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
  • 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

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