Friday, December 08, 2006


Last week Ben and Steven vacuumed the van with our little Shop-Vac which has to be cleaned out periodically, and this evening after I did some laundry I tackled the dusty clean-the-vac job.

I took everything apart as per instructions and dumped the dirt in the trash and shook out the filter. I also inspected the hose. It was plugged. I started digging. Out came a clothespin, a navy blue velvet bow/barrette, and a plastic sandwich bag. And lots and lots of straw, dirt, and dust.

So, as I have done what seems like a million times, I sat the boys down for a Basic Facts Discussion. What is the purpose of vacuuming, after all? And what is the science behind this motor and hose? Yes, indeed, and what happens when we suck up items that are far too large for the hose?

They made all the right noises. Ah yes, it all makes sense now. They will remember next time, really they will. Nothing bigger than a marble, yes, they can understand that.

But I am so tired. I am just so very very very tired of going over this sort of thing. Have I failed in some basic and elementary way that they keep doing such stupid things? Am I not punishing enough, softie that I am? Am I somehow supposed to predict these events and head them off at the pass?

To their credit, they seldom repeat their mistakes. They just come up with very creative new ones.

But the thing is, THEY OUGHT TO KNOW. Come on now, you had no idea you shouldn't carve your name into this pan of brownies? Or put a serving spoon covered in sticky rice directly into the dishwasher? Or take the trash barrel to the road when there was still this enormous collection of garbage piled right here by the door?

Will somebody please tell me they're going to grow up into reasonably responsible people? And that I'll live to see that day?

(You can see some typical pictures of Ben and Steven on Emily's blog.)

Quote of the Day:
"I learned a long time ago that if you want to carve initials into frosting you carve someone else's and not your own."


  1. Yes, they will not only grow up to be reasonably responsible people but most likely very responsible people.

    However, I can't tell you that you'll live to see that day. So enjoy them TODAY while all three of you are here. Even if you wouldn't be here to reap the rewards, their wives will appreciate it!


  2. Thank you, Louise, I needed to hear that.

  3. That quote from Emily is AWESOME!

  4. Reasonably responsible people? Look at Matt. Living proof that it can happen!!! Pauline

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Oh, blessed mother of Proverbs, who teaches her children well and does not shirk from her responsibilities.

    Perhaps it might help to turn the time forward 10 years. I can imagine your children as my future employees and co-workers or roommates. I bless you that you are telling them now, otherwise I or someone else will have to tell them those very things at an age and in a situation which would be much more difficult and unfortunate. Either, the utter humiliation of the small situation or the response of the "child" to the "guidance" might result in broken relationships or unemployment etc.

  6. Hilarious and emilys quote is price-less. Trust her to come up with that.

  7. My husband says "The difference between men and savings bonds is that savings bonds will eventually mature" As a substitute teacher for over 25 years your boys sound like normal boys. I say be glad it was brownies they carved in not the furniture like my husband did when he was a kid :-D

    Another "Mrs. S"