When a Frog is Loose in the House
As my second little birdie prepares to leave the nest I can’t help but look back on those blessed days when the three of my boys were shorter than me. And as I look back on those days I can’t help but think, “If I knew then what I know now . . . ”
We all know babies don’t come with a manual. We make it up as we go along, screw up the first kid and say, “Well we won’t do that with the next one”’The fact that their molecular structure is such that no two are the same, Plan A doesn’t always work for Kid B and Kid C.
The trick is to make your life easier, not theirs. Your children were born to raise your blood pressure and give you gray hair. You must prepare yourselves. You must lock and load. Here are some examples:
Broken windows: The first reaction of the guilty is the cover up. Whether you see a curtain closed in the middle of a bright summer afternoon or a couch pillow oddly propped up on the windowsill act immediately. Scan their face and pinpoint the one that looks the guiltiest. Question him, question the others and if you don’t get a confession punish them all. You know who’s guilty and he knows he’s guilty, if he takes his siblings down with him, see how far he lets it go. This is a consciousness check, to see if he has one. This will let you know what kind of ride you are in for when he’s in his mid to late teens. I suggest working on the guilt trips early, make them think, make them think hard, make them worry about what you think.
Taking out the garbage: If you ask one of them nicely, for instance, “Please take the garbage out.” And the garbage remains in the house, ask yourself, “How many times am I willing to ask for the garbage to be taken out?” Your answer to yourself should be once. If you do not get a response your first couple of tries, tell them about the little boy who waited too long to take the garbage out and had to take it out in the dark. I will give you this tale to tell free of charge. Once there was a little boy who didn’t listen to his mother. No matter how many times she ask he always found something else to do instead of take the garbage out. Until it was too late and it was dark.
Use your scary campfire story telling voice for this.
The garbage had to be taken out before he was allowed to watch his favorite TV show. So he grabbed the bag from his mother and went out into the pitch-black yard, down the deck steps, he walked the path that led to the shed in the backyard. That is where he saw to two glowing, beady eyes and he heard the low growl of an unknown beast. He froze in his steps and stared helplessly back at the yellow eyes not ten feet away from him. The little boy panicked, dropped the bag of garbage and ran.
What happened next was horrible. It was a skunk. It was startled by the garbage bag being dropped and shot its smell into the backyard. After hearing the child run up the deck steps and with the smell close behind him, his mother closed all the windows but the smell seeped into some of the cracks. The house smelled like skunk for days and the little boy had to clean up the garbage the next morning.
This should work, but remember to give the child rubber gloves, an extra bag and a surgical mask of some sort, also make sure you take pictures.
The application of sunscreen: This is going to make so much sense to you when I’m done. Put sunscreen on your children before you get to the pool or beach. I can’t stress this enough. When you go swimming with more than one child and they still need sunscreen slathered on them, do yourself a favor and just let them burn. I continue to be amazed at parents that file into the pool for a fun filled family day and they stop their children from jumping in with the rest of the kids. Why? Because before they can have any fun they have to be disappointed, start crying and be yelled at by their stressed out parents.
While you struggle with one child the others are inching their way towards the water’s edge. You are not going to be able to catch them because your hands are full of sunscreen and the partially gooped kid thinks he’s done when you go to catch the ungooped ones. The gooped one is slippery now you’ll never get him back. See the chaotic situation you and you alone created? Tell me slathering them up at home doesn’t make sense.
Career encouragement: It’s very important to nurture a budding career choice of your child. Eventually you will want them out of the house and having a steady income, doing something they love ensures that when they leave they won’t come back. Veterinarian is a popular choice for girls because they like ponies. Boys on the other hand use this choice to bring creatures into your house. Don’t fall for it, they are playing you. At one point in my youngest sons life he had three aquariums in his bedroom filled with creatures from the wild. I thought I was raising the next Dr. Doolittle but in reality he had no desire to become a Veterinarian, he just liked the thrill of the chase. If you allow a frog into your house be prepared to catch it. Because if you are alone in the house that is the day the frog will be croaking in the middle of your darling offspring’s bedroom. Don’t let it sense your fear. Have a two-pound margarine tub with lid always at the ready. Place the tub over the frog, quickly. Gently slid the lid under the tub. This is no time to be squeamish, you might see some frog feet sticking out during the sliding process, carry on soldier. Continue until the lid is in place and there are no frog toes clinging to the edges. Firmly fasten the lid in place. And like you did for the Fireflies when you were a kid, poke holes in the lid. Wait for said child to return home and demand the frog be set loose. It’s a creature of the wild, nature intended it to be free, do it for the frog. Say stuff like that.
My friends, I’ve done what I can for you. Learn from my experience if possible. Good luck and Gods speed.