Monday, February 20, 2006

All Questions Must Be Submitted in Writing

I'm posting a new rule in our house, which says, "All questions asked between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. must be submitted in writing. Informal requests for information, such as yelling, screaming and repeating questions over and over will be ignored."

It's not that I have anything against questions. And I love helping my family. I'm flattered that my husband thinks I have a detailed inventory of our house and his truck filed away in my brain. I'm delighted that my children think I'm so smart as to know why superheros wear underpants over their tights.

But 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. is supposed to be "quiet time." Mommy spends this doing "me things" like laundry and dishes. I ignore the swish of lightsabers and pounding of feet overhead as I head for the basement washer. I pretend it is quiet.

Just when I'm in the middle of a daydream, pouring bleach into the dark load, I hear what sounds like a tornado siren. It starts out quietly and ends forbodingly. "mmmoooOOOMMM! mmmoooOOOMMM!"

I dart upstairs, my heart pumping. It beats even faster to accomodate my boiling blood when I hear the emergency.

"When can we get out of quiet time?" The boys ask.

The baby is now awake and crying. My chores are shot to hell.

"Well that would being impossible seeings how quiet time NEVER BEGAN," I say with the attitude of a junior high kid.

If the question had been submitted in writing, however, I would have typed a polite response, such as, "Gentleman, thank you for your insightful query. Please note that in order for something to end, it must first begin. Review your list of sanctioned quiet activities: reading, coloring and thinking. You'll recall we checked out hundreds of library books this morning. Trust me, you should read these while you're young and don't list "straightening up the house" as a favorite hobby. Yours truly, Mommy."

As for 5 p.m.-6 p.m., that is the dinner fixing hour and I have enough questions of my own crowding my brain as I double recipes or divide them in half.

When my husband asks, "Where are the nail clippers?" I answer, "Three eggs divided by two. Let's see, that's three yolks and three whites. Which is six--an even number. So it can be divided..."

I wouldn't be able to answer his inventory questions even if I tried.

Now I would be able to answer the question, "Do you mind if I clip my toenails here in the kitchen while you cook?" but he doesn't ask that. He just does it.

With the new rule, I can picture how smoothly things will go today. I'll remind the boys to submit questions in writing. They'll find a crayon and paper and ask, "How do you spell "when"? How do you spell "can"? How do you spell "we"? How do you spell "get out"? How do you spell "of"? How do you spell "quiet time"?"

I'll tell my husband the new rule and he'll ask, "Do we have any pens anywhere? This one's broken. Oh, here's a pencil. Where's our pencil sharpener?"

And I'll ask, "Why did I make up this dumb rule?"

My sister-in-law Sarah said she thought of me when she saw a T-shirt that said "Will you please read my blog?" Thank you, Devida, Josh, Mom, Jeanne, Mike, Erin, people who e-mailed me, Wolf-snaggle-tooth and anyone else for reading this so I don't have to resort to wearing a T-shirt with that plea. I really appreciate your comments.


Anonymous pat brewster said...

So funny!! I think, "how does she think of all these stories?" But you live them and I can tell you enjoy the moments as you recall them with humor! They're like a good movie to me - I don't want them to end~~!!

7:45 AM  
Anonymous peggy vandyke said...

Your Mom has to read your blog! I however do not and I find it quite entertaining. If and when you get someone you gave birth to submit a question in writing let me know. I hate to tell you but even children who are 25,22,18 and can spell still ask you questions when you're sitting on the "throne" and other quiet times.
Keep up the good work, we domestic divas enjoy your thoughts!

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also Bridget you must stay in bed longer! 3 am is reserved for people like your brother who are just coming home.

2:41 PM  

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