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Live burn training.

Well, we’ve begun our trial run of soon-to-be Life On Our Own. So far, not too terribly bad. There are some definite high points, like getting to park in the garage when the sun is blazing hot; no one has to fry their backsides on 1277° leather (namely me). We can eat meals that consist mostly of vegetables (and fish for dinner tonight! Ha!) Laundry is easier to sort (pink…black…boxer briefs…) However, there are a few of those quirky little lessons I’m glad I am able to pick up now before it’s too late.

Lesson #1: Indulge curiosity, to a point.

Also known as “it probably wasn’t a good idea to demonstrate to G that his sister can conduct electricity”. [No children were harmed during this experiment, by the way.] While the whole endeavor was fairly innocuous [we were completing the circuit on a bath toy] the look on his face when I put a finger on one contact, his finger on the other contact, and then held hands with Shifty was slightly disturbing. I am extremely glad I am replacing all the outlets in the new house with tamper resistant versions.

Lesson #2: Truth hurts sometimes.

Whilst cleaning up the kitchen after lunch, I thought the kids were playing nicely in the adjacent room. G wanders in to flip through his catalog and ask for the billionth time “if the man is coming” and we’re having a nice chat about how UPS works when Shifty comes running into the room with a suspicious yellow substance all over her, a panicked look on her face, and really big eyes to exclaim:

“Mommy, I’m in big, big trouble.”

Pardon? So I calmly ask, “What for, dear?” To which she replies, “For a making a mess.”

Well, that explains the yellow substance. The questions are: 1) What exactly is that yellow stuff? and 2) Where exactly is that yellow stuff?

So I ask: “Where did you make a mess, punkin?”

At this point, she finally starts to look a little abashed and says, “In your room…”

For those who don’t know, let me digress for a moment. My room is already a big, big mess. Primarily because I not only have the standard bedroom furniture in there, but because there is a rather large desk, and office chair, and the entire contents of my storage unit squeezed in amongst the myriad of other things that are the remnants of my life. Typically, my room is very off-limits, and not because I’m neurotic about my personal space. [Ok, not JUST because I’m neurotic about personal space.] There is also a lot of things that are fragile, important papers that will someday be filed somewhere, expensive technology, and the downright dangerous [We remember the knife collection, right?]. My room is definitely forbidden territory.

Needless to say, Shifty can’t resist a challenge. The yellow stuff? Shea butter. Where? Well, everywhere, of course. Including, but not limited to: bed, sheets, pillows, carpet, chair, walls, desk, keyboard, bunny [G is NOT happy], clothes, papers, and child. That is on top of the assorted bowls and jars of miscellany she has dumped out. Thank god she couldn’t get the paints open.

While I’m standing there for a shocked moment [and admittedly a bit awed; impressive for 10 minutes’ work, I must say.] She comes in with a towel and says, “Sorry, mommy. I’ll help clean up.”

George Washington’s parents had nothing on me. Chopping down a cherry tree would be a welcome reprieve.

Lesson #3: Never overestimate your storage capacity.

Part of our big job over the weekend was to go through all of the toys in the house and sort out which would go to Goodwill (for the boys and girls who don’t have toys) and which would go to Baby Cousins. Other than a penchant for attempting to donate each other’s toys for spite, it went remarkably well [No, G, we can’t put Shifty’s binky dog in that box. No, Shifty, we can’t give G’s train away.]

And we went through ALL the toys we could find. All of them. Did I mention all of them? Upstairs, downstairs, storage. Everywhere. ALL of them.

Holy crap. About halfway through I realized all of this stuff was going to have to move with us. We have no basement and a moderate amount of closets. Since I’m a diehard about kids not having toys in their rooms, that means all of this moves into general living quarters. All of them.

So the Goodwill box got a bit bigger. I’ve added extreme shelving to my plans for the living room closet, and I may have to sacrifice the dining room. Or give up the joy of parking in the garage. I’m a big fan of living lean, now I just have to figure out how to get my kids to grasp that concept. Wow.

All of them.

Ok, ok. I’m going.

Life is going to be interesting for us. While raising children is always an adventure, we seem to be an extraordinarily adventuresome lot.

Provided no one gets electrocuted, this should be fun.


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