I call the kids from the first floor. They don't respond.
What are they doing up there?
I am as a voice, whispering into the darkness of the world's largest, deepest, darkest cave.
Cool water drips onto my forehead from a looming stalactite.
The car is already running to warm it up - it's freezing outside. Yeah, it makes it pleasant for them to get into a warm and cozy car, so I let it run. My gas mileage is terrible because of this.
We're gonna be late!
There's a birthday party. No, it's ballet. It's swimming lessons. Soccer. Church. Camp. Grandma's. Ugh. Where are we going again?
Is anybody up there?
I ramp it up to deploying threats.
If we're late, there will be no [insert fun thing] for you this weekend!
It is the weekend. Half over. They know I am lying. And I need the [fun thing] to get them occupied for half an hour so I can fold laundry/do dishes/go to the bathroom/eat without sharing/feed the cat/sort mail/iron/build the addition to the house/get my car inspected/clean the vomit/empty diaper pails/exercise. So, of course they'll still get to do the [fun thing]. I need them to do the [fun thing].
Sigh. My book is sitting on the nearby table. I finger the placeholder. Then I am half sitting over the couch arm, flipping through it. Now I am entirely eaten by the couch, and here is the part where Liver-Eating Johnson and forty mountain men are just about to fight off a menacing brace of Crow Indians. Hand to hand combat, arrows are whizzing past; tomahawks are flying, Johnson grabs his musket! But no! It's empty! Liver-Eating Johnson turns to face an enormous Crow chief who is holding a scalping knife high overhead ...
Daddy! Daddy! Come on. We're gonna be late. Why are you lying on the couch? Such a lazy bones, daddy!