Andy sat down at his desk and turned the booklet to the next page.


“Step Two:  Make promises you won’t keep.”


He went back to the living room.  “Mom,” he said.  His mom stopped reading and gave Andy the look.  Her mouth didn’t say anything, but Andy knew just what her eyes were saying.  They were saying that if he said anything about getting his own room, then he was in big, big trouble.

But Andy didn’t care.  He had to have his own room.

“Mom,” he said, “if you let me…”

Just then the front door burst open.  Three wild dogs raced into the living room.  One flew at Andy, hitting him in back of the knees and knocking him down.  The other two jumped on his mother.

It was the triplets.  “Hi Mom, we’re home!”  Ronny and Donny shouted, right in her ear.

“Hi Andy, we’re home!”  Johnny climbed on top of him and started jumping.

“Did you have fun at the Bensons?” Mom asked.

“Mom!  Get him off of me,” begged Andy.  “He’s going to break my back!”

“Donny, please get down off of your brother,” Mom said.  Donny jumped off of Andy and into his mother’s lap.

“Now boys,” she said.  “Did you mess up Andy’s stuff?”

“We were playing jungle safari,” said Donny.

“You shouldn’t play jungle safari with Andy’s things unless he gives you permission,” said their mother.  “Now tell Andy you’re sorry.”

“We’re sorry,” they all said at the same time, but none of them looked at Andy.  And none of them looked sorry to Andy.

“Now run into your room, please,” she said, “and don’t come out until it’s clean.”

The three boys jumped off of their mom and raced to their bedroom.

Finally, Andy could talk to his mom again.  He spoke fast before the triplets could come back.

“Mom, if you let me have my own room I’ll clean the whole house every day for the rest of my life and I’ll always do everything you tell me to do.”

“No you won’t,” said his mother, smiling.  “And you’re grounded for the rest of the day.”