one of the family's to come of marty's smores party had four kids. all boys. their children's ages perfectly align with our kids except they have an extra one, a three year old, on the end. with four kids eleven and under in your care, you can imagine how little uninterrupted social time they had to talk with others. all evening their kids ran up interrupting their conversations in need of help with a toy, a thirst, or an injustice. as the night wound down and the father gave the five minute warning, the children disappeared from view and never returned (excepting the three year old who was asleep on the mother's lap). after ten minutes time and conversation the man said, "wow. i haven't seen any of my kids since i told them we would be leaving soon. this is kind of nice. in the future i think i'll give the five minute warning ten minutes after showing up."
his discovery reminds me of the advice my father in law, pappa ken, gave me after we had kids: "you just gotta be smarter than your kids." i know i've mentioned this wisdom before, but i think of it often. surprisingly often. on paper it sounds trivial enough. in practice it is most slippery.