Good and Bad News from Last Year

So… it has been a while. I understand rumors began to sprout up about our mysterious disappearance from the blog. Let me put your mind at ease. We have not boarded a ship bound for adventures unknown. Nor have we been driven into hiding by distrustful parts of the government determined to regulate family size. And while an idyllic cabin hidden away by year round snowcapped mountains may be appealing, the forever un-melting snow would send me looking for more temperate weather. In short, we are still where we have always been. But for reasons I will explain, I have been unable to approach the blog. Continue reading

Blunt Observations

I’ve had quiet children; however they have yet to remain quiet. The girls virtually came out talking, and they have not neglected their sibling duties of instructing their younger brothers in the finer points of eliminating silence. Believe me, there is no such thing as an “awkward silence” in my house.

Wife’s grandmother from out of state had come into town for a visit; and my boys set to work at entertaining her. She was accosted with drawing after drawing, all the while #5 kept up a running commentary with #6 parroting him. #5 drew her attention to either his paper or that of his brother’s, illuminating the hidden figures that seemed to be somewhere behind the dark storm cloud of scribbles.

At one point they where waiting for #6 to finish his drawing and there was nearly an awkward silence, but then #5 piped in an observation to his great grandmother, “Yo’r arms are squooshy.”

He could have stopped there. I would have been happy if he had. My pride would have been happy. But it was like the start of a flashflood, there was no stopping him at that point.

He continued, “Yah, and yo’r skin is soft too. And yo’r skinny. But you don’t have any money ‘causes yo’r weel old.” And he nodded his head at her with all the authority of a knowledgeable four year old. He was quite undisputable.

Further observation was halted by the arrival of #6 and his latest thunderhead.

I actually had to admire the little boy. If I had said anything like that, Wife’s grandmother would have been offended, and I would have received and ear full from Wife well into the next week. #5 insults her age and financial security, and he gets chuckles and a kiss.

While the children can’t get away with all the noises they make, grandmothers certainly have a weakness for their blunt observations.Little boys on grandmother's lap

The Rapture?

Not long ago, Wife and I took the family over to her parents for a visit. We were having such a good time that the sun set without our permission. The nerve of it. On account of the late hour, it was decided to invade the grandparents’ home through the night. Beds were rearranged and sleeping bags carpeted the living room. A regular grade school style sleepover.

Wife, #7, #8, and I promptly displaced Wife’s youngest brother from his room. He was happy enough to “campout” in the front room with his nieces and nephews. Once the house had been turned upside-down, they all stayed awake until sleep became so overpowering that they could not resist it anymore. As it was my in-law’s house, and their bedtime rules, I strolled to bed and left the children to them.

In the morning, I woke up about six o’clock to the sound of chaos down the hall in the living room. The children were up. I rolled over and went back to sleep. About an hour later I woke up again, this time to silence. I figured that their grandparents had told them to quiet down or sent them outside. However the silence also woke up Wife. To prove that she was the better parent, she got up to investigate.

From the front room she called, “John, where are the kids?”

O.K., that got me up.

I walked into a room of empty sleeping bags. Our six children and two of their uncles were nowhere to be seen. I poked my head out the front door only to find the yard equally empty. Wife and I exchanged puzzled looks. “Did we miss the Rapture?” Wife asked.

It turns out we had not missed the Rapture. Wife’s parents had taken six of our children and two of their uncles out to get donuts. When we saw the grandparents were also missing, Wife called her mother and got the story. I was able to go back to sleep, that is until they all came back.

 The donut feast À la Grandma. It was eight hours before they came off their sugar-high.

The donut feast À la Grandma. It was eight hours before they came off their sugar-high.