All a guy needs: the remote control, a greasy snack, and no clothes to constrict ya while watching ESPN.
We started school yesterday, and if we could just graduate tomorrow I'm sure we'd end on a high note. Our typical school year starts out nicely scheduled (actually I prefer the word 'routine' as opposed to something that plans out every single minute of my day without room for error/parenthood) and when that routine stops working well, usually about 6 weeks down the road, we toss it out the window and fly by the seat of our pants for a bit, only to work out yet another routine to get us through the holidays. This is our first year trying to school with a toddler literally climbing the walls around us, and thank goodness the girls are very independent learners and understand when Mommy has to search the house for Sir Poops-A-Lot, who by the by, has learned to climb up on the changing table and perch precariously there by his toenails while he smears cocoa butter all over the curtains (be thankful it's cocoa butter and not what he was smearing yesterday). When he is not doing that he is stuffing treasures between the fire place and the wall, into the insulation where, you guessed it, we recently found "Snow Dogs." He is also capable of opening each of our three gates in the back yard and since he is OCD enough to shut nicely every door behind him, it's difficult to deduce which way the little guy went. So now two are bungee corded shut and one is tied with the dog leash, all to his frustration. His first sentence was, 'Mama rocks!' That's right, kid, and that's how we roll.
In addition to the kid's school work, we have instituted a new method of punishment 'round here: The Dreaded And Hideous Chore Jar. This is full of little folded up pieces of paper with all the yucky chores printed on them. After not doing something they know they are supposed to do they get the wonderful opportunity of drawing from this jar. In the past two days alone, Anna has washed, dried, folded and put away one load of laundry, dusted everything in the house that is made of wood and cleaned every baseboard. Cora has scrubbed the same toilet from top to bottom twice. Oddly enough, they're finding it fun. Each time they draw something I cross my fingers and toes and chant, 'get the Clean Up Dog Poop one!' But no luck so far. The jar is atop the fridge in case they get sneaky ideas of marking the easy ones. Please don't think I am being too hard on them, they get these chores for not doing the basics of Being a Kid 101. We're talking things like taking a shower and using up all the hot water but somehow "forgetting" or "not having enough time" to use any soap/shampoo. Or for having to be told 16 times a day for 9 years to brush your teeth. Or, and this is my personal favorite and source of all Mommy turning the Incredible Hulk in 3 seconds flat, putting your shoes in the vague vicinity of the shoe basket (which we have three of) and not actually in the shoe basket (which we have three of).
Still unsure of where we will be living come new year, so if any of you have basements and would like some company...you know where to find us. We will keep the cocoa butter smearing in a contained area and promise not to misplace any of your movie collection. Or spit too often in your toilet, which is another of Baron Twerpy Von Twerpenstein's little past times. Especially if he's just consumed ridiculous amounts of blueberries...although it does turn your commode a lovely shade of violet.