Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some Things I've Been Meaning to Tell my Children

Dear Children,

1) Here are the locations of garbage receptacles in our house: basement, kitchen, downstairs bathroom, living room, your bedroom (no matter who you are), upstairs bathroom. It seems to me, given so many places in which to throw your trash, there is really no excuse for there to be (I have said this so many times that the phrase is now capitalized in my mind) Actual Garbage on the floor. By garbage I don't mean possessions of which I am scornful, such as Happy Meal toys, although there are plenty of those around too; I mean Actual Garbage like the wrappers from juice box straws, glucose test strips, and used tissues.

I know all about lazy. But the hierarchy of disposal-related tasks and their apparent onerousness (onerosity?) to you fascinates me. To wit: it makes M. and R. feel faint to open the cabinet below the kitchen sink, so they will walk all the way into the downstairs bathroom in order to stuff an empty cereal box into the small white wicker bathroom wastebasket. This, I hasten to add, is after I have said, "R., could you please throw away this empty cereal box that you put back in the pantry?"

2) Here is how the laundry room is set up: the dirty clothes which magically disappear from your room are sorted into the tall blue hampers to the left of the washing machine. Clean clothes appear magically in the baskets to the right of the dryer. If you think about it at all you can understand how this arrangement works (hint: like words on the printed page). When you come home from a landscaping service project so dirty that you are a biohazard, and I ask you to undress in the basement, you should not put your unbelievably filthy clothes in the baskets to the right of the dryer. Please. Oh, please.

3) It appears that someone has been climbing, or hanging, on the large white laminate cupboard in the downstairs bathroom. One particleboard side is ripped right off the bolts, and consequently the shelf inside the cupboard lost two of the nearly-inadequate clear plastic clips that are supposed to hold it up. I was able to hammer the side back on, and I'm sure I can buy that kind of plastic clip, or some other shelf-holding-up thing, at the hardware store. I just think it would be particularly tragic if one of my children were crushed to death under something that cannot really be dignified with the name of furniture. This cupboard is not a permanent solution to our lack of a broom closet, but it is a solution; could we not destroy it and endanger our lives in the process?

By the way, if you were climbing up to get napkins from the basket on top of the cupboard because I asked you to set the table, THE NAPKINS ARE IN THE CABINET ABOVE THE SUGAR BOWL. They always have been. There is, in fact, a large drawstring sack of napkins on top of the bathroom cupboard, but just let me worry about that. You see, when the napkins magically reappear in the cabinet above the sugar bowl, that's where they come from.

In eternal devotion, but a little confused about how such bright and winning children can lack the sense God gave a goat,


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