A House(work) at War

The kitchen floor detests my mop;
It’s been on strike all year.
The great room carpet, as you see,
Has developed vacuum fears.


Meanwhile, the toilets, yellowed raw
Fear brush and boy alike;
While nearby sink and faucet friends
See sponge and yell out, “Yikes!”

The piles and piles (and piles) upstairs
Of clothes shy from my hand.
Our blankets, sheets, and pillowed beds
Won’t lay as I demand.


And so, you see, oh dearest spouse
I’ve tried hard as hard can be.
One simply cannot fight a house
Nor law of entropy.


Photo Credit:
The Creative Exchange
Tracey Hocking

Get Those Lazy Kids Working

My kids do not like to do chores. I can’t blame them, because I’m in a similar boat.

But I’ve noticed that boat gets rather dingy and near-sinking when the entire crew gives into laziness. Whether the surly crew likes it or no, they live here. They keep eating in the mess hall, pooping on the deck, and shredding the rigging.

Now, to my credit, I’ve had my kids do work around the house since they were big enough to reach the dishwasher and not fall over. Mostly that was because they were already ‘helping’ with any cleaning I tried to do -but I ran with it.

The inspiration for today’s advice comes from an odd idea I formed at the start of this school year: that they shouldn’t have housework because they had schoolwork to worry about.

My boys still had weekend housework jobs, of course, but nothing on the weekdays.

For months I saw them come home, tell me they didn’t have homework, then laze around until computer time (also monitored and restricted, thank you very much).


We-e-e-e-e-ell, it turns out that I got terribly overwhelmed, resentful, irritated, etc. I also had no time for me, even not counting the times I snuck off to my (messy) closet to type up advice I don’t follow.

It turns out they are more than capable of doing some work after school, especially if they have to finish said work before playing.

I guess this post has two pieces of advice, then.

Let them work; it’s good for everyone.


Never underestimate the power of a video game.

You’re welcome.

That’s What Little Boys Smell Of

What do little boys talk of?
What do little boys talk of?
Clips, details of Minecraft men’s tales
That’s what little boys talk of.

What do little boys smell of?
What do little boys smell of?
Chips and ‘nails and hand-washing fails
That’s what little boys smell of.

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Yips and yells and he-did-it wails
That‘s what little boys are made of.


It’s Quiet …Too Quiet

I wasn’t initiated into the throes of motherhood for too long before I discovered two important things:

  1. When a child is screaming bloody murder, he needs attention.
  2. When a child is not screaming, crying, yelling, or even breathing noises, he needs attention.

Erma Bombeck, one of the best writers on life and parenting I’ve ever read, said that boys are easier than girls to raise because they tell you what they are doing. Since I now have a decade of experience in raising tiny males, I can say this is almost true.


Yes, my boys will tell me what they are doing. Mostly, I’ve noticed, that telling is when the story involves what video or computer game they love, what potty joke was in Captain Underpants, and how many times one of them farted yesterday.

In case you wondered, he reached 27 before he stopped counting.

I am just like mothers of any children, however, in that I also discover wrappers, holes, stinky clothing items, marker smiley faces, and objects not put away -that no one is responsible for. I remember that “Family Circus” comics denoted this with a ghostlike kid named “Not Me.” Other issues had a “Nobody” and an “Ida Know.” All of those, plus related cousins, visit our house at least once a day.

So; yes, my boys will tell me which of them put the boogers on the booger wall. They’ll tell me who smashed the box so well it made an AWESOME! dent. In fact, they will also tell me who left items out whenever it is not them.

But whenever they are home and I haven’t heard a peep for five full minutes, I know it’s time to for all systems to be on alert.

If you haven’t experienced the joys of active children yet, this is my parenting advice for today:

When it’s too quiet, investigate.

Your house, cat, spouse, neighbor, and evening plans will all thank you.

Photo Credit:
Kelly Sikkema