Wait, What?

The stalemate in Washington, D.C. over legislation to increase the debt limit and reopen the government has moved into a new phase.

The two sides are finally talking. The only question now seems to be what the deal will look like.

For weeks, the fight has raged between House Republicans and President Obama and his Democratic allies. The renewed dispute spooked financial markets and idled government workers, including many in our region.

As with the rest of the Washington press corps, I’ve been following the give and take. But no matter what happens this weekend, one thing is clear: like the government, my attention will be divided.

That’s because I can’t help but dwell on my own personal limit – one I fear will be sorely tested as the weekend draws to a close.

My limit has more to do with patience than finances. A troop of pre-teen Girl Scouts is descending upon my home Sunday evening.

I first got wind of the plan a couple of weeks ago.


I was picking up our 12-year-old daughter and her “best friend forever,” when their Girl Scout leader mentioned the latest badge the girls were working on. She approached our conversation as if I already knew they would be working on it at my house and that all those girls would be sleeping over en masse.

When what she was saying finally sunk in, I had one of those “wait, what?” moments.

Later, I asked my wife about it. But when she denied volunteering our house, suspicion fell on our daughter.
After admitting to suggesting our place, I was close to lecturing her about giving us a little warning before inviting all of her friends over at one time. But then she beamed at me and I relented.

Call me whipped, but she seemed so excited to have everyone over, I decided to put her desire ahead of my fears and to just make the best of it.

Which threatened to put me in a tight spot this weekend.

I have enough trouble keeping track of my own kids. And, when you throw our daughter’s BFF into the mix, it’s a wonder one or the other doesn’t get misplaced. With that kind of track record, how was I going to keep a whole troop of Girl Scouts present and accounted for?

By leaving it to my wife, that’s how.

After I started complaining, she fell right into my hands, reassuring me that she would take care of most everything. Then she talked to our daughter’s Girl Scout leader and they agreed the impending get-together didn’t have to be an overnight. All the girls needed was time after dark to complete a few requirements on their way to earning their Night Owl badge. They should be in their owns beds, at their own homes by midnight.

In the meantime, my wife agreed that I should take our son to the movies while the girls are around. As a matter of fact, when I brought up the idea she encouraged us to go.

The deal I reached with my wife doesn’t take me completely out of the mix. The girls need to keep warm and cook outside as part of their badge activities, so I’m going to have to get a backyard campfire going.

As long as the house doesn’t catch fire in the process, it’s a compromise I can live with.


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