Monday, January 07, 2008


I feel like I keep circling back to the topic of civilizing my boys. I'm sure some of you roll your eyes at my stories and say, Oh for heaven's sake, if that's the worst thing they ever do you have nothing to worry about." To you I say: go visit someone else's blog now, because I want some sympathy.

My friend Arlene recently posted about how she tries to make things easy for her sons' future wives but feels like she's failing miserably. Reading it I thought, Amen, Sister, I too feel like I should apologize to those future young ladies who have no clue what they're getting into.

It wouldn't be quite so hard to civilize the boys if we didn't have in our deck the wild card known as Hansie, a huge voracious dog who will never be fully civilized this side of Dog Heaven, (and we're not sure that he'll actually ever get there). You might recall the roast beef episode which resulted in Steven getting the lecture of his life on shutting that back pantry door. "Every! Single! Time!" "Yes, Mom, I understand, yes, really, I'll remember, really I will."

Well. The door stayed firmly shut for a long time. This time of year, hardly anyone ever uses it. But this evening Emily went out to the back pantry for something and shrieked, "What's going on? Why is this door open?"

Me: (Oh great) Are there Hansie tracks?
Emily: Yes.

There was also a large empty Tupperware container that had formerly been full of chocolate chip cookies. I still don't know how Hansie opened it, but he not only did so but also ate all the cookies and all the waxed paper between the layers.

Steven guiltily admitted using that back door today.

I went to the computer and Googled "How much chocolate kill dog?" One ounce of chocolate per pound of body weight, it turns out. Well, Hansie may have pigged out but he did not eat 150 ounces of chocolate.

I have no hope of ever teaching Hansie to quit sneaking in if the back door is open, but I had hoped to somehow get it through Steven's head to shut that door. Unfortunately right now I can only picture him coming home at 30 years old and still forgetting to latch that back door.

To his sweet young future wife: I'm sorry. I truly am.

Quote of the Day:
"Everyone says I get my craziness from you, Mom.'
--Matt, who posted this on his blog today. Yes, you're allowed to tell me that the reason I can't civilize my children is because I was never civilized myself.


  1. what would we ever do without you all?? ;-)
    i came here to congratulate you on your sled ride. yay for moms who aren't above being involved in their kids' lives!

  2. Sis Becky says...Dorcas, you are hilarious! I must agree with the quote of the day. Matt did NOT steal his craziness and Emily did NOT steal her passion for dramatics! As for Hansie, I think it is time for Mr. McLean to start talking to Mr. Pennell and for them both to go see Mr. McCarroll and for them all to go see Johnny and his father...( for the uninformed, this is a quote from one of our favorite books growing up, "The Biggest Bear".

  3. You are a woman after my own heart.....that looks like something I would do and I'm even older than you!! You don't know me and I don't personally know you, but I do believe we are kindred spirits. In your efforts to "ready" your sons for a lucky future wife, I can totally relate to that as well.

    Oh, and yes, I do read your blog quite faithfully. I did take a look at your son's site and watched the video..that was hilarious!!
    That looked like a blast except for when you were no longer sitting on the seat:)

  4. I totally two daughters raise my self esteem, but the boy sends it plummeting in this regard.

    Sometimes I feel like my job as his mother is to be on body function patrol 24/7!! To catch it as it occurs - then give him a split second to "do the right thing"- then berate him for giggling and force him to say, "Excuse me." And then to hide my smile as he continues to giggle.

    Don't even get me started on the sounds that come from his end of the dining table, or the junk covering his bedroom floor, or all the sweatshirts and coats he has lost this school year!

  5. The video made me laugh. Looks like something that could happen around here. Only around here I think the kids know better than to post it when Mom gets in on it!! : )i've been known to delete pics and videos around here when I can get my hands on the camera! : )

  6. LOL!!! All's I can say is, I feel for you sister, and I do hope that Hansie's tummy felt a little "under the weather" today.

  7. I LOVE your boy stories. I NEED them, actually, and cling white-knuckle-tight to the hope that perhaps my boys are normal and just maybe I am not a failure afterall! Your stories evoke tears of empathy and chuckles of understanding from this mom!

    My favorite chapter in your new book is,"For today, all is forgotten." That whole drape-over- a-chair-like-a-discarded-bathrobe-thing really cracked me up! My boys climb, crouch, stand, DRAPE or leap over chairs. NEVER have they sat on them. Soap is not for hygiene, it is for making the tub slippery to practice skateboard moves while using up all of the hotwater. Trashcans are for the mom to use as she is to pick up after me. And the line about a sense of humor not being a frill...:) Oh my, but mine can get stretched thin till the end of the day.:)

    Blessings to you for your sense of humor, uncivilized sled riding and your honesty!

  8. I am not sure what to say about the neatness deficiency in boys. One of my children’s room was always messy and stuff was constantly getting lost. I declare if our house were ever burglarized, they would skip over that particular bedroom, because it would have appeared like it already was burglarized. At times this child’s vehicle interior looked like a rolling garbage can. Don’t get me started on things that got lost along the way. This child that I speak of is a GIRL !!!

  9. oh but you see, ann gave the specific reason for my room looking like it does. (well, that actually isn't my reason but i might try it next time my mom tells me to clean up my room.) i think my dad would agree with my car looking a little like that too. sometimes if i know he's gonna drive it i tell him before he ever gets in, "i know it needs cleaned out" because that's probably about the first thing he would say to me next time he saw me. :)

  10. I think you need a large STOP sign on your back door with "CLOSE this door please" below it. I imagine your boys go blasting through there and don't even realize that the door didn't latch. They just need something to grab their attention (before their bodies are too far away) and remind them :-D

  11. Oh! The video was VERY cool!

  12. Well, I have 3 boys and I NEED your stories as proof it's not just me, battling alone against such things. Do not stop telling them no matter how many mothers of only dainty girls protest or roll their eyes! When they are the frustrated in-laws to our rough boys we can simply send them back 10 years to our original complaint and PROVE we tried, we prayed, and it's out of our hands now.

  13. None of my children are the neat freaks.. sigh. And they are now married. I don't need to live with them anymore... sigh. But they love me and that's the best, most bestest part.

    And I love the family pics.

    I haven't been able to check up on you too much recently. ~Ilva