Agents, beware! We all know children are darn cute…but they can do more damage than a Claymore mine. They are lurking everywhere, ready to set off small explosions while flashing irresistible, angelic grins. Be especially vigilant at open houses, or YOU may be the poor sucker who ends up on a milk carton. I offer you this report as proof:
The Clock Was Ticking
Marcia is a dedicated real estate agent who tries very hard to balance her roles as mother and business woman. We all know that sometimes the real estate Gods are MIA or out playing eighteen holes, so sometimes the juggling becomes precarious. Thus was the plight of our friend, Marcia.
Marcia was packing her van for a Brokers Open when the nanny called to say she could not make it. Marcia immediately called her husband, but he was on the golf course – apparently fraternizing with the irresponsible real estate gods – so he didn’t answer. Unable to rouse anyone else, she gathered up her adorable three year old son, Liam, and went off to show her listing.
Marcia was setting out a luncheon and warming quiches when Liam decided the crayons in his pocket would improve the minimalist design of the kitchen walls. Upon discovering Liam’s bold mural, Marcia’s voice went from zero to sixty as she reprimanded the young artist (freedom of expression for younguns be damned) and told him to eighty-six the crayons. She then grabbed the cleanser and attempted to repair the wall. As distracted Marcia tried to remove the wax road map before her, the compliant child ditched his weapons. Unfortunately, he disposed of the crayons in the sink. Clever little guy.
Beware the Silence
Believing (foolishly) that disaster had been averted, Marcia went back to her prep work, peeling cucumbers and piling the peels in the sink. Liam played with a toy that was loud enough to rouse the dead…but nothing was rousing Daddy. As “go” time was closing in, she ran the garbage disposal and checked the quiche. The disposal churned for a moment or two, and then it did a Hail Mary and decided to lie down and die. Marcia had no idea what had caused the contraption to expire until she noticed a Crayola paper amongst the remaining garbage.
Ever the patient mom, Marcia pressed her throbbing veins back into her temples. She dialed hubby again while instructing Liam that “Mommy really needs your help.” Hubby was still AWOL, and the real estate gods must have been doing shooters in the bar, because someone was concocting a disaster that could rival an Italian soccer match.
Marcia hung up and frantically tried to clean up the septic hole that had once been a sink. Unable to find a straight jacket for herself or a cage for her child, she distracted Liam by telling him to watch out the window and tell her when any big people arrived at the scene.
Be Careful What You Wish For
The little fellow tried to help – he really did, but a three year old has different criteria for helping than us adult types do. For instance, did you know that if you spit on a window and then draw in the spit, you can make pictures? And if you wipe the slobber off, you can then make the window clean? Perhaps you didn’t know that one should not use the owner’s sofa pillow to wipe off the spit. It’s true. Drool pillows are only popular in retirement homes.
Marcia, flabbergasted at this point, yanked her little darling off the couch and gave him a serious lecture. Many tears later, while looking over her shoulder, little Van Gogh spotted the caravan arrivals and yelled, “Mommy, it’s time!” As luck would have it, it was PAST time for the quiches.
Marcia’s consciousness finally made room for the smell of burnt food in the kitchen. She ran to the rescue, only to discover that actual flames were coming out of the sides of the oven door. It seems Van Gogh also had delusions of growing up to be Emeril, because he had “helped” Mommy by turning up the oven knob to 450 degrees. Ah, what a cute little kid.
A Sprinkle of This…A Sprinkle of That…
Marcia pushed Liam to safety and yanked open the oven door. A cloud of smoke and flames licked the air like dragon’s breath. Marcia jumped back and reached for the sprayer from the sink. That’s when she first became aware of a feature in the house she had not noticed before. The house had a sprinkler system, thank you very much.
When the first agents arrived, they abruptly recoiled. The house was raining inside, smoke was rolling out of the oven, and Marcia had her kid in a choke hold. The visitors stepped aside in unison as Marcia ran toward the door with the little beast in tow and tears streaming down her face. Or was it just the unplanned shower that had left its liquid trails on her flushed cheeks?
According to Marcia, one heroic agent ran into the rain storm and duly put out the fire, while another called the fire department. Marcia thrust her delinquent child at an agent from her office and told the nonplussed agent to corral the kid before Mommy dismembered him. Marcia then sat down on the patio for a good cry just as her phone began to ring. Hubby was finally calling, but no words were ever exchanged. Instead, she threw the phone across the yard and waited for a hunky fireman to show up to relieve her of her misery, her husband, her kid and her life.
When the Dust Finally Settled:
The sellers were very understanding, in spite of the crayons still stuck in the sink. Insurance covered most of the damage, but I don’t believe it covered the anti-psychotic medicine Marcia considered taking, the new set of golf clubs to replace the ones Marcia threatened to break over hubby’s skull, or the reform schools she was researching when last contacted.
Moral of the story:
You are better off taking a panther to an open house than a three year old. Panthers don’t have opposable thumbs, so they cannot use crayons or turn up oven knobs. Panthers do not draw pictures in spit. And your odds of survival are probably better – you can shoot a panther.