Category: Parenting


Vlogtober Mini 2

Vlogtober Mini 2

The kids have the day off of school, and it’s a Friday, which will have my internal calendar off by a day until at least next Wednesday (which is actually an improvement over last month, the bulk of which I spent thinking it was this month).

Vlogtober Mini 1

Vlogtober Mini 1

Ah… Vlogtober. I’ve never considered participating in Vlogtober, but I’ve watched my fair share of others’ contributions. The idea of making sure to record, edit, and post something every day for a month is fairly intimidating to me, but I wanted to try to come close. So, I give you the Vlogtober Mini.

I honestly don’t think I’m doing anything interesting enough to record every day; I would think that, after so many trips in the Frat Van, you’d get tired of seeing me sit behind the wheel. Then I remembered that I live with Many Crazy People, and I find them endlessly entertaining, so you might too!

Applause Before 8 A.M.

Applause Before 8 A.M.

In order to tell you what I really want to tell you, I have to give you a little insight into what a Frat House Morning looks like on a school day.

In a nutshell, I get six kids to four different schools every school day, with a toddler in tow. While I only drive two of them to two different schools, I do make sure everyone is awake, fed, and presentable before they leave for the bus stop or the Frat Cab, whichever is their mode of transportation to school.

Every single school morning, at 7:30, I drive Jack to his elementary school, which is about six blocks from our house. I realize we could walk, but, if we did, I wouldn’t be back home in time to drive the next Frat Boy to his school, so we drive.

Every single morning, Jack gets out of the van, I watch him walk into the school, and I pull away to circumnavigate the other half of the rectangle of roads that will take me back home.

And every single morning, the same dad rides my bumper for three blocks until I make my left turn.

(OK, it isn’t every morning. That is to say, he isn’t necessarily riding my back bumper every morning, but he’s always tailing someone within my view way too closely. We’re all there at the same time driving the same cars in the same direction, every school morning, so he’s hard to miss.)

Bear in mind, every road within a 100-mile radius of my home is an Ice Rink of Death right now and has been for months. We all need to be careful, especially when there are kids approaching from every direction, on foot, trying to get to school.

This morning, I had to wait for oncoming traffic before I could make my left turn and escape the chaos that is The Morning Drop-Off. Bumper Boy (yes, he’s been so annoying for so long that he has earned a nickname) had been on me for his usual three blocks, following so closely that I couldn’t even see his headlights in my rear-view mirror. I had actually watched the front end of his SUV dip three times when he rode up so closely that he had to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting me (quickly followed by immediately riding right up my back bumper again. Can you say, “unteachable?”).

Then something amazing happened.

Something astonishing.

In the words of a mom who saw it and texted me afterwards, “That was beautiful!”

Right in the middle of the stand-still traffic, I put the Frat Cab into park and got out.

Bumber Boy and I were going to have a chat. I had had Enough.

I didn’t have far to walk as he was, as usual, right on my rear bumper. And none of the traffic was moving anyway. As I approached his window, he cracked it a bit.

Mustering all of the patience that a mother of seven could possibly contain, I calmly, firmly, as-nicely-as-can-be-done-through-gritted-teeth said,

“You’re following way too closely. You do it here, in front of a school, to everyoneevery morning. Stop. It.”

I turned around, walked back to The Frat Cab, continued to wait for the traffic to move so I could make my left turn, and finally made my exit.

Bumper Boy didn’t move until I was gone.

As I made that left turn, the kind woman who left a gap so I could go (a mom whose son goes to school with mine) put her window down and applauded.

The man in the car behind her did the same.

Before I got home, I had three texts from parents and two from teachers, all of whom were in that tangle of traffic with me, and all of whom have dealt with this man’s apparent lack of depth perception since August when the school year began.

I wonder what the morning drop-off will be like tomorrow.


8 Things You May Not Know About Living With 7 Boys And A Man

8 Things You May Not Know About Living With 7 Boys And A Man

1. They take their socks off and leave them right where they removed them (usually the middle of the living room), or, worse yet, shove them in between the couch cushions.

2. They can make an entire room reek in less than two minutes of occupying said room. And you immediately hope the stench is coming from their de-socked extremities and not elsewhere.

3. They could each star in an episode of Hoarders based on the amounts of dishes in their bedrooms alone. I have, on more than one occasion, wandered from room to room filling a clothes basket with dirty dishes.

4. Regardless of whether they’re 42-years-old or 1, you can track their whereabouts by following the trail of Stuff they leave in their wake with very little forensics training.

5. They have no concept of clutter or filth whatsoever except for apparently feeling that there’s never enough of either one and they must always make more.

6. Prodigious towel use after showering still results in a wet boy upon exiting the bathroom (and a floor covered in wet towels).

7. Filling the refrigerator with food and drinks is an exercise in self-flagellation. It will be empty in an hour.

8. They will break your heart with their wit and their minds and their love.

More Uses For Sticky Notes!

More Uses For Sticky Notes!

Many of us have sticky notes, well… everywhere.

I honestly don’t have what I think is a lot, but I sometimes purchase huge packages of them and then wonder if I’ll ever use them all up. Having lots of kids helps burn through the stickies at a sometimes-alarming rate.

The other day, I was trying to think of a way to mess with the kids a bit (you know, as every good parent does). They’ve been slacking on their chores a bit lately, and I wanted to make my point without being a jerk and without repeating myself repeatedly.

(Those two seemingly-disparate paragraphs have something in common, really.)

Here’s what I came up with:

Clean out the fridge!
Clean out the fridge!
Put Me Away!
Put Me Away!
Dust Me (And My Friends)
Dust Me (And My Friends)
Empty Me
Empty Me

By the time they got home from school, it looked as if the Sticky Note Fairy had blessed our home greatly. They were everywhere.

And it was awesome.

More awesome that the sticky-note party was the fact that every single one of those chores got done with a giggle and a smile.

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