Cats I Have Known

Midnight
One summer, a cat showed up in our bushes at home. I was probably 14 or 15. Our babysitter said, “Don’t feed it, and it will go away.” (They were called babysitters back then, not nannies.)

When Mom came home, we told her that a cat had showed up in our bushes. She said, “Don’t feed it, and it will go away.”

The next day, my brother fed it.

Thus, we got a cat. It was a skinny little thing, all black with green eyes. Honestly, she didn’t have a white spot on her. My brother, being the creative force that he is, named her Midnight.

My parents did have her spayed, but she was not ever 100% an indoor cat. Her food bowls lived outside on our upper porch. She spent great swathes of her time outside, hunting. She brought us many disemboweled creatures as a token of her affection. On one memorable occasion, she neglected to kill the chipmunk before she got into the house.

She was never overly affectionate, but she did seem to like my brother.

Caesar Boy and Lemonhead
Caesar Boy and Lemonhead were the house cats of the House of Babes. Technically, I think they belonged to Jen. I had to make sure they didn’t get in my room because I had developed an allergy to cats. I couldn’t pet them because if I did and then accidentally rubbed my eyes or touched my face, I spent the next hours itchy and sneezy.

Caesar Boy was a pretty, grey kitty, and Lemonhead was a calico. I was not involved with the naming, so I couldn’t explain why they were called those names. Maybe if Jen stops by the blog, she can explain if there are stories there.

Neither cat was ever fixed. We never let them outside. They were generally affectionate, and REALLY affectionate, depending on the time of the month — just like some residents of the House of Babes, oddly enough.

It is hard being allergic to cats and living with affectionate ones.

Robbie
This was another cat adopted by my brother. At the time he shared an apartment with our cousin Jennifer in Wilkinsburg.

Robbie was a huge cat, one of the biggest I’d ever seen. He was the size of a small dog, like a shih tzu. He was mostly beige, with a tail ringed with gray stripes. My brother had him neutered and declawed. He always seemed to regret declawing him — he said Robbie seemed to have been in a lot of pain. But he also wanted Robbie to be an indoor cat and not shred the furniture.

Robbie was VERY affectionate. He was the first cat — possibly the only cat — I ever saw actually RUN TO THE DOOR when someone came in. If the someone was my brother, he stuck around, seeking affection… and food, probably.

When my brother started dating my to-be SIL, he discovered that she was extremely allergic to cats. Extremely. Couldn’t be in the same room with them. Couldn’t share space at all with them, really. She just blew up and started wheezing.

I knew it was serious when my brother told me he went out and found Robbie another home.

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If Flora and I were not allergic to cats, I would get one as a pet for the children. It seems like a cat would be a good starter pet: feed it, water it, make sure the litter box gets cleaned. But looks like we’ll have to wait just a bit longer to get a dog instead. I am a dog person, not a cat person — but I am done cleaning up poop. The children gotta be ready to take that on.

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(h/t to Kim/@observacious for the subject matter)

Black Cat, Green Eyes

This is not an image of Midnight, but it is what she looked like.


Are you a dog person or cat person? What kind of cats have you known?

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Sex, Death, and Ebola

Children are sponges. Curious, curious sponges that ask a lot of questions.

Remember, children don’t realize that their curiosity could put you in an awkward position. They have questions, and they trust you, an adult-type person in their life, to have answers. Whether it be about sex, death, or the latest news, sometimes a question is going to pop out of a child’s mouth that you wish you could ignore. You can always try distracting them with ice cream, but I guarantee you: they will happily get ice cream with you. Then they are going to circle back to that question, probably until they get an answer.

Here are some guidelines for dealing with those pesky questions, from “Where do babies come from?” to “Do I have to worry about catching Ebola?”

1. Don’t panic. Children, like most other animals, can smell fear. If you panic, you are inviting them to attack you (with more questions) or you will inspire fear and panic in them too.

Stay calm. Take a deep breath, and think about what you want to say. If the child chooses to ask more questions in that pause, raise a finger and say something like, “Just a minute. I’m going to answer your question, but I want to think of the best answer for you.”

2. Try not to get defensive. Don’t fire questions back: “Where did you hear that??” “Who told you that?” “Why would you say something like that?” This will shut off communication. If they think they are going to get someone in trouble, they will shut down. Children don’t like getting people in trouble (unless it is one of their siblings). The secondary effect is that they will either seek out another adult, and the message will be out of your hands, and/or they will seek out their friends, and the message will not only be out of your hands, but also possibly incorrect.

3. Be honest. Don’t make stuff up. Don’t guess. If you don’t know, say, “You know what? I don’t know the answer to that. Let’s look it up.” VET YOUR SOURCE IF YOU GO THIS ROUTE ON THE INTERNET.

4. Be age-appropriate and child-appropriate. This is probably the trickiest step (after don’t panic). The information that a 5-year-old can take in is different from what a 10-year-old can absorb. And one 10-year-old may be a little more sophisticated than another 10-year-old in terms of vocabulary or causal effect. (By the teens, they probably aren’t asking you questions anymore, which is another reason you should try to answer them now.)

5. Finally, try to anticipate follow-up questions. Know where it is okay to draw the line, and say, “You need to be a little older before we discuss that.”

The upshot is that children trust adults. We serve them best when we give them honest answers and treat their concerns and curiosity as valid, and not something to be avoided or laughed at. Or, worse, scorned. If your child is afraid of contracting Ebola because it’s all the media is talking about, assure them the likelihood is extremely low. If they are old enough explain why in simple terms.

What innocent question from children usually has you running for the hills?

Don't Panic Button

What Twin Peaks Means to Me

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Nothing. Not a damn thing.

I think there’s some kind of reference to cherry pie and coffee out there in the culturescape. I’m not even sure what it is. “Damn fine cup of coffee.” Am I close?

Which is not to say that Twin Peaks shouldn’t be a thing, and people shouldn’t be excited that it’s returning… to TV? Or they are making a movie? Or both?

No, I am for weird TV, and David Lynch, and Kyle… McLaughlin.

Remember, I’m doing this without looking anything up. It’s completely against my journalistic nature, but it should up the entertainment value of these posts.

Weird, good TV is important, and I wish there were more of it. Especially now with cable and Netflix. I like more options rather than fewer options. I like cult movies and niche TV. Part of what I like about it is the passion that people bring to the subject.

Witness LOST. That show was one that I watched, pretty much religiously. And I use that word on purpose. It was a planned hour of time every week. Tuesday night at 9 p.m., the children were abed and Dan and I were camped out in front of the television. It was a combo date night/shared passion. I’ll even defend the finale when pressed. (A lot of people — a lot of FANS — hated it.)

Also, the little sitcom Community. People were nuts about that show! And, having watched a few episodes myself, I can understand why. The characters were fantastic. Josh (actor from LOST whose name is escaping me right now) showed up on a season finale. It was also quirky and over the top. And I love Donald Glover/Childish Gambino. Love him.

However, I am a terrible television fan. The only show I made it through in real-time was LOST. I didn’t stick with Mad Men, which was brilliant. My interest waned at the beginning of season… 4, I think. I went back and forth with Parenthood, but most of the episodes I watched on On Demand. I think I’m behind on that, too. And watched Community sometimes. I liked it! I just wasn’t dedicated to it.

Dan and I are watching Breaking Bad (which I think I mentioned around here somewhere) on Netflix, and while it’s compelling, and we will be watching it all the way through to the series finale (11 episodes away!), but I never once tuned into Breaking Bad on AMC. Also: it’s brutal. But more on that later.

So! Back to Twin Peaks, and the cultural relevance to its return. I don’t know if it has cultural relevance to non-fans. To fans, I’m sure it’s very exciting. And I’m excited for them. But I don’t know if I would watch Twin Peaks if it came to Netflix. (See also: Gilmore Girls.) Like many a TV show with a cult following, it has an interesting effect on language. There are code words and phrases that fans use that leave non-fans saying, “What?” (See also: “And so say we all.” from Battlestar Galactica.)

My knowledge of Twin Peaks extends not very far: cherry pie, Kyle McLaughlin and Sherri… someone. She dated Jack Nicholson. I think little people were involved. In the show, not in Jack Nicholson’s relationship. Although, maybe, I don’t know.

And it’s coming back. I hope the fans are happy.

(h/t to canis ferociter latrans, who proposed this for a topic.)

Kyle McLaughlin

I wouldn’t mind staring at this face on my television on a weekly basis.

image source


What weird TV do you/did you love? And why? Are you excited Twin Peaks is coming back?

When Pumpkin Spice Jumped the Shark

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I like me some pumpkin flavoring, in a few things. For example, one of my favorite fall desserts is a nice, moist pumpkin roll. And, of course, pumpkin pie is a must at Thanksgiving.

But at some point in the past two years, the pumpkin spice craze has utterly exploded, and now it’s being used in everything from coffee (which I deem acceptable) to car fresheners. I don’t know if that latter example is literally true, but I’d bet $5 it is.

I think pumpkin for use in consumables is fine. I, personally, don’t like flavored coffee at all, so I’m not going to pick up a pumpkin spice latte, but if you are excited about that, I’m cool. I’m still somewhat skeptical about pumpkin beer, for goodness sakes, which puts me in the minority among my friends. I’ve had one or two, with the appropriately sugared serving glasses, and nothing has knocked my socks off. I lack the impulse to go out and stock up on PumKing. It’s just not my thing.

But you have at it.

I think the clearest signs that pumpkin spice everything jumped the shark was two-fold.

1. Pumpkin beers hit the shelves this year in August. That is akin to the Christmas creep in the retail space, and as such, I deem it unacceptable. Given the accelerated pace, this means Christmas beers will be in stores by the end of October. It’s just wrong, people. Knock that shit off.

2. Pumpkin spice is in everything. For all I know, it’s in the Get-Go fuel I put in my car. It started innocently enough, with coffee and beer and muffins. And scones and cookies and pumpkin bread. And I won’t turn down a nice creamy curried pumpkin soup. But thanks to my friend Kim Z. Dale, it has come to my attention that there are pumpkin spice air fresheners and e-cig… what are those, cartridges? (I don’t get e-cigarettes. And as a long-time smoker, I think that’s saying something.)

Kim wrote her own post on the pumpkin spice madness, complete with a slide show. We are of the same mind: Pumpkin spice cream cheese? Fine. Pumpkin spice facials? Just say no.

It’s gone too far. Whatever happened to nice, simple pumpkin PIE flavoring? Why’s it gotta be pumpkin SPICE?

I vote that we bring back apple as a flavoring for fall. Not apple spice or applesauce or apple cinnamon. Apple. Plain and crisp.

(h/t to @_chrislovett who proposed the idea for this post in the first place, and to Kim aka @observacious, who dubbed the pumpkin spice latte “patient zero” in all things pumpkin spice related)

Where do you draw the line on all things pumpkin?

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Patient Zero

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Meatless Monday: The Quick Links Edition

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It’s apple season, and how. Here’s my suggestion for you.

First, go make homemade applesauce.

Then, with two cups of that applesauce, make these muffins. OMG, so good. They are a hit, and I will be making them again. (Along with more applesauce.)

I also have been meaning to share this recipe for sesame noodles because it, too, is very, very (VERY) popular.

Because we were cooking for five children this summer, as well as between four and six adults, I went out looking for children-friendly recipes that weren’t boxed mac and cheese and not/hot dogs. The only child who turns her nose up at this meal is Kate; she likes her noodles plain, or with butter. I just put some cooked pasta aside for her. And I do give Flora cut up raw red peppers, because that girl LOVES her some red pepper.

I usually leave out the red pepper FLAKES though, or serve them on the side for a little extra kick for the grown-ups.

On Saturday, I baked oatmeal raisin cookies, and served roasted potatoes and veggie burgers for dinner. On Sunday, it was the sesame noodles, plus tofu and chicken for protein, and the applesauce muffins. A lot of cooking, and a lot of cleaning, but now that the children are helping, it’s not as onerous. (The cleaning, I mean. I LOVE cooking, and seldom find it onerous.)

So, go forth, enjoy, pick up some apples at the nearest farmers market. It’s the perfect season for lots of time in a hot kitchen. It’s probably time to bring back Meatless Monday, too. I’ll have to try to remember what else I’ve been making these days!

Have you tried anything new in the kitchen lately?

Apples!

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Random Idea Generator

(Psst, that’s you.)

So, things are slowing down around here on the blog. I need some ideas to help me keep going.

I’m borrowing an idea from a fellow Pittsburgh blogger, Jim, who writes at Just a Lil Blog. He calls it “Bloggy Doodle Dandy.” Also, you should read his post on the honey badger, because it’s hilarious.

Now he was pretty structured about it, and I’m going to be totally honest: I’m going to be less so. Work is… a lot of work right now, which is one reason this blog has slowed down. I am also about to undertake a heavy writing project not related to work, so daily blogging is not going to be my bag.

Here’s my goal: I’d like to put together a list of 30 ideas, just like Jim did. Leave comments below, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

I’m open to anything, just about. If you have things you want to know about me, go ahead and ask. If you want me to write about how pumpkin jumped the shark (a topic I think I may opine on, h/t @_chrislovett), suggest it. I’ve tweaked Jim’s rules a little bit.

• Nothing X-rated.
• I’m not going to research the topic to hand — I’m just going to write off-the-cuff based on my experience with the topic OR what I’ve heard about the topic OR just my opinion on the topic.
• Day 0 will be when I post a list of the topics.
• As I said, I will post at least 3 times a week until I use up all the topics.

Thanks for playing along!

Life Is Random

What topic would you like me to tackle?

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15 movies

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I seldom get tagged on Facebook (and that’s fine, I’d ignore it anyway. I have problems with people telling me what to do), but this FB meme has been going around for awhile. I decided to do it for my own self just to see if I could come up with 15 movies. I’m not an avid movie-goer; I don’t quote lines from (many) movies; most of the films I have seen in the last five years have probably been animated (yay, motherhood!).

The instructions were not to think too hard to come up with these movies. But I had to think pretty hard to come up with 15 movies, period, let alone 15 movies that stuck with me. (Also, I’m not linking anywhere or throwing in clips at this point. I’m just trying to get something on the blog.)

The majority of these movies are less about the movie and more about the experience of watching the movie. With the exception of the first two: Those are all about the movies.

Blade Runner
This is my favorite movie of all time. I am a fan of the original version (with the voice over) although I have seen the director’s cut and other versions. It’s the perfect science fiction dystopian film, capturing the hope in a bleak future. Each character is perfectly drawn and cast. It’s… flawless as far as I’m concerned.

Princess Bride
This is also my favorite movie of all time, and again, it’s flawless. This is one movie I could probably quote at length. One of my greatest joys of parenthood has been sharing this movie with my children. It’s a classic fairytale, but told better than Disney has ever done it.

A Fish Called Wanda
I think this is the first movie I saw Kevin Kline in. It’s hilarious, and another movie I can quote pretty reliably.

Tangled
While this is a rather brilliant retelling of the Rapunzel tale, what I will remember most is how much I cried during this movie. That and the 3D effects — just stunning. I was 38 weeks pregnant with M; I had just been informed that I wasn’t going to need a C-section; Dan and I had scheduled an induction to start the following day; and the girls had the day off from school because it was the last day of Thanksgiving vacation. So I took them to see Tangled. The three of us sobbed through the death of a main character toward the end. Flora turned to me and said accusingly, “WHY did you bring us to this movie?” I had no good answer for her. (The movie has a happy ending, of course. But it certainly screws around getting there!)

Star Wars
This was the second movie I saw in a theater. I was 6. Without Star Wars, there would have been no Blade Runner.

BASEketball
Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and the funniest locker room sight gag EVER. A Dan-recommended movie.

Pet Sematary
I saw this in the theater with high school friends. It’s a terrible adaptation of a Stephen King novel. But I jumped and screamed and laughed my way through it with about 250 other people, including life-long friends, and that makes it memorable.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall
Ack. I watched this when I was about 16… with my younger brother and my father. Awkward.

Shawshank Redemption
One of those cable movies that I have to watch if it’s on. This is a good — no, GREAT — adaptation of Stephen King.

Dead Poets Society
I talked about this recently. RIP Robin Williams.

Breakfast Club
I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, and this movie still resonated with me. John Hughes nailed the high school experience. I was Ally Sheedy’s character + Anthony Michael Hall’s character. Sans dandruff.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Exuberant. Another John Hughes film that I just loved.

The Exorcist
I watched this at home in my basement with a few friends, and it scared the shit out of me. And then we took a drive to the haunted place in Erie. Because: teenagers.

The LOTR Trilogy
My husband reads these books over and over again. He is the reason I have read these books and seen these movies. We saw them all in the theater, and we own them all on DVD. He dreams of having a LOTR- and Hobbit-viewing party over a weekend. Now what to do with those pesky kids.

Hunger Games Movies
I love these books so much, and I love Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and I own t-shirts for these films. I’ve gone full-on geek for them, and I’m okay with that. Which reminds me that I need to get a Mockingjay tee.

What movies do you love?

Blade Runner poster art

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New and Notable

On our way to my brother’s house yesterday afternoon, I realized we hadn’t eaten lunch. Not wanting to raid the cabinets in my SIL’s kitchen, we decided to stop somewhere. Dan suggested The Ramen Bar, which he had read about in City Paper.

Score 1 for Dan.

Lunch was excellent, and abundant — we have enough leftovers for two more meals at least. My kids dove into those ramen bowls like Japanese noodle pros (although we got fried rice for M). M went through his rice digging out the egg, the carrots, and the shiitake mushrooms; I neglected to tell him they were mushrooms, and he just kept saying, “Found another one!” and gulping them down. In the meantime, Flora shared her mussels and squid from her seafood ramen.

Kate noticed M’s enthusiasm for those little brown things, and asked to taste one. She balked when I used the “m” word. “Kate,” I pointed out, “you have eaten mussels and squid today. You can’t not taste a mushroom.”

We’ll be back!

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And, presented with as little comment as I can manage: The Afghan Whigs. I may write more; I am undecided. I was a happy woman Saturday night.

Greg Dulli, leader of Afghan Whigs

Greg Dulli

John Curley of the Afghan Whigs

John Curley

Afghan Whigs setlist

Afghan Whigs setlist. They played “Lost in the Woods” instead of “These Sticks”, which I consider a win, because “Lost in the Woods” is probably my favorite from Do the The Beast.

Photo credits go to my Brand New Friends, Janet Gray and Heidi Wood.

Score 2 for Dan, because he is a very patient man. He let me have my fangirl night. He hasn’t made too much fun of me.

What new experiences have you had lately, readers?

Random Thoughts: The Word Vomit Edition

My Monday started at 2 a.m. this morning. Just woke up, and my brain started spinning. I tried reading. I watched the rest of an episode of OITNB. I finally fell asleep by reciting Our Fathers and Hail Marys.

And then M came into my room, twice. The second time he got into bed with me (I usually go to his bed to lay down with him, but I was too tired from having been awake for about 2 hours) and proceeded to squirm around until I told him to knock it off.

And then I woke up at 7:05 because I forgot to turn on my alarm.

I have a very busy week, and I am trying very much to take it one day at a time. After all, that’s how it happens, right? I am, to my detriment, already focused on getting to the weekend.

And on a day that started with thinking of All. The. Things I need to do this week, it wasn’t good to read this article from the NPR health blog.

I think about this often: how stressed is too stressed? What can I do to lessen my stress levels? If I can’t lessen them, how can I better manage them?

I don’t like saying I’m stressed. I don’t like saying “I’m too busy”. I really don’t. It sounds like an excuse.

But. I might be too busy and stressed.

This week looks like this:

Monday: Work, School Advisory Board meeting at 6:30. Now, obviously, I was foolish to express interest in being on the SAB, even though I am interested. Because this means I have to leave work, pick everyone up, put dinner together, and turn the evening over to a babysitter to manage. It means I had to hire a sitter in the first place!

Tuesday: Get up to workout, work, soccer practice for Flora, bath night.

Wednesday: Work. My stylist is coming over around 9 p.m. to do my hair. I kind of consider this an off night, but it may be late.

Thursday: Get up to workout, work, practice spelling tests, bath night.

Friday: Work, pick up Flora at soccer practice, pick up Kate at school, pick up M at daycare, turn children over to ILs to babysit for night, go out to dinner with my parents who are in from out of town.

Saturday: I don’t even know what is going to need to happen by Saturday. This is what I know: Flora will have a soccer game, I would like to go to the gym with my husband, and I am going to see the Afghan Whigs. This concert is pretty much the only reason I am hoping to survive this week without a breakdown.

Sunday: Somehow I have to get my mother and my children all in the same place. This sounds almost straightforward, I realize, but there are some complicating logistics regarding where my mother will actually be (at Dr. Bro’s house), whether or not she just wants to hang there, and how we will get around game day traffic coming or going.

Also, somehow, even though I noticed that we were out of milk yesterday, I never managed to either go to the store myself and get some, or send Dan to get some — plus, I didn’t shop at all this weekend, so the meal plan is a touch sketchy for this week. So in addition to starting this week at 2 a.m., we started it sans any kind of milk, which makes serving cereal for breakfast a little tricky.

Oy.

There is also money to manage and bills to pay and a house to keep in fairly decent shape. I cannot wait until Dan gets back to putting the basement in order for the littles. They need their own damn space. I’m tired of managing their stuff. And, yes, we are teaching them to pick up and do chores and so on, but it seems to be a lot of repetition for very little gain some days.

Especially on a day where my living room was very clean for most of the day (because my children were otherwise elsewhere), and then completely trashed in about 30 minutes because they were home. That’s just ridiculous to me. Is it just me?

How do you manage stress and not sweat the small stuff so it doesn’t kill you?

Standing close to this band is my reward for getting to Saturday. That and drinks with my husband.

School Update: The Good, The Bad, and The Flora

1. Kate has been a rock star (well, until this week*). She has consistently completed her homework in Extended Day. She comes home and does her evening chore. There are some slight issues about her behavior when she’s hungry — because she’s not just hungry, she’s starving to death, of course.

Oh, yeah, we have chores going on. Each week, the girls either have to set and clear the table, or wash the dishes. The time I gain in my evenings due to having the girls do one chore each evening — one! — has been remarkable.

Kate sometimes has to be reminded to get her chore started, but once she starts, she goes from start to finish without stopping. I help with dishwashing, making sure things are cleaned and well-rinsed, then I dry and put away most of the dishes.

Because of her exemplary behavior these past two weeks, Kate has earned a special Katie-Mom day this weekend. I really couldn’t be prouder of her.

Katie and me

(*This week, she has complained of stomach pain. She’s missed two days of school. No fever, but we are heading to the pediatrician’s office this afternoon.)

2. Ha, ha, just kidding. I just wanted a catchy headline.

Michael is *thrilled* to be in preschool. He loves just about everything about being a “big boy”: his teacher, his backpack, his folder. He actually seems to like Tuesdays and Thursdays best now — “Do I go upstairs today?” he will ask. The preschool classroom is upstairs. “Yup,” I’ll say. He’ll do a fist pump: “YESSS!”

It’s ridiculous.

He had no trouble transitioning back into the daycare setting either. Didn’t even faze him. I think he missed his little buddies.

My cheeseball

3. We may have turned the corner on this one. It remains to be seen.

My children, Kate and Flora, are responsible for doing their homework in Extended Day. This is a habit I tried last year to get started with them. Mileage, as they say, varied.

This year, I put down the law. Homework gets done at Extended Day. If they needed help with something, they could save it for home, but the majority of it has to get done before I pick them up. And, yeah, they have to motivate and monitor themselves. I am not going to put responsibility on the EDS proctor.

Flora has consistently chosen not to do her homework. I would find her playing on a computer at Extended Day, and she would turn to me and say, “Oh. Um, I didn’t do my homework.” After about a week of this, I said, “Why aren’t you doing your homework?”

“Homework is a waste of time.”
“You think homework is a waste of time.”
“Yes. Also farts.” (I took this to mean she thought homework was farts, not that farts were a waste of time.)

“Fine,” I said. “I’m taking the 3DS away.” And I did.

A day or two after this conversation, there was a note in her math book. She hadn’t done her homework for two days in a row. So she was either telling me she did it at Extended Day and didn’t, or she was telling me she was doing it at home, and didn’t. Either way I trusted her. That’s over!

(No, I don’t check my children’s homework. They do that in school. Of course, now I check to make sure they actually did it.)

Two days into this week, Flora has done her homework both days. I have checked, and helped her with a couple of problems she skipped because she didn’t understand the question (distributive property, ahoy!). She asked for the 3DS back, and I said that we had to get through the week first.

I haven’t signed her up for violin yet — that’s a matter of disorganization on my part. She has soccer practice Tuesdays and Thursdays, and chorus on Wednesdays, so getting her homework done is even more vital.

Also, she hasn’t done well with the chore. She starts and stops, starts and stops. She’ll set out dishes and wander away. I have to call her back time and again to finish. When she was not doing her homework in Extended Day, she didn’t have time to do her chore — and boy did she ever milk that.

This week, as I said, has been better. She has washed dishes (she gets frustrated rinsing all the soap off them). We really need to fix our dishwasher. The girls also help with laundry (mostly putting clean clothes away) and vacuuming.

And, we’ve only been late once, and that was due to construction. It’s a new record!

4. So, that’s where we stand in the middle of September. Flora loves to learn, but she sincerely hates homework. And chores.

Life is rough. /sarcasm

What do you think? Anything else I can do to help Flora get her work done? After she gets the 3DS back, what’s next?

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