Monday, February 24, 2014

Cause and effect

One of my children, who shall remain nameless (even if you guess), came bounding through the doorway from the kitchen into the playroom the other day.

There was a trip and a fall, and the clunk of the metal Wall-E lunchbox someone had left in the floor.

"I HATE LUNCHBOXES!" nameless child exclaimed to no one in particular. 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

We Make a Scene Simply By Showing Up

As a general rule, I try not to take my homeschooled large-family brood out in public during the school day. We're not doing anything illegal here, but it's just best not to draw attention to yourselves if you don't have to, ya know?

But, Alan had labs one morning this week and we were two days past the point of needing to buy groceries, we went. We paraded in the front doors of WalMart and began loading a cart with small children. The greeter, after a friendly greeting, of course, bugged her eyes a little and asked "Is school out!?" 

I smiled and laughed, "No, we homeschool."

Meanwhile, she was counting heads. "How many you got!? 5??" 

"Yes ma'am. I guess you don't see a crowd like us come in too often, huh?"

To which she waved a hand at me and answered, "Oh, I had 6."

Alrighty, then.

A little more banter with our new greeter friend (including the usual "just one girl!?"), and we were off to buy some groceries. We didn't get very far before we were drawing more attention.

"Are these all yours?" an almost-but-not-quite-elderly lady asked.

"Yes ma'am!" I answered with a smile.

She tickled Daniel's foot dangling from the seat of the cart and said, "I could just take one of these boys home with me!" 

As she walked away I made an obligatory remark about having plenty of boys, to which she replied, "Mine are gone."

"Oh?" I asked, expecting a comment about them growing up and leaving her.

"Yeah, they died."

With that she disappeared around the end of the bakery display leaving me mumbling my stammered sympathies.

I'm proud of our 5 kids, but mercy it's simpler shopping alone. Not only do you not have to answer nearly as many questions, you also don't end up getting talked into buying clearance breakfast pastries!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sticky Situation

By the time bedtime rolls around, I am done. Done.

We make it through pjs and prayers, and hugs and kisses, and 9 times out of 10 I'll tuck everyone in nice and snug.  But after that I consider myself off duty. Any child reappearing after the last 'goodnights' are said most likely isn't going to get much.

Even so, some child or another is often popping back in.  One night last week it was Alan.

"There is something gooey under my pillow."

Greg and I looked at him blankly. "Get a towel from the cabinet and put it under your pillow and we'll take care of it tomorrow," his daddy instructed him.

Alan went off obediently, only to show back up several minutes later.

He held out a small red plastic cup, one of the ones the kids use for orange juice at breakfast. "I just found another clue to the gooey mystery", he announced, stretching out the cup for me to see.

It had - at some point in recent history - been half-full of school glue. Now just the white wet gooey residue remained.

Oh dear.

This would be a good time to mention that Alan and Tyler share the full-sized bottom bunk.

The next morning involved a questioning of the primary suspect: the boy who naps (and sometimes just hangs out - ahem) in that bed in the afternoons; a stripping of the sheets - that were now stuck to the mattress pad in several dry crusty spots; and a search of the area for more evidence or damage. None was immediately found.

Later in the afternoon, Alan triumphantly produced the tell-tale orange screw-top lid of a glue bottle. I returned to the scene for a more thorough search and found a rather large glue puddle waaaaay back in the back corner, on Alan's side, thankfully mostly contained on an extra board stored under the bed.

We finally obtained a confession from the non-napping 4 year old napper. At the time of this writing, the (I assume) empty bottle is still missing.

Glue projects are on hold until further notice.