The inquisitive one went to the apartment and said goodbye to the parents.
The door clicked shut, whereupon the niece started bawling, upset about being left behind. The nephew started hurling multicolored toys up so high that they hit the popcorn ceiling, whereupon asbestos dust rained down on him.
“Hey kids, do you want to go to the playground?” asked the inquisitive one.
“NO!!” yelled the kids.
The niece ran toward the bedroom, tripped on some shoes, fell with a thud, and lay sprawled on the carpet, crying even louder than before. At the same time, the nephew screamed, “WHAT?!!” holding up two pieces of a broken toy. He threw them down and started stalking around the room, muttering about how unfair life is and kicking furniture.
“Hey kids, do you want to read a book?” asked the inquisitive one.
“NO!!” screamed the kids.
The niece stopped crying and wiped her bloody hand, which she must’ve cut on a multicolored toy when she fell, on her sporty yellow sundress. The nephew opened the sliding door, ran outside, and started climbing on top of the balcony railing. The niece noticed some Goldfish crackers scattered amidst the shoes, multicolored toys, and asbestos dust, and ate a couple.
“Hey kids,” exclaimed the inquisitive one, “do you want to play the toilet paper game?!!”
The niece and nephew stopped what they were doing and stared at the inquisitive one.
“What’s the toilet paper game?” said the nephew.
“What’s the toilet paper game?” said the niece.
“I’ll show you in a minute. But first, can you show me where your parents keep the band-aids and ointment for cuts?”
The nephew attentively ushered the inquisitive one into the bathroom. The niece obediently held her hand out to be cleaned up.
For a long time after that, they played the toilet paper game. Then they went to the playground. Then they read a book. They were just getting hungry for dinner when the parents burst through the door, flush with the excitement of having gotten so much done.
The parents did not see any lengths of toilet paper lying around the apartment because, fortunately for the adults in this tale, the toilet paper game does not involve unrolling any actual toilet paper. However, the parents did hear the kids repeatedly saying the word “teepee,” and so, that very evening, they all, as a family, built a fort out of couches and blankets that was somewhat teepee-esque.
The inquisitive one, who had returned home, was also, at that time, quite coincidentally, hiding under mounds of blankets.