Saturday, July 14, 2012

Family Government

Recently, my fourteen year old daughter took part in a civics class called TeenPact.  It ended with a weeklong trip to Baton Rouge, where she got to spend the week learning all about how to draft bills and turn them into laws.  Her father and I are so very proud that she is now showing interest in something (anything!) besides dancing, horses, and Luke Bryan, but take last night as an example of what we have to put up with...

Scotlyn has always liked a calm atmosphere, which must really suck if you live in our family.  So, after listening to X-Men on surround sound while trying to do her math (yes, I make her do math in the summer) and breaking three pencils in frustration and stabbing herself in the knee twice, she asked to be excused to work on a project.  Sensing I was the next to be stabbed, I agreed.  She came back with:

A Bill to End Useless Noise

Purpose: To make a quiet environment for easier learning.
To do away with loud distractions during times of learning.


Section 1.
It shall be unlawful for any loud, distracting noises to be going on during any time of schooling, unless it is a part of the learning process of the curriculum.

Section 2.
Any of these loud distracting noises include the following: movies, music, talk radio, football games, screaming at football games, singing, whistling, television shows, clapping, talk radio, talking to self, slamming doors, mumbling under breath (I had her add that - pet peeve), and TALK RADIO

Section 3.
Violating this act will be punishable by the following: having to listen to Justin Bieber's music for one entire week, being doused completely with elephant urine, spending a year in prison, being restrained from the jacuzzi tub, fine of $100 (payable to Rep. Skeeter Whitten), having all of your flashlights taken away, and being thrown to the alligators at Insta-Gator.

She lined us up on the couch upstairs, called us to order (which means we aren't supposed to speak), and named me speaker of the house.  I like to talk, so that's cool. She proceeded to the read the bill to us.

She didn't even get all the way through when Peter looked at me.  "You put her up to this.  I know you did."

"What's the deal with elephant urine?" Pierson jumped off the couch and yelled.

"You, sir, are out of order!" Scotlyn glared at him with Slitty Eyes of Death. 

Peter tried to explain what "doused with elephant urine" meant.  Ainsley jumped up.  "I don't want to get pee'd on by an elephant!  It's bad enough when Scooby does it!"

"People!  Sit down!  You're all out of order!"  Scotlyn/Skeeter points at me.  "You're supposed to be the Speaker.  You give them permission to speak." 

"They don't seem to need it," I point out.

Peter raises his hand.  I gave him permission to speak, and he addresses the Lady At the Well.  "Do you have a problem with talk radio, young lady?" 

"I'm not 'young lady'.  You must address me as Rep. Skeeter Whitten."

"I see.  Well, Rep. Skeeter Whitten, can I ask another question?"

"You may, Rep. Daddy Whitten." She regally nods her head while adjusting the ragged legs of her cut-off jammie pants.

"Thank you, Rep. Skeeter Whitten.  Can amendments be made to this bill?"

"They may be addressed, yes."

"Wonderful.  In that case, I say this whole family government be amended to a dictatorship until such time as you pay the bills."

Case closed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bathroom Cleaning

When my kids grow up and move out, I am going to have to get a J.O.B.  I'll tell you why.  I woke up this morning to silence.  That's nothing new, since without my hearing aids I'm deaf as a teenangster listening to her parents, but there really was silence; it wasn't just me.  No kids.  Hallelujer, as Madea says. 

First, I let the dogs out and fed the horses.  Then I sat down and got dibs on my own laptop.  What a novelty.  Not one whiney kid asking how much longer 'til they could play Toon Town, Avengers, or Facebook.  Now, I'll never admit this to them, but it takes some of the fun out of having the computer when I'm not keeping it from them.  Kind of like sneaking into bars before you're 21 being so much more fun than once it's legal.  Not that I'm admitting to that either.  But the experience was a little flat. 

Next thing you know, I up and decided to clean the bathrooms.  Now that, my friends, is something I hope to never get a wild hair to do again.  Not a good move on my part.  Nasty.  The kids are supposed to clean their own bathrooms upstairs, but I figured I'd go ahead and give them a lick and polish.  (Not a good thought, licking those toilets.  I need that thought out of my head.  Ick ick ick.) 

My bathroom is huge.  Jacuzzi tub.  Four girls - FOUR - took a bath (with swimsuits because we're not exhibitionists.  Please.) on Sunday night in it.  They must have had bubbles to the twelve foot ceiling, because scum was everywhere.   I climbed in, my reindeer jammie pants (they were on sale for $5!) rolled up and sprayed scrubbing bubbles everywhere.  Ev-er-y-where.  This was my problem, you see, because I had not thought this through.  I had neglected to bring a cloth or sponge with me, intending to let them sit for a bit while I did the sink and shower.  I was going to climb out, but have you ever tried climbing out of a three-and-a-half foot tub that's covered in slime? 

After I scrubbed the tub with my body, I moved on to the rest of the room, which I'm happy to announce was much easier, as was the guest bathroom. 

All the was left was the upstairs bathrooms.  I must admit to dreading them.  Kids are notoriously nasty creatures.  I've learned this in my nineteen years of experience as the mother of four.  I decided to spray the boy bathroom down first, thinking it would need some time to allow the bubbles to do their magic.  Upon entering the room, I realized that since Chad has moved out:  #1. It has a floor, and #2.  Pierson has kept it clean.  He has only neglected the toilet, which I can understand because really, aren't toilets supposed to be icky by definition?, and the ring in the tub.  I sprayed it and went to the girls bathrooms.  Their bathroom was just shy of pristine. 

I was somewhat disconcerted to realize that my children have been doing a better job than I have of cleaning their bathrooms.  I promised myself to either do better or add my bathroom on to their chore list, and got to work.  Within minutes I was back in Pierson's bathroom, and that's when I learned...

Boy dirt is not the same as girl dirt.  Boy dirt does not come off.  That ring in the tub is there to stay.  I scrubbed, I sprayed some more, I changed cleaners.  Nothing, except maybe the dirt grew.  I'm giving up, assuming that at least, it's clean dirt, right?  Dirt can be clean, and if I can't get it off with cleaners, he can't get it on him in the tub.  I hope. 

Maybe I can just paint over the dirt.  Oh, who cares? He's a twelve year old boy.  It's not like he bathes anyway.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Okay, so.  My daughter, the brilliant one?  The blonde, folks, the blonde.  Stay with me here.

She wanted feathers in her hair.  I don't know why.  She's a teenager, that's why, far as I can tell. 

I made her wait until after The Wedding.  Oh sigh.  Oh drama.  Then she had camp and had to wait a whole nother week.  More sighs, more drama, but at least she was at camp 400 miles away so I didn't have to hear it.  I'll tell you later how she didn't even text me the whole week long and I thought she was dead and buried in a ditch somewhere.

So today we were in the van, on the way to local beauty parlor inside the Texaco station.  What?  You don't have a beauty parlor inside your Texaco?  You're missing out, girlfriend. 

She asks me, "Which side should I get my feathers?" as she's playing with her gorgeous long blonde hair.  She's so purty, like a rooster at daybreak. 

"Most people do the left, I think," I answer her.  I figure she'll do the right now, because she's the species known as Teen Angst. 

Then she did something that shamed me as a homeschooler, a mother, and carrying of her dna.  She held out her hands in front of her, palms down, and mouthed "left, right" while lifting them one after the other.  What in the .... ?  I thought we covered this in preschool!  I'm almost positive we did! 

I handled it calmly.  "You don't know your left from your right?" I screamed as I ran off the road.

"Sure, I do," she lied through her teeth.  "I was just trying to figure out if you meant your left or mine."

"We're facing the same way!"  Now my car is nose down in a ditch and my kid is a dummy.  Life is not my happy place.

"Rightttt.... So, left is the side I wear my ring....Right?"  She strives for coolness.

I bought a new state of the art curriculum today.