Tuesday, March 26, 2013


(...continued from "Snow Day")
We had a two hour delay this morning, and the boys took this small window of time as another opportunity to test things out on the island.  As we waited for the bus, Aidan asked, "What if school gets cancelled instead of just a delay?"  I managed to unclench my teeth to respond: "Then I would drive you to school and you would go anyway."  He started at me, trying to discern if I was making a joke.  I stared back.  Mercifully, the bus pulled up....

Things didn't go much better this afternoon.  But then the Officer appeared before the boys, and she laid down the law, once and for all.

One of the natives heard the law very clearly, and decided to take matters into his own hands.  Later this evening, Leo independently, laboriously, and painstakingly drafted the following chart:  

For those of you who may struggle with deciphering the works of a within-word pattern speller:

Bad Thin[g]...  Chor[e]

1.  Call people names?....take out the trash
2.  Punch people?...sweep the kitchen
3. Not doing what you're supposed to?...wipe windows
4. Opening [bedroom] door [for the purpose of annoying brother(s)]?...pick up 12 toys.
5.  Kick people?...fold laundry.
6. Smacking people?...time out.
7. Pulling hair?...go to your room.
8. Being sneaky?...no screen for a week.
9. Not listening?...go to your room for 10 minutes.
10.  Going outside with no permission?.....

What? What happens when you go outside without permission??  Maybe Leo is more familiar with Lord of the Flies than one might expect.... thankfully, the nearest deserted tropical island is thousands of miles away, and civilization may just be restored with this one simple list.  Oh yeah - do you want to stop by for a visit?  By Monday, my house is looking to be immaculate...not to mention really quiet...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Day

Another "snow" day today.  I believe this is the 10th or 11th weather-related cancellation this school year, many of which lacked substantive snow.  Last night was a decent 4 inches or so, and merited the cancellation, and yet these days always manage to careen me off my course, even when I have at least a few hours' knowledge of the impending disruption to Routine and Schedule.

Apparently, these days careen my children off course, too, hence the reason I've officially dubbed these the Lord of the Flies Days.

I suppose I should clarify a few things from the very start:
1. No blood was shed, nothing was hunted, and despite the current appearance of the house, no wild sows were spotted streaking through the family room.
2.  I have a certain propensity toward deliciously dark tales: Lord of the Flies; most of Ray Bradbury's stories (especially The Veldt); and Poe's Telltale Heart are among my favorites...
3.... thus, keeping in mind my love of dark literature, this metaphor can only be carried so far.

But still.  It felt like Lord of the Flies around here, especially the part about abandoning responsibility, big kids teaming up against little kids, stoking the "fire" of annoying and button-punching behavior, and a  keen obsession with seeing just what decibel this house is able to handle, as well as a tacit competition to see how quickly one might get on another's nerves.... all of which led, predictably, to the part about Lack of Adult Supervision.

Because eventually, I give up.  Worn down, exhausted, out of patience, frazzled and frayed and fully unrecognizable, actually, for a few hours: those ugly hours, the witching hours, the arsenic hours - when you don't know whether to give it or take it. 

So the part that gets me every time?  is that in the book, the officer shows up to rescue the kids.  Ralph and the others are filled with remorse, horror, and utter shock at what they have done.  They sob their relief at being safe and cared for; they sob the cries of boys who desperately want forgiveness....

(to be continued....)  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Good things happen in threes (!!Aidan! Leo! Pax!), ergo, milestones happen in threes.  Right?

Early in March, we celebrated some pretty amazing stuff around here:
Milestone Number 1:  Leo lost his first tooth. He *finally* got to use the adorable tooth pillow that my mother lovingly made for him, months and months and months ago.  I didn't post a toothless grin, however, because a) I find those new gaping/bloody holes quite revolting; and b) his permanent teeth have already grown in behind the baby teeth, hence, there's no gap to be seen. 

Milestone Number 2:  I, Anne Carter, pulled out Leo's first tooth.  This is monumental news, perhaps even bigger news than the First Lost Tooth (hey, he is the second child, after all.)  I get squeamish and hurley and vaguely vasovagal about the whole loose-tooth thing, but I was so fed up with seeing it dangle in front of his permanent teeth that I just reached in and yanked that sucker out.  It was oddly gratifying, being able to satisfy that loose-tooth feeling.  The same loose tooth feeling as salmon between your teeth, and the wishy-washy, wiggly tooth way the dark blue upholstery always felt in my grandmother's Buick LeSabre. 

Milestone Number 3:  Having conquered a huge squeamish thing without fainting or having to quickly down a glass of sugary apple juice, I decided to set my sights high.  After 6 years of living as a "recovering vegetarian," I, Anne Carter, pulled out the gizzards and innards of a raw roasting chicken, cleaned and seasoned that slippery bird, and popped her in the oven to roast, all by my very self.  Granted, I used forks and foreceps tongs, and possibly even required coaching/distraction by phoning a friend during the procedure, but the point is that I did it.

It's all about the little things, right?