Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Five Additional Questions for My Kids

Every couple of weeks, the list of my children's absurd behaviors starts to pile up, and I have to make a list of questions for them. Here is the latest.

Is there a reason that you can’t just go in the house?
It’s like herding turtles to get my kids from the house to the car in less than 30 minutes (especially now that jackets and boots and mittens and hats are involved). But why, for the love of Maude, does it take forever to get from the car to the house? It’s really easy.

Here’s how it should it work, step-by-step:
  1. Wait for the car to stop and then you unbuckle yourself. Do not unbuckle the baby without telling me or she will escape and feed spare change into the cd player again.
  2. Collect your things (gloves, backpack, etc). If you’ve done something asinine like take off your shoes and socks for the three-minute ride home from school, please put them back on.
  3. Exit the vehicle in an orderly fashion based on where you are sitting because contrary to what I've heard you shout at each other, the first child out of the car has not actually defeated anyone.
  4. Walk calmly to the front door, taking no detours to climb trees, jump in puddles, piles of leaves or snow drifts, as if determined to get as wet and dirty as possible and then track it all into my house.
  5. Also refrain from having a frantic race with your siblings while also shoving them and screaming.
  6. Wait patiently for the ten seconds it will take for me to unlock the front door, i.e., without kicking it or throwing your weight against it as if you were a DEA agent and our family home was a meth lab.
  7. Please for the love of all that’s holy can you close the car door? Because Mommy will get snappish if she has to do it again as she is wrestling with a toddler while trying to carry six bags and find her keys. Thank you. 
Why do you feel the need to unpack your backpack in random and inappropriate places?
Almost every day, my school-age children get in the very back of the van and unpack their backpacks like they are looking for Mr. Wonka's Golden Ticket. Things like homework, half-eaten snacks, notes from the teacher, and reminders that projects are due TOMORROW get scattered and lost and never, ever seem to find their way back into the backpacks where I can find them and take appropriate action. At least once a night, usually when it’s dark and cold, someone will say: “Mooooomm… I need to read that book for tomorrow. And I can’t find it and I think it’s in the back of the van.”

Maude forbid that these school priority items would actually find their way into the house after school.  I was once informed that the project folder required for the next day was probably in the bathroom at church. Whuck? We were at church for maybe four minutes. Why did you bring your backpack into the building with you and why did you unpack it in the bathroom?

What makes it even more bizarre is that once the backpack makes it into the house and is placed in it’s appropriate spot, it becomes completely invisible and its contents (that were so important two minutes ago in the back seat) may as well not exist. Homework? Library book? Imaginary Golden Ticket? Note from the teacher? Huh? Can I watch Spongebob?

What is up with your scheduling of waking?
My five year old still can’t tell when it’s a school day and when it’s a stay home day. Or so he claims. Because all three kids need to be pried from their beds with crowbars on school days, and it inevitably results in a frenzy of lateness and frenetic stupidity that could be totally avoided if they could just be persuaded to wake up on time. Yet on Saturdays, or their entire Winter Vacation, or any day that they do not have school – they are up and at ‘em at the ass crack of dawn. WHY? They clearly have some sort of internal school/no school alert system that results in me never getting to sleep past 7:15 am.

At what point are you going to learn to differentiate between clothes that are clean and clothes that are dirty?
Every night, I ask my kids to please put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket and their clean clothes in their dressers. And yet every day, I find clean clothes that somehow landed on their floors for 2 seconds in the dirty laundry and filthy, dirty socks, shirts and underpants placed carefully back in their dresser drawers as if a magical angel/elf haberdasher had folded them with love and care. This bizarro laundry world is not due to a lack of instruction. I have told my little terror suspects ad naseum that if an item of clothing smells, has crud on it, has been worn more than twice, or is otherwise funky, it must be washed. And yet several times per week, my children emerge from their bedrooms dressed for school wearing clothes that smell like a cab at 2 AM and would be rejected if I tried to donate them. It’s like they want their teachers to give them The Righteous Sniff.

It’s not difficult. If you haven’t worn it since the last time it came out of the dryer, then it’s clean. When it smells really bad and is caked in mud (or anything really) – then it's dirty. If you lick it and it tastes like food (or anything other than clothes) - it's dirty.  If it has feces on it (please skip smell and taste tests immediately) – dirty.

Will there come a time when you realize that there are certain things you should not do while taking a schmidt?
Here are a couple of examples of things you should not do while pooping:
  • Eat a sandwich
  • Read a library book while you are also wiping yourself
  • Scream at your brother that you need privacy while insisting that the door must remain open
  • Attempt to karate kick the shampoo bottle on the edge of the tub
  • Finally remember to tell me that the permission form for the field trip is due tomorrow and expect me to hear you
  • Practice your curveball
  • Say “MOMMM! YOU’VE GOTTA SEE THIS.”
  • See how hard you can pull the shower curtain before it rips or crashes down on your head along with the bar that it was hanging it from
  • Ask anyone in this family to keep you company while you “squeeze it out” because you’re lonely or scared
Thank you. Those are all the questions I have for you, for now.

xo, Lydia

PS: If you enjoyed these five questions for my kids – here are the links to the others.

Five for my Husband

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

30 comments:

  1. Okay, so now, you're just freaking me out. You have to have a secret camera in my house AND my van.

    Oh, and if you get the answer for the "why do they have to take off their shoes on the three-minute ride home from school" issue? Please clue me in. There has to be a reason. I just know it.

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  2. I love all of your posts, but this one especially had me laughing. Spot on.

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  3. lol... loved it and the previous ones. So true, so true. This inspired my own five questions

    http://blogunta.blogspot.com/2011/01/five-questions.html

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  4. does it matter what age the child is doing these specific things? Cuz I swear my 2.5 year old has done half of this stuff.

    oh and lets not forget the super funny activity that is also known as running ahead of mommy and locking her out of the apt. Nothing is more exciting that yelling at my front door for my son to UNLOCK THE DOOR!

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  5. i have tears running down my face from laughing so hard......... my boyfriend would defiantely not aprecaite this post at all but i love it.... thanks

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  6. You are MY shelf elf aren't you????

    This is my life, its nice to know I am not walking it alone

    Deb D

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  7. My daughter was finally broken of taking her shoes and socks off in the car after she had to walk into the house, through snow, without them on. I simply refused to carry her into the house because she was barefoot.

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  8. love.... plus

    how at 8 do children STILL try to work out a deal on how much dinner, what half, bargain style bonanza is taking place at the dinner table every night.... I am a lawyer really not a full stock cook.

    trina
    www.mommeville.com

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  9. Lydia, I laughed out loud at the mental image of a child trying to karate kick a shampoo bottle while on the can. I know I saw my brother attempt this as a child with mixed results...gross.

    Thanks for the morning giggle!

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  10. Holy Carp! There is not a single comment above that I do not go through everyday!
    I'm with Buffi...if you figure out the whole removal of shoes and socks thing...please let us know!

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  11. Gloves and mittens. And lunchboxes. How do they get lost so often? And how did my preschoolers mittens end up in the lost and found box at the elementary school? They were not borrowed by her sisters. Mystifying!

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  12. Oh it's like herding snakes with @#$%^&* backpacks!

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  13. At 9 and 12, if my older monsters leave their crap in the car, they have to go get it themselves. Rain or snow or sleet or hail. It has solved that problem. And led to several more, actually. That's why they are called monsters.

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  14. It's a conspiracy, I knew it. Mine do the exact same things.

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  15. OMG!!! Laughed til I cried!!!

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  16. This is my house.
    And yesterday, just for a little icing on the cake (oops, I forgot, we are not talking about icing or cake these days) he came home with two coats but no DS case (with a $30 game inside) or lunchbox.

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  17. Yup, this is my house too. Especially the getting in the front door one...i swear I lose minutes off of my life each time we have to make the transition from the parked car to the inside of the house. It takes FOREVER and makes me crazy. Very funny!

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  18. We just bought a car after being in a minivan with automatic sliding doors for my 5-year-old son's entire life. Now he doesn't know how to get out. I spent 4 minutes (yes, I looked at the clock!) trying to get him to pull the handle but push the door. Now we'll really never get in the house.

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  19. You live in my house. No doubt about it. Sigh.

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  20. I wonder about the first one every damn day? Why my son won't get out of the car is beyond me... oh and #3, I'm with you there as well. Sheesh!

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  21. O.M.G. you are looking in our windows too!! We instituted the "you cannot take off your shoes unless we are in the car for more than 30 minutes" rule to great success!!! Of course every trip had to be analyzed for duration..... :)
    Oh and from experience I can tell you that it will get better as they get older, but what I found this year was on separate Christmas shopping trips with my mother and mother-in-law is that the need to herd comes back - ahhhh - going thru the mall followed the pattern in your herding logo, plus some criss-crossing - at least they could put their own coats on.... for now!!

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  22. I think I might have a solution to #2. I was so sick of stuff rolling under the seat (where I would never find it) that I bought a Rubbermaid tote. It sits in my front seat. All of the child paraphernalia goes in it, and the lid goes on as to "buckle" it in once we're ready to go. Should someone need to sit in the front seat, it goes in the trunk. All lunchboxes, bags, etc. go in the bucket before they enter the vehicle, and they are retrieved when we return home or to the destination that they are needed. I keep some plastic grocery bags in there for trash. It makes life so much easier, and now I don't have to stop at the 7-11 around the corner from the car wash to clean out my car before we go through. Remove tote, remove kids, get car washed.

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  23. Freaking. Awesome. I <3 you so!

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  24. we've solved the random backpack unpacking problem. Well, it helps that the drive home from school lasts only 4 minutes. Once we get home, the backpack immediately goes on the hanger by the front door. Mommy, and ONLY Mommy, gets to open and unpack the contents. It's the only way I'll ever see 1/2 the stuff my son brings home.

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  25. Are you sure our children aren't related?? Oh, and taking shoes and socks off? Sure, mine do that as well, but my son can top that. I was visiting someone at the hospital with my son who was probably about two at the time. He was scared to come into the room, so he was loitering in the hallway and patient's daughter was offering him chips. Took my eyes off of him for a nanosecond, and he was GONE. Looked frantically up and down the halls, finally called security....he was located at last at the whole other end of the hospital. I go rushing down there and find a nurse hovering outside of a bathroom door. She said, "There's a little blond boy in there and he's...um....naked." She was probably scared I was going to accuse her of being a pedo-bear, but I just laughed. J did George Costanza one better.....why take off your shirt when you schmidt when you can totally strip down? In a public bathroom? (And no, this wasn't the only time he did this!)

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  26. My friend told me about your blog and you woman are talented. I needed a good laugh today. Thank you!!! and it sounds just like my boys. LOL!!!

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  27. if y'all are gonna continue to spend so much time @ my house, feel free to pick up a little.

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  28. Lawd, I'm so gonna get fired for reading you ladies at work! Schmidt!!! LMFAOOOOOOOO The bathroom rules are being printed & posted, thanks!

    Signed,

    A sad momma of three boys who all share one bathroom. SIGGGHHHSSSS

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  29. I laughed the whole time I was reading this. And I don't even have school-aged children yet. Hilarious!

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  30. I tried to teach my youngest son (5 at the time?) not to take his shoes off by making him walk barefoot into the house. Instead he stood in the parking lot screaming "MY FEET ARE ON FIRE!!! DEY'RE BURNING!!" I pointed out there was grass 2 steps away and he insisted he couldn't reach it. Judge me if you want, but I walked away to the mailbox and pretended he wasn't mine (like my neighbors didn't know who the screamy kid belonged to. riiiight.)

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