I was getting ready for work yesterday. The kids were already awake, and bouncing around. I went into the kitchen, and noticed my bottle of Sriracha pepper sauce was on the kitchen counter. Now, nobody in the house but me touches the stuff. And I sure didn’t take it out of the fridge. I picked it up, and it was at room temperature, so it had been out for a while.

My wife came into the kitchen, and I asked her if she knew anything about it. She didn’t, but she noticed two paper cups in the garbage, with chocolate milk residue in them. Aha.

We called the kids into the kitchen, and began the interrogation. The girl confessed that they had made chocolate milk. I noticed the syrup wasn’t in the fridge either, and asked where it was. “The family room” my son said, and ran off to get it. They had made the chocolate milk on the floor of the family room.

Needless to say, I was in a pretty foul mood when I went off to work. The idea that my kids would get up before me so they could sneak glasses of chocolate milk, kind of ticked me off.

Then my wife called me at work. She had noticed that, even though the last game we had played on the GameCube was Animal Crossing, this morning the console had Super Smash Brothers in it. Curiouser and curiouser. She promised to follow up with the kids.

She called me late in the day. “I wanted to let you know what I found out, so you wouldn’t be surprised when you came home.” Uh-oh.

It turns out my kids, age 9 and 6, have been setting an alarm clock, getting up at 2:00 am, and partying. They would make chocolate milk, watch TV, and play video games. But better than that, they have also been going outside and playing in the neighborhood. Yes, sometime around 3:00 am, my kids would go running around the neighborhood, in their pj’s and bare feet, while my wife and I slept, utterly clueless.

‘Angry’ is an understatement. They’ve been given some consequences, and Mrs. Agent and I have stressed with our daughter exactly why this was a stupid idea. In the past we have often purposefully shielded her from tales of abduction, child abuse and the like, because of her vivid imagination. No more. We want to make sure she understands exactly how much danger she put herself and her little brother in. We need to try to make her understand that our rules are not challenges to her inventiveness, but guidelines for her safety.

I’m glad I started taking an anti-depressant.