I was reading the local newspaper last night that the school board is considering canceling all future perfect attendance awards. I blame H1N1. It's been pretty bad here and everyone's a little freaked out about it. People argue that perfect attendance awards encourage students to come to school sick. Some people argue that parents push their kids to have perfect attendance because the parents want them to have the award. (I think it's more likely that parents push their kids to go to school because it takes care of a daycare problem.) In any case, I started thinking about my oldest two, Eva and Ethan, who had perfect attendance last year and are perfect so far this year. How come they haven't been sick? When half the kids in their classes are out with sickness how come they are still there? One good friend suggested it must be because my house is so clean and I laughed. Seriously. That can't be the reason.
Then I took a second look at my house and things started making sense. The kitchen, for example. It's always cluttered with lots of dishes, especially cups. Because they get a new cup every time they need a drink. They also use lots of silverware. At our house, sometimes it takes 3 spoons to finish one bowl of oatmeal. And I know we go through lots of fresh towels because 2 days after I finish the laundry I'm out of dish towels and rags. Then there's the bathroom. No one flushes the toilet, thereby eliminating the possibility of sharing germs on the toilet handle. Toothbrushes (if used) are left all over the counter, not touching each other, and having plenty of room to air out. I've also noticed that the older they get the more space we use up during scripture reading. Everyone has a whole corner of the room to themselves, so they won't accidentally be touched by anyone. On one hand, I'm grateful that Ivy was the ONLY one to have a fever and miss four days of school this week and on the other hand I think they should CLEAN UP after themselves and just be sick already!
A few weeks ago we celebrated Ethan's birthday. We're so proud of him and he is excited to be a Webelos!!! I always make a special cake for the kids and Ethan wanted a Patrick (sponge bob) cake. So Friday night I put a cake in the oven and when I went to take it out it had fallen. This has never happened to us in this house before and Ethan, Ivy, and Nathan asked what was wrong with it. I told them that it had fallen and they asked how that happens and so I told them that people running and jumping and bouncing around the kitchen would do it. There was immediate feedback: Ivy--"It wasn't me! I was just sitting at the table! I did not make the cake fall....." Nathan--"It wasn't me!" Ethan, looking down at the floor--"Sorry, mom. Are you going to bake another one?" I was so proud of him for being responsible that the next morning when I woke up I decided to bake another one. He realized what was happening and then "hung around" the whole time it was baking. Every time someone would come in the living room, kitchen, or even the house he would say "There's a cake in the oven so no jumping around! We don't want the cake to fall!" And it didn't! I've noticed that if I want them to tread lightly and not rough house then I just have to put something in the oven and I get immediate results!
The other week Nathan and Ivy were running errands with Vince and I and Ivy was driving us nuts. She was being such a tattletale! One thing after another. Over and over. I was trying to be very patient and I kept saying to Ivy, "What's YOUR name?" She would sigh, say "Ivy." and then there would be peace for the next 5-10 minutes. Eventually she tried a new tactic: "Mom, Nathan and Ethan came in my room this morning and they were looking out my window and they wouldn't leave,... And my name is Ivy. I knew you were going to ask!"
Our ward is moving to a new building. A newer bigger building and the kids are really excited. Sunday they were asking, "Is the gym bigger? Is the chapel bigger? Are there more classrooms? Are they bigger?..." We kept saying Yes. Nathan was BURSTING to say something so we hushed everyone and listened to him ask "Is the bathroom bigger?" We chuckled and said yes. He gave a very enthusiastic fist pump!
In the past few weeks we have also learned from various children of ours (don't ask how we know these things or who taught us!):
--How mattresses are put together
--Storing things in the walls is not a great idea
--Mom and Dad are grouchy about holes in the wall--particularly big ones you might want to store things in!
--You can use the sun and a stupid dollar store magnifying glass to burn holes in paper, sticks, and mailboxes! (The mailbox thing was shocking to us too) We no longer own a magnifying glass of any kind!
--How to make pie crust--this is a money saver and I needed something positive!
--Mom gets grouchy about holes dug in the front flower beds and dirt all over the porch
--When you empty the trash you should make sure everything gets IN the can and if it doesn't you should CLEAN it up right away!
--If you carve a pumpkin when Mom says no she will find out anyway because the pumpkin will rot
My blood pressure is still recovering from a sudden dip this morning from when Ethan prayed that Eva would have no trouble babysitting tonight and Mom and Dad would have a great time at the temple. It made me feel so much better about everything else that I felt like blogging!!!