Thing are just plain off-kilter around here. This morning Jennie was the first one in the house awake. She was in the shower before anyone else was out of bed. Anyone with a 16 year old girl living in your house understands why I rolled over and muttered to Clay, "honey, wake up. It's the apocalypse."
But at least Jennie remains a pleasant human being. The boys, on the other hand? Monsters.
You know how doctors will sometimes describe a regimen for regulating sleep and improving its quality as "sleep hygiene?" Love that. I picture a stern nurse, pulling on her gloves with a snap, glaring down at a helpless insomniac and growling, "You are doing it WRONG! We will FIX YOU!" Well, the boys are in need of a little "expectation hygiene."
For the last week and a half, their lives have been a playground. No chores, hardly any rules, lots of soda, and diversions galore. They've played and swam and eaten junk daily. They shot bb guns, and learned to drive their grandpa's gator (three guesses whose idea those last two activities was. I'll give you a hint - it wasn't ME and his name rhymes with SAY). They played on the beach and were buried in the sand by cousins. They were loved on by an enormous family who is talented in the realm of loving on kids. They watched TV at random hours of the day. With cookies in hand.
In short, they are spoiled rotten.
You know how they say that if you're introducing a new food to a child, you should try it something like 47 times? Because it takes that long for kids to get used to something new? Well, when the NEW THING is a life of unrestrained revelry, it only takes about fourteen seconds for kids to acclimate. And then they expect it as their God-given DUE.
Apparently while we were gone, Denver was being baked by a heat wave of punishing proportions. We got home to discover that the chocolate chips in our cupboard had melted all together. The lawn was toast. The tree out front has these little helicopter seeds, which it tends to drop slowly, over the course of the summer. However, in response to a week and a half of 100-plus temperatures, all the seeds turned brown and fell to the lawn in drifts. This morning Clay and I were looking out the window at the mess.
"We're going to have to rake those seeds up so I can water the lawn," Clay mused. Tre sighed from the couch, where he was busy bickering with his brothers and reclining, dissatisfied with what the day had to offer him.
"Well," he declared firmly, "I'M not going out there. It's HOT."
Clay and I exchanged a look, then said in unison, "Oh REALLY?"
And so began Operation Repair Boy Attitude. Within minutes all three boys were following their dad outside, whining and grumbling and weeping a little when necessary. On the plus side, the lawn is raked, the sidewalk swept, and my van has never been cleaner. On the minus side, I suspect this may be a long and hard-fought campaign.
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