Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Breaking of Bathroom Use Policies

“Why don’t you take a little rest when you go up to change?” suggested CrazyMom. I had just gotten home from work last night (Friday) and it had been a long week for me. CrazyMom knew I was dog-tired and, as always, was looking out for me.

So I did.

Well, the rejuvenated me then stayed up too late. But I knew that I would be able to sleep in on Saturday morning because the first of three soccer games was not until 9am (sleeping in is a relative term, I know).

Because of our big family we have certain fair use policies about when and under what circumstances certain bathrooms can be used. I would like to note that these policies state that if a child has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, our master bath is off limits.

But rules are meant to be broken.

When K.D. needed to make a run to the bathroom this morning at 6am, the kids’ bathroom was already in use – yes, we have lines for the bathroom even before it is time for the kids to get up. He hung out as long as he could, but then the situation went to code red. According to policy, the next bathroom that should be investigated for availability is down on the main floor, but since the situation was now critical, K.D. burst into our room. So much for sleeping in.

While I am excited about our upcoming move to Kenya to teach, it is moments like these that make me think about some of the lifestyle changes that lie ahead for us – like moving from a home with four toilets to a home with two. Maybe we should also sign up to be dorm parents. Surely there would be more bathrooms in a dorm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Winning First Dibs on the Leftovers

Ah, the leftover meal. We pull everything out of the fridge, line it up on the counter, fix plates like short order cooks, and then pop them one-by-one into the microwave. There are two main issues that we face in this whole process. The first is that if you heat a plate in the microwave for 90 seconds, then by the time the 7th kid’s plate goes into the microwave, so much time has already passed that the first kid is already back in line waiting to have another plate of food warmed. This can make for an experience worse then cooking.

But that is not the real issue. The real issue is that the kids who are first through the line take all of the good stuff much to the dismay of the kids later in the line. So CrazyMom solved the problem tonight by having a drawing. Yes, the kids drew numbers from a hat to see the order in which they would go through the line.

And the winner was . . . Buddy. Here is Buddy with a plate full of the best of the leftovers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An “Adequate” Education

“I believe that [Miss Bookworm’s] educational experience will be adequate to meet State Standards,” states the recent letter we received from the Executive Director of Business and School Improvement for our local school district. As a family that home schools some of our children, we are required to notify our local school district each year of our decision to home school and to provide a curriculum outline. Then we always get a response that the education we are providing our children at home is “adequate.” It makes me chuckle a little since I suspect that they think that no homeschooling family in our district can provide an education that is better than adequate. I am not complaining, however. I am pleased that we have the right to educate each of our children in the way that we think is best for them – including picking a writing teacher from Canada, having a heavy dose of two-column proofs in Geometry, and taking a literature-based approach in history. We love homeschooling - even if it is only seen as “adequate” by the state.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lame Tooth Fairy

"Hey, Anna! Did the Tooth Fairy come last night?" Buddy just asked Anna at breakfast.

"No," replied Anna. "The Tooth Fairy sometimes takes two days to come."

Yes, Anna lost a tooth last night. Yes, she put it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy. Yes, we forgot about it.

Maybe the Tooth Fairy will be able to remember tonight. But if the Tooth Fairy forgets again, at least Anna understands how things work in large families.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yes, We’ve Got Problems

When I sat down in church today, a 5-year-old girl I knew was sitting in the pew in front of me.

“Hi! How are you?” I asked.

“I fell on my scooter yesterday and I got these,” she replied pointing to her legs that were stretched out in front of her on the pew. Visible through her white tights were two band aids on her left knee and one on her right.

“Band aids! Oh, my! Were you bleeding?”

“Yes, and I also got this,” she said as she held out her arm to show another scratch on her wrist like it was a trophy.

“That looks pretty bad. Was your mom watching you when you were scootering?” I asked. Of course, I already knew the answer. I know how large families work and she was the youngest of four kids.

“No, she wasn’t there!”

“How about your dad? Was he watching you while you were scootering?” I was focusing hard to keep a straight face.

“No, he wasn’t there either.”

“So neither of your parents was there?”

“No, and I had to go inside to get them and it hurt because I had to bend my knees.”

“Well, let me tell you something. We had a scootering accident at our house yesterday and there were not any parents outside either,” I confided.

“Really!” she said in a totally shocked voice. “You guys have the same problems we do?”

I nearly lost it. “Yes, we have the same problems you do.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Little Foot Turns Nine

Turning nine is a big deal in our house. Since we have so many kids, we usually don't invite friends over for birthday parties. After all, every day is a party in our crazy home. But the planets happened to align the year Miss Bookworm turned nine and we had a friend party for her. Since then it has become a tradition that every child who turns nine gets a friend birthday party. We had a total of 17 nine year old boys at our house recently to celebrate and it was a fun (and energetic) time.

CrazyMom had the opportunity to make an ice cream cake for Little Foot for a celebration with grandparents, cupcakes for a classroom celebration, and then the cake for the official birthday party. It certainly takes a lot of cooking for all of that celebrating.