Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Yep, the kids are grounded.  Some of them.  All of them.  Even the 18 year old.  Of course, for him it means something completely different.

He's perfectly happy to spend his life in his room sleeping, tweeting, whatever, and only coming out for food, the very occasional swim practice, or car keys.  Instead of being sent to his room, he'll be forced to come out and help around the house, doing some of those projects that I don't see myself getting done!

The younger ones are practically never home from dawn to dusk!  I know, it's every other mother's dream to have their kids stay out all day, but here's the thing:  I like my kids.  Unlike most of the moms I meet, I like having them around the house especially if they bring their friends.

Aside from just wanting to see them once in a while, they need to fulfill their basic household responsibilities AND spend some time using their brains during the day!  We have lots of math to catch up on and books to read.  All I'm asking is an hour, maybe an hour and a half of mental exercise, and another 30 minutes of chores!

Meg wants to know how long they're grounded for.  In all cases, it's until we get a routine going and they're making an effort to get their stuff done before playing.  In her case, it's extended until her disaster of a bedroom is clean and organized and she makes an effort to keep it that way every day.  Clothes draped over every surface and shoved into every corner so the center of the room is clear just. does. not. cut. it. for. me!

The only one who is not grounded is TMax.  The Perfect Child. (kidding, Katie!) Maybe that's just because he doesn't sleep as much as the Other Teen and he doesn't have friends in the neighborhood to hang out with, so he's home.  He works.  He organized his room voluntarily and cleaned out all his school stuff.  He watches Khan Academy videos for fun!  He's pretty much Johnny-on-the-Spot if I need anything.  He could spend a little more time doing his summer homework every day, but he is working on it.

So, after a little attention to Duty and swim practice, they can run around with their friends all they want.  They can go hunting for the pack of coyotes in the woods with just a tennis racket and a golf club for weapons.  They can make Disney dance videos in the yard.  I'll even take them to the pool!  But for now, they're grounded.
(Sort of kidding about the coyotes...if you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that we hear them howling and yowling frequently.  Sometimes we go a while without hearing them, but sometimes it's a couple of times a day.  Their den seems to be about 100 yds from our front door, down an embankment, into the woods.  The neighbors and their "weapons" stood at the top of the bank looking and saw at least one pup down there.  I don't think they actually went into the woods, but I wouldn't put it past them!  I saw a coyote out of the woods the other day while walking past with the dog, but he slipped down and drainage hole immediately.  I was about 20 feet from him!  When they start coming out for more than a few seconds, it will be time to do something about them.  No more being outside on the chain for Gus!)

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