My kids have a long and proud history of getting thrown out of places. My oldest daughter, Betsy, was only a few months old when she got tossed from her first bar. That incident is part of an ongoing revenge plot that should pay off when she’s finally old enough to drink. Expect an epic Twitter post in 2031. My youngest daughter also has a talent for getting banned. Waffle was barred from riding the school bus when she was four because, while her preschool was located within the same building my other three kids attended, it was technically a separate organization that didn't qualify for school transportation. Really, they just didn't trust Waffle to ride with other kids, and I can't blame them. She always has a concealed marker or pair of scissors somewhere. As a result, I had to drive all four kids to school that year. I'll have PTSD flashbacks to the drop off line for the rest of my life. It's the 120th day of school, Becky. You should be able to open your van door and toss out your kid without an extended five-minute goodbye.
I thought my children's days of getting evicted from public places were almost over. They're older now and can control themselves in short bursts. While they're not civilized by any metrics, they can at least maintain the illusion of it long enough for us to get in and out of most locations without being kicked out for good. That positive streak came to an end Wednesday. For months, I've been taking Betsy to the gym with me. She said she wanted to get in shape for track, but really I think she just wanted an excuse to get out of the house and away from her sisters. I can't blame her. It's the same reason I go. Tragically, this week I forgot my own logic and added the other three kids to the gym membership. They had been begging me to go, and I figured there was no downside to letting them burn off some energy at a neutral location. We made it to the gym twice without incident. But the third time I took the younger batch, I looked over to see the gym manager summon all three of them together. Things were about to go south fast.