Is That So Wrong?

We've kept up our reading of Where the Red Fern Grows; we're about half way through. I'm just thrilled with how into it the kids are. We watch a lot of movies around here, so I was especially psyched when, on the way home tonight, one of the kids asked if we could watch a movie, and when I suggested we read instead, they were all way excited and abandoned any thought of a movie. I was happy, since this meant that I would not responsible for the death of a single brain cell under my roof for this night.

One problem. Little T.

She's too young for this reading-a-real-book-out-loud business. She gets too squirrely, needs too much attention. Earlier in the day, when I was thinking about reading later, I remembered how great reading had been the other night when she landed herself in bed early after being a Royal Pain in the Arse. She got her 1st and 2nd warnings, and then got herself a one way ticket to an early bedtime. She crashed and slept hard. The rest of us got to read in peace. So...I was wondering to myself...would it be really bad to sort of taunt her into misbehavior? You know, sort of poke the bear until the bear predictably lashes out? Could I get her to disobey me, or bug her brothers too much, or jump on the furniture as she knows she mustn't, or draw on a wall or something? If I could somehow find a way to get her in big enough trouble to send her to bed early, that would really make reading easier.

I had my little chuckle about this idea. A mom can dream, can't she?

Well, I should have known that Little T needs little to no encouragement for misbehavior. I hadn't made it past the first page of Chapter X before she disobeyed her dad three times in a row, and voila! She went to bed early.

Sometimes, I just love how awful and how predictable she is! Win-Win for everyone! It worked out beautifully.

We read the chapter tonight about the Pritchard boys. I won't spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, this one packs a punch. I made it through with nary a tear, but I did get choked up at one point.

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And in other news: it seems we are forever in need of learning the value of Simple Things. This past week, we finally managed to take care of two very small home projects that have made a world of difference in our quality of life.

First, I finally hung a window shade in my kitchen. The window is at my sink, so I spend a fair amount of time there. In the morning, the sun streams directly in the window and beats down on the opposite counter, where we keep our wine and spirits, for lack of a better place. In the evening, the setting sun reflects off of the large white wall of my neighbor's house and blinds anyone standing at my sink (that would be me about 99.99% of the time) and slams more heat and light on our liquor. Heat on wine and spirits is very dis-spiriting indeed, and Rick has been after us for weeks (OK, months or years) to hang a shade or a curtain or something already. I went to Home Depot. I forked over $15 bucks for a cheap shade and the stupid little hardware set. I came home and hung the damn thing. The entire process took less than an hour. The kitchen is now comfortably bright instead of blindingly so. We have a touch more privacy. And the liquor: friends, the liquor is safe. That is a quality of life issue.

Second, Rick cleaned out our shower head. Oh my. What a difference. We've noticed for months that the once robust spray had become mostly one thick deluge of water, lacking force and oomph. Again, we've been meaning to take care of it for the longest time. I saw Rick fiddling with it the other day, and got positively giddy about my next shower. Sure enough, that first "new" shower made me feel like I just had a spa day. After Rick took his shower, we were marveling at the awesome-ness of the spray and he said he felt like he'd just had a vacation. Definitely a quality of life issue. I love that shower head, and I love the man who cleaned it out.

So why do we take so long to do these simple things that make such a difference? I've been on the lookout all week for more of these little jobs that improve life so much. I wonder what will be next. Organizing and hiding the cords behind the TV? Cleaning out the school backpacks that are still on the vent by the front door? Making it possible to close the linen closet without having to slam the door and lean into it fast so nothing falls out?

We are unstoppable. Who knows what we will conquer next.

Every now and then, domesticity makes me feel powerful.

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nicole said…
i love cleaning out linen closets...what my help. oh, don't forget the kitchen cupboards are to come.

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