Tonight, I came into my son’s room and noticed to my dismay that somehow, once again, we had lost the floor.

The floor was gone: lost underneath a scattering of dirty clothes, books, book bags, sweatshirts and toys.

“Jamie!” I said, unable to hide my dismay.  “Jamie.  Son.  You need to put your dirty clothes into the clothes hamper.  You know this.”

Jamie obediently got down from his bunk and began sorting the clothes, while I went into our bedroom to attend to my own laundry.

I came back.  There will still dirty clothes everywhere.

“Jamie.  You need to put all the dirty clothes in the hamper.”

As I piled books back onto his bookshelf, Jamie gradually liberated the floor from its captivity.

As I tucked him into bed, I explained: “Jamie, I am doing all this for the sake of your future wife, and for your future happiness in your marriage.  Your future wife will not find mounds of your dirty clothes everywhere endearing.  In fact, she may say: ‘My husband is a slob! Why didn’t his mother teach him how to clean up after himself?’  So, I’m trying to teach you how to clean up after yourself and be considerate, for the sake of your future wife and to give you a happy marriage.”

Jamie found this hilarious.  “Well,” he said, laughing, “You’re doing a terrible job.”

To my future daughter-in-law: please believe me when I tell you I did my best.


Loving these kids

When I got home from shopping for groceries, I found the kids outside searching for a screw that had fallen off the lawnmower.  Mike offered $1 for anyone who found it and $0.50 for all helpers.

When they came in, defeated, they helped themselves to a snack – being careful to assist Molly, who couldn’t pour her drink on her own.

When they were finished, Tess said: “So, guys….Lego?”

They all looked at each other.

“Yup,” said Jamie.

“Let’s go,” said Molly.

And so they did, and played happily together until suppertime, when I had to peel them away from their game.

Great expectations

The other day, I was reminding the kids to pick up the mess on their floors.

“Why?” asked Jamie (as though a tidy room wasn’t enough of a reason).

“The cleaning lady is coming.”

There was a long pause.  Then: “Mummy?”

“Yes, Jamie?”

“Can we get a butler?”

Now there’s a question I wasn’t expecting.

Jamie, who heard a favourite song on the radio, asked: “Can I turn the radio up to screaming?”

No.  But I like the wonderfully descriptive way you put your request!

* * * * * * * * * *

I was very annoyed this morning when I went to put Jamie’s lunch in his backpack and discovered a stack of books – with homework incomplete.

“Jamie,” I said.  “You told me you were done your homework.”

“I didn’t” he protested, not making eye contact.

“It clearly lists here, for May 29th (which is why I hadn’t noticed it in the agenda, having looked in April 29th’s entry), that you have allllll these different pieces of homework to do.”

Jamie stood still, looking sober.
“Jamie, it’s important to tell me the truth.  You don’t say you’re done your homework if you haven’t completed it.”

Jamie became urgent, animated: “NO!  WHAT I SAID WAS TRUE!  I WAS done with my homework.  She gave me too much and I was so done with it!”

MMmm hmmm.  Hate to break it to you buddy, but that’s not what “being done” with your homework means!



Molly and Jamie were both in the pajamas, eating at the table.  Molly was splayed rather un-ladylike, leaning back in her chair in her too-small pj’s.

“Molly!” Jamie exclaimed, lips curled. “I can see your penis!  You need to cover yourself up!”

I’ll say.  And maybe it’s also time to review the difference between boys and girls with my son…


Jamie and Tess both have an adorable spray of sweet freckles across their cheeks, the bridge of their noses and their foreheads.

When I mentioned how much I love their freckles, Jamie said: “Yeah. Me too.  My freckles are a Batman mask.  That’s what I think when I look in the mirror.”

Looking closer, I can see what he means.   Only Jamie would be one to notice, it though!

Molly:  “My tummy is telling me something.  She’s saying that the crust is not for eating, but the salad is okay.”

Molly’s tummy is pretty bossy, I’ve noticed.

* * * * * * *

After issuing dinnertime Manners Instructions (USE YOUR CUTLERY NOT YOUR FINGERS…for the zillionth time), I asked Jamie, who had that faraway look:

“So, Jamie, what did Mummy say?”

“You said not to do that thing you said not to do.”

Smooth operator, that one.

* * * * * * *

One of the questions from our dinnertime devotions asked us to name our favourite kind of music.

Tess said: “Well, I like praise music.  But the kids’ kind.  The adult praise songs are always kind of slow and sad.”