For instance, one Saturday night we were slumbering peacefully when we were startled awake by a loud beeping noise. Was it a large dump truck preparing to back over the bed and crush us as we slept? Mr. Schrock, who is by no means a fast waker-upper, shot out of bed, exclaiming, “What is that?!” In the blackness, we only just managed to avoid a head-on collision as we stumbled toward the source of the commotion, which, we deduced, was coming from outside our window. Sure enough. Those darn kids had thrown an extension cord out their upstairs window and had duct taped their alarm clock to the sill, setting it to go off at 3:45 a.m. In a neighborhood that’s so quiet at that hour that you can actually hear the beagle two doors down roll over in her bed, it was quite a racket. In the event that an angry pajama-clad mob carrying pitch forks would storm the porch, we were fully prepared to cast open the front door, point to the stairs and say, “First room on the right,” before shuffling back to bed. Soon thereafter, as we prepared to retire one night, we heard a mysterious ting-ting-ting on the window pane. Before the culprit could escape and play possum in his bed, his father went thundering up the stairs at breakneck speed. There he was, still in the room directly overhead with the tape measure he’d been tapping with clutched in his hot little hand. With eyes the size of dinner plates, he was nearly speechless as his father disarmed him and sent him packing. We’re just hoping his eyebrows migrate back down from the middle of his scalp in time for upcoming school pictures. Please. Don’t even ask me about the day someone decided to make a flamethrower. Or the day I opened the fridge to find an open container of worms gathered by a boy who was supposed to be weeding the garden. Oh, yes – or the dead locust I found on top of my coffee maker. It was for brother’s insect collection, you see, and it made perfect sense to the entomologist’s assistant to park it there. And that dinking around I mentioned earlier? What really took the cake was the day one of them actually used the expensive video camera to film his sibling messing around. Never mind that his own list was still unfinished. Never mind that he was unwittingly documenting his own stinkerhood. He finally had the proof, by cracky, and he was walking tall. It was after this episode that I proposed a switcheroo to their father. I could, I suggested, work from his office and he could work from home. That seemed fair to me. Just once, I said, I’d like to do the fiddling while Rome is burning. I sure didn’t think it was all that funny. Once he quits rolling around on the floor and comes up for air, we’re going to start reviewing options for next summer. If Grandma can’t be hornswoggled into taking the lot of them for two months, I just may hand letter a sign that says “fifty bucks OBO” and prop them all up by the mailbox unless he has a better idea.