There were times in my first year of teaching in Baldwin Park that the Lapka house was like a spa vacation for me. After six days of rehearsing with students, the Lapkas were a paradise-like refuge from a group of kids who were occasionally less than cooperative and pleasant to deal with. It was always really hard to drive back from Temecula on a Sunday night. We had fun with them before we had kids, and now we have fun watching our kids have fun – except when Caleb and Maddie throw down in a toddler death-match complete with political strategies and victimization tactics. They seem to have a love/hate releationship.

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