After a long and very hot day in Edenton, it is raining. Blessed relief. It's a lovely, soft rain, and just the sound of it on my tin roof puts me in a whole new state of mind. I've been feeling pressed about the amount of time before school starts, AND pressed by some coursework, critique group stuff, and other writing deadlines. But what I really want to do is hang with the boys. Well, today they just wanted to hang out with Edenton friends here, so I got a lot of writing accomplished. I wrote a pitch for an article with my redneck parenting tips. It's the first time I've mentioned it outside my blog, so we'll see...I might get filed into the redneck rejection pile!!! Anyway, I've got some redneck tips for YOU tonight.
A Redneck Mom's Guide to Getting Ready for School to Start
1. Clear the bulletin board in the kitchen that still has all the announcements about end of school activities, conferences, etc. Hope you made it to all of them.
2. Empty and clean all the lunchboxes, just in case anything is lingering....sometimes a tiny puddle you didn't notice can grow into something cool and hairy over the summer. Show it to the kids with a microscope and then wash it out!!! (preferably with bleach)
3. Match up shoes, figure out which pair is missing a match, then search the yard, especially around the trampoline.
4. Schedule haircuts since you promised them (boys, too) that they wouldn't have to get it cut all summer. PREPARE them that haircuts will come, so GET USED TO IT.
5. Start cleaning out the car now. All the summer travels have left lots of unique souvenirs in the car. While they do promise excellent thinking prompts for those back to school essays, the carpool may not be impressed if they stick to the back of their pants on the ride to school.
6. Make the boys try on some of their clothes. They've shot up so much this summer that we want to make sure they have something to wear the first day of school. Yes, they've been shirtless and shoeless all summer.
7. Find the supply lists that were mailed a couple of weeks ago, and start on them. But first, find them....I put them in a special place, so they wouldn't get lost...hmmmm..
8. Start telling the kids how GREAT their upcoming grade is going to be. How FUN it will be to go back to school, how MUCH they will LOVE learning this year. Sounds corny, but it does work. Kids are SO malleable like that. How do you think they brainwash all those kids in those compounds in Utah? It's okay to brainwash them about learning and school.
9. Reintroduce the kids to soap and shampoo.
10. Begin the last family read aloud for the summer. Summer is such a yummy time for family reading. Especially in the hammock or on a blanket in the yard with drippy popsicles and bubbles to blow while they listen....
Okay, sports fans, I DO love you. Thanks for reading.
Oh, and I FINALLY polished my new picture book manuscript and plan to send it out TOMORROW! Let's hope all those darn summer interns have left the publishing houses for college by the time my manuscripts arrive.
My youngest son is trying to quit sucking his thumb, sweet thing. So he's really thinking a lot about the whole thumb sucking grossness, etc. He CONSTANTLY asks me, "If I touch __________ and suck my thumb, will I die?" Well, it's usually things like windex when he's helping me clean the windows or dog food or something. He's pretty neurotic, actually. Remember this is the kid who sleeps with a fire extinguisher under his bed. So anyway, his mean big brother has learned that the way to get to him when he's mad is to say, "Uh, oh! You're not sucking your thumb, are you? Remember what you touched awhile ago?" But then he won't tell him because of course, he's touched nothing poisonous.
So YS got totally crazy freaked out in one of these episodes. I was kind of listening for the other room but really wanted them to work it out. Ben realized he was being mean, and said, "IT's okay. I was just kidding." YS still crying. "Jon, I was just kidding." YS really sobbing now. Then it got quiet. So I tiptoed in to see what was going on, and the two of them were snuggled on the sofa with the OS sucking the YS's thumb to PROVE it was okay. It was priceless. Like two little monkey babies.
I helped a friend organize a few book shelves today because she just moved. It was like settling old friends, seeing all those wonderful children's books. I think it's unnatural for me to love books so much. But I do. I really do.
Well, I need to go clean up the mess that is my kitchen. I'm dead. Sleep tight, sweet peas.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.