It would have better if it had looked spooky, or ugly or dirty. Because then I would have known better. I'm not like those people you see in the movies who happen upon a creepy looking, dilapated building on some isolated stretch of rural farm land and sweep away cobwebs with a smile and a nod and say "I'll take it!"
Nosiree. That's not me.
So when an abandoned trailer on the property was offered to me as a place to stay this past weekend at our family reunion, my first thought was 'there's no way in hell.'
Actually, those were my first words as well. I mean, not to be rude, but really.
But then I saw the trailer.
It looked nice. Really nice. It didn't look abandoned at all. It was clean, and bright and modern and very spacious, with three bedroom and two bathrooms.
I can stay here, I thought. No problem, I thought.
But then. Oh, but then.
I set up the air mattress in the master bedroom, which my kids mistakenly took for a blow up jumping attraction at a carnival.
I tried to lay down myself (lead by example, the parenting books say), only to have my head jumped on after being declared a horsey, which led to more jumping.
Alex was off the bed, on the bed, off again and now jumping on his grandmothers head who was sleeping a few feet away.
I tried to ignore him, to which he responded with an increasingly urgent shout "I need you. I NEED YOU."
I tried to threaten him with everything I could think of, but I had limited options. Time out. But then he called my bluff.
"Do you want a time out?"
"OK," he replied.
Shit. Outsmarted by a two year old.
Where would I put him for time out? What could I do?
Back to square one.
Finally, desperately, I threatened him with 'Shadow', the Rottweiler he had been afraid of earlier.
"Shhh. Quiet. Shadows out there. Don't let him hear us or he'll come in here and get us."
"Shadow?" he asked in a soft voice.
"Shadow. He's really bad and mean. Just go to sleep so he won't get us."
It was a really low point, parenting wise, to be threatening my kids with Rottweiler attacks, but it did work. Finally, the kids were silent.
I tried to fall asleep, but couldn't. The air mattress was losing air fast. The kids were crowding me out. The room was hot. There were dogs baying in the background (Shadow??)
I crept out into the living room, realizing too late that there was no for me to run, to turn.
The other two bedrooms were occupied.
The living room was barren of furniture, offering up only an unyielding floor. I had invested all of my blankets and pillows in the air mattress, which was a sinking ship by now.
Reluctantly, I laid on the floor, propping my head on a sweater. I imagined all kinds of scurrying sounds.
At least, I think it was my imagination.
Anyways, I was happy to see daybreak.
"Never Again," my sister in law and I vowed to each other when we met up in the kitchen, both of us with bloodshot eyes and frazzled hair.
Anyways. At least our husbands got a good rest.
That's the main thing.