“Today at school, I had to put together a presentation on my family. So, I copied a bunch of pictures from everyone’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. For you, I found a picture of you standing in the snow, in your robe.”
It’s been a few years since I left you to solo parent, so here are a few things to remember while I’m away for the weekend.
Boogie wipes are not an acceptable alternative to bathing.
The children require food more than once a day.
If SuperTween’s outfit causes you to raise an eyebrow, make her change clothes. She can wear whatever she wants when she goes to college.
If you allow SuperTween to watch regular tv, she will text 800 numbers to your phone. “It does all kinds of cool stuff, Mom.” Turn the tv off and send her outside to play.
Whenever the children come inside after playing outside, send them back out to collect the clothing that they forgot.
If you hear the dog’s tags clanging on the water bowl, the bowl is empty. Fill the bowl. With water.
The dogs/cats require food daily. Feed them.
Confiscate electronics at bedtime.
The youngest children singing after bedtime is cute, but they are the opposite of cute if they don’t get a good night’s sleep. Do not try to wait them out. You will fall asleep long before they stop singing. Ask them to sing inside their heads.
If you do laundry, please do not run the washer with only one item in it. It is a waste of water, electricity and detergent. The laundry is already sorted in baskets beside the washer. Fill the machine.
A few special reminders just for you:
1. No ladders. Remember the mangled ladder and the frightened neighbors?
2. No power tools. Remember the finger?
3. Do not buy paint. Remember the infant poop yellow?
4. Do not paint. Remember the bedroom closet?
5. No new projects. Don’t ‘six degrees’ a new project to an existing project either.
When in doubt, call me first. I will be in Nashville, not another country.
NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER TRY TO TEACH EVAN MATH IT WILL NEVER WORK HE DOES NOT LISTEN HE IS ALSO VERY RUDE&MEAN!!!!!!’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(
This weekend, I will be having a serious discussion with Supertween… about the caps lock key and only using one exclamation point.
As a child, babysitters during the daytime were extremely rare and used only for PTA meetings that couldn’t happen with small children running amuck. I remember vividly the baby sitter who taught us to make flowers with coat hangers and kleenex. I thought she was the coolest sitter ever and brought her every single shoebox shaped container of tissues in the house. It was a huge disappointment for everyone when we ran out of kleenex.
My mother did not share my enthusiasm for the babysitter. Instead of being impressed by the tissue transformations, my mother had a meltdown over wasted kleenex. As an adult, I understand that my mother had a million frustrations, problems and stresses that had nothing to do with tissues. The kleenex were the final thing that pushed my mother over the edge at the end of what had to be a very hard day. My mother was upset about everything.
As a child, I thought my mother was upset about nothing.
I am very lucky to have older children who are willing and able to babysit for the two youngest children. Each of the older children has a slightly different sitter style, but they all understand that the primary goal is for everyone to be safe. Last week, I put Professor Teen in charge so that I could tend to PTSA duties.
Professor Teen is the kind of sitter who follows the children around the house and yard while he reads whatever book has him captivated at that moment. The children are always supervised, but are otherwise allowed to do anything the imaginary voices in their little heads suggest.
When I came home, the children were healthy and unharmed. The house did not fare as well. It looked like the inside of a playpen after snack time. The toy carnage was nothing compared to the mess in the bathroom, where all of the shampoo and conditioner was poured, mixed, splashed and squirted out in some kind of mad scientist experiment. The empty hair product bottles scattered lifelessly on the bathroom tile looked like melted, wasted money.
I immediately thought about kleenex.
Instead of getting upset, I smiled. My children gave a silly childhood memory a new meaning.
Have I mentioned that I am a very lucky person?
This week, I…
talked about menstruation with my 9-y-o daughter,
talked about childbirth with my 6-y-o son,
and talked about HPV with my teenage son.
Parenting is not for the timid.
Me: “Today is Carl Sagan Day.”
Me: “Oh, Noah. Get out your iPad and accurately describe Carl Sagan in 140 characters.”
Me: “Completely serious. Didn’t you ever wonder why your dad and I like to say bill-i-ons and bill-i-ons?”
Noah: “No. You guys say LOTS of weird stuff.”
You know that mixed feeling of excitement and disappointment that comes with realizing you can no longer spell words out to keep surprises a secret from your small children? Apparently, it doesn’t matter, because nothing you say makes sense to your teenagers.
Carl Sagan by Noah
*Carl Sagan is
Kinda sorta a little
Wrote many cool articles
About science stuff.
* We spent a ridiculous amount of time discussing the number of syllables in Carl.
That is probably the cleanest picture I took during my New York visit. I also like my less impressive, cell phone picture of the Bethesda Fountain. Neither picture is my favorite.
My favorite picture was taken less than a minute after the sparkly Manhattan picture at the top of this post when I turned the camera toward my companions. The resulting picture is terrible and I love everything about it.
When Sarah left high school a semester early and moved to a city she had never visited, I was terrified. She was a 17-year-old from a small town in a large city with no family nearby. Unsurprisingly, Sarah thrived in her new environment. I don’t know if her school and the city create strong, independent young adults or if the school and city attract teens on the verge of dynamic adulthood. I do know that Sarah has surrounded herself with absolutely wonderful people. They have formed their own family. A family that makes my diminishing role in her life, comforting.
Me: “What did I just say to you?”
Evan: “Stop running. Blah-blah. Quit throwing stuff. Blah-blah. Sit down.”
Me: “Thank you for listening. Now, sit down.”
1. You may not have a bunny.
2. Don’t eat the food that is spilled on the ground.
3. Crying will not change the height requirement for rides.
4. If you insist on running ahead, you are going to spend a lot of time waiting for the old people to catch up with you.
5. You still can’t have a bunny.
“Good morning ma’am. We’re here to tell you about…”
“It’s pouring rain out here. Where’s your umbrella?”
“We’re fine. We’re from the…”
“May I give you an umbrella please?”
“No thank you. We just wanted to talk about the book…”
“I’m sorry, but I need you to get out of the rain.”
“Uh, okay. Would you like a pamphlet?”
“Not unless you’ll take an umbrella.”