Queen Bee and Tonka Tim were looking through photo albums today and I was feeling a little amazed at how much our life has changed over the past ten years. I thought I might pass along some of the wisdom I’ve managed to pick up so far. Well, not so much wisdom as lists. And rules. Well, if you wanted deep insight you’re in the wrong place. But rules and lists, we’ve got lots of those.
Things that will no longer be allowed in this house:
- Gel toothpaste. Whose brilliant idea was it to put toothpaste in a form that leaks, oozes and drips unless it is tightly capped and stored in an upright position? I’ve had it with cleaning half-congealed, sticky blobs from the sink, counter and mirror. Boring old paste-style toothpaste is all we’re buying from now on. And none of them new-fangled flavours and colours, either.
- Pet mice. Lordy, they stink. And they’re not exactly friendly, either. And the stress of trying to keep them alive in a house that also holds small children, cats, a dog breed created to hunt rodents…never again!
- Flavoured lip gloss. Tastes like candy, smears like vaseline. Oh, the fun they have had with this stuff. Somebody gave Queen Bee and Creative Cat some flavoured lip gloss for Christmas. Four months later, I’m still finding it on the slats of my venetian blinds, and one of the couches smells permanently of artificial strawberries. It smells better than the mice, but it’s still a no-go from now on.
Things you must keep track of, or face the consequences:
- Sharp scissors. Oh, the haircuts. The damaged furniture. The shredded important papers. You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but within the last month each of my children has gotten hold of my sharp quilting blade and used it to cause damage somehow. Apparently I’m a bit of a slow learner when it comes to putting my sharp cutting instruments out of reach.
- Sippy cups full of milk. You’d be amazed how quickly a cup of milk turns into a cup of yogurt. Fun science experiment, not so fun clean-up project.
- Permanent markers. So very many surfaces damaged…and yet Mr. Fixit continues to leave markers lying where small children can reach them. Apparently he’s a slow learner too.
- Krazy Glue. Skin. Glue. Enough said.
Things you will never have when you need them:
- Birthday candles. You’ll always have a few kicking around at the back of a drawer somewhere. But it will always be just one or two fewer candles than you need for that particular birthday.
- Enough Junior-strength Tylenol to get a feverish child through the night. If you do have enough to dose a child up for the night, that will be the time that TWO children become sick at the same time.
- Batteries that are the right size and fully-charged
Things parents should buy in industrial quantities:
- Popsicles and freezies. The all-purpose treat. Everyone likes them and they’re nothing but sugar, water and food colouring. In the summer we eat 3 or 4 a day each. Each popsicle is good for at least 10 minutes of happy quiet time. Perfect.
- Crayons and washable markers. Well, you have to have an alternative for when you rip the permanent marker out of their chubby little fingers.
- Good red wine. The all-purpose treat for grown-ups. Requires no pre-planning as it is served at room temperature, and if anyone catches you imbibing at 3 pm you can claim you’re drinking it for the health benefits.
Things which should fill every house:
- Books of all kinds. All over the house.
- Music of all kinds. Although maybe not all at once.
- Food. Good food. Food that stimulates the mind, the senses, and the appetite while nourishing the body.
- Pets. Except the mice. Anything but mice.
- People who love the other people in the house.