email written November 9, 2001
I have to step away from the madness upstairs to paint a picture for you. John has been gone for three days, and I’m getting a little frazzled. Since the behavior checklists were taken down from the refrigerator when we “de-cluttered” the house to get it ready to sell, none of the children are taking responsibility for setting the table, cleaning up, or any of the chores. It’s as if they never heard of chores. Imagine that! Therefore, before, during, and after dinner, I am in the kitchen or back and forth to the table observing, disciplining, barking orders.
Tonight, Journey is the first one finished eating. Well, you could hardly call it eating. She smeared herself from the hair down with the dip for the carrots. She squeezed the juice out of her watermelon into her seat. She crumbled the broccoli, mangled the fish sticks, and dumped the noodle soup. I took off her soiled clothing and she started to run “the lap,” all the time squealing in delight. Skye shoved some food in her mouth, and took off after Journey. Within seconds, she/Skye was naked and running. (I don’t know what this will do to her track career, but she loves to run naked.) Emily ate only the vegetable and fruit, and then asked for dessert. Once she consumed her ice cream, she began running and calling out the chant from her P.E. class: “Laurel Ridge is my school (repeat), P.E. is very cool (repeat), Coach has a heart of gold (repeat), sound off…” K.J. and Skye joined in on the “repeats.” Now K.J., my slow eater, sits alone, diligently working away at all the food groups. I escaped to sit down in front of my computer and try to type while Mikayla keeps dumping her ball in my lap for another throw. Isn’t life grand?