Friday, November 15, 2013

Crime & Punishment: Putting my Mad Detective Skills to Work

It can be hard to determine, at times, which child is responsible for those undesirable behaviors that go unwitnessed. 

For instance, the simple question "Whose banana peel is this on the kitchen counter?" can elicit three very different responses.

Child #1: "Not mine."

Child #2: " I don't think I've been in the kitchen since last Thursday."

Child #3: "What are bananas?"

Or the blame is placed on someone else entirely, who isn't even present to defend themselves.

"I think it might be Daddy's."

To which I'll challenge, "Hmmm... well, I doubt Daddy would have flown all the way home from Colorado just to sneak in and eat a banana without at least saying 'hello'". 

Sometimes I'll go all King Solomon on them and threaten to do the unthinkable, like take away everyone's iPod for the week, in hopes the real perpetrator comes forward. 

Other times I guilt them into confessing by saying, "God knows whose banana peel it is..."

Or I'll just declare an outright banana ban henceforward, citing abused banana eating privileges as the cause. 

Really anything could be substituted for the banana in these scenarios. 

Who didn't hang their towel up?

Who knocked over the dogs' water bowl? 

Who used all the baking soda making this lovely volcano? 

It makes my job so much easier when the case is open and shut. As it was today, when I discovered someone drew (no pun intended, although clever nonetheless) on the bookshelf. 

And although I'm quite impressed with how well her cursive is coming along, she's still going to be handed a Mr. Clean magic eraser when she walks in the door and be instructed to "Start scrubbing."


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Vroom Vroom

Of all his Ninja moves, this one is definitely my favorite. 

I'm elated by Tate's newly discovered love for vacuuming. However, it has peaked my curiosity as well. 

I was in desperate need of help getting the house together on Halloween. So I put the kids to work after school, mainly tackling their rooms. I figured their anticipation for the evening's festivities would keep their grumbling to a minimum. I was correct. Somewhat. 

The girls share a room, and tossing them in there together to clean usually begins an all out civil war. I've tried sending them in one at a time and assigning each girl certain areas to clean, but that just results in them accusing the other of tossing items out of their designated area instead of actually cleaning. 

Since we were short on time, and I was short on patience, I opted for the civil war route and let them battle it out that day. 

As I was trying to turn hot dogs into little mummies by furiously wrapping them in strips of biscuit dough, I realized the living room still needed to be vacuumed. 

Not wanting to go near the commotion ensuing upstairs to enlist their aid, I looked around for another suitable helper. David wasn't home from work yet, and that's when I spotted my little red dragon ninja. 

"Tate, can you please vacuum the living room for me?" I asked tentatively.

"Sure!" - was his surprising response. 

I'm betting the vacuum weighs about as much as he does, but he didn't complain at all and even offered to do the upstairs. Until he saw my next project was squeezing gelatin "worms" out of straws. At which point, he quickly delegated the upstairs vacuuming to the girls. 

Who can really blame him? What little boy isn't ecstatic to play with worms, real or jello filled?

When I surveyed his work in the living room, I was impressed. He'd done a great job.  And he was so proud of himself. 

He was fast, efficient, and his technique left an interesting circular pattern in the carpet. 

This morning I asked him if he'd like to do it again. He jumped at the chance. And I figured out why he enjoys it so much when he plugged it in, grabbed the handle, and right before pressing the button said 3 little words: "Start. Your. Engines."

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