You give a kid an inch of freedom, he'll build a mile of play tent tunnel.
It's true. Her baby was growing up. OK, so technically Jake hadn't been a baby for a while now. But Ella was practically born emancipated, so Michelle was clinging to Jake a little longer than was socially acceptable.
Today they were having a battle of wills over camping in the back yard. Michelle preferred her children tucked away safely in their beds at night. Not in the open air where some stranger or wild animal could snatch them and eat them. The animal, not the stranger. But you never know.
Jake wanted to put his tent at the very back corner of the yard, as physically far away from the house as was possible inside the confines of their privacy fence. But Michelle insisted he stay a little closer. Like, right against the house, directly beneath the master bedroom window, which she fully intended to keep open all night long.
They did this little tug of war for a full 20 minutes. Jake would pull the tent all the way to the end of the yard, and Michelle would pull it all the way back to the house. Jake's idea of "compromise" was inching it forward precisely two inches at a time. Finally, Michelle cut him a deal.
"Listen, Buster. As long as the edge of the tent is physically touching the edge of the patio, we'll call it a day. Deal?"
Jake thought for a minute and then smiled real big. "Deal!"
Four hours later, Michelle peeked out the window and laughed out loud. Jake had linked together five of his Pacific Play Tent tunnels so that, while he was still technically adhering to the agreement, the tent itself was positioned precisely where he had wanted it to be in the first place.