Last Sunday was not a banner day here at the Ranch. Saturday was full of sun and mud, and while messy, kept our 2 little squirts out of mischief. But at 3 pm, the rain began, and didn’t stop until Monday morning. Trouble ensued. Which means I’m in the process of suing the girls for damage. After a lengthy lecture regarding the pen marks on the nightstand, the marker on the wall, and the M&Ms ground into the carpet (under the bed no less), I realized the early school years come with its very own set of lessons, very different from the lessons I learned when they were toddlers. Kids are certainly NOT little adults. Some days I’m not sure they are little humans. After Sunday’s tally of mass destruction, I began to wonder if Greg had inadvertently exposed them to sunlight, gotten them wet, and fed them after midnight.
(1) Band Aid wrappers come with some kind of trash-can repelling substance, which must be coated with a “stay in the drawer” or “stick to the floor” chemical. Paper cuts will require no fewer than 10 band-aids. It’s in the manual.
(2) Looking backwards 7 years, I now know I should have registered for a Dust-Vac. Those onesies sure looked cute before the crumb tsunami came. Mine broke last week and my initial reaction was to call 911.
(3) Patience will run out 10 minutes before bedtime. Never after bedtime, as bedtime serves as absolute zero on the patience scale. Patience may run out well before the 10 minute mark, in which case the kids should be shuffled to bed sans bath, with dirty hair. It’s just safer this way.
(4) Never say, “this is the grossest thing I’ve done/seen/smelled” because the Fates will hear you. Every time I say it, I wake up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare that the school nurse calls to tell me Sara has hemorrhoids and the stomach flu, and Kelly has pin worms and lice. Come and pick them up immediately, and while you’re at it, please consider homeschooling.
(5) If kids are allowed to enter the shower unattended, they will keep their socks on. This will occur with 100% certainty. Death, taxes, socks in the shower.
(6) The most common word whispered during lunchtime games of “Telephone” is BOOTY. This Intel is earned through the blood, sweat, and tears incurred during lunchroom duty. Oh I know, you’re thinking, “I’ve got this math helper thing down. I’m ready to spread my volunteering wings. Hey! Lunchroom duty looks like a nice transition!” Messier than the Zoo trip, more emotionally exhausting than the Playground (although playground duty comes with the added bonus of moments of sheer terror)…you try your hand in the lunchroom. Rookie move Momma. You’ve been warned.
(7) “Poopyhead” is a noun, a verb, an adjective, possibly a gerund, a curse word, and a compliment. Bathroom words are the most versatile words in the English Language. I know, I know. I was shocked I had forgotten this indispensable part of childhood too. Shame on me after earning the “I survived lunch sitting next to Derek and Andy” badge in Elementary School. YES guys. 30 years later and I AM STILL GRODY’ED OUT TO THE MAX.
(8) Cheeks only get scratched or bruised the week of School or Family pictures. The bigger the injury, the more you paid for the sitting fee. It’s a linear relationship…let me get to work on a graph for you…
(9) If you ask kids to clear the breakfast dishes, they will lay the banana peel in the leftover milk inside the cereal bowl. Every.single.time. Telling them to take the dripping banana peel to the trash can will not curb this habit, but it will make a mess on your floor and trash can. In a similar state of perpetual filth, just record this phrase and play it on a feedback loop in your car: My minivan is not your trashcan. My minivan is not your trashcan. MY MINIVAN IS NOT….
(10) In the backpack-coat-lunchbox trifecta, one will be left behind if a reminder is not issued. 2 out of 3 will make it to the car, but if a full scan is not completed with jet plane embarkment precision, something will get left behind. However, it’s possible in the melee, a cat got in the car, which can be worn as a coat, used as a prop during a report on vertebrates, or eaten for lunch. What? Oh like you’d risk the tardy…