Sunday, January 8, 2006

7 x 7 = Clark Put Too Much Water In The Tub

"Please put the juice away."

"Put the juice away, please."

"The juice needs to please be put away."

Oh, excuse me. I was just practicing for this weekend when I start to babysit Page's 7 kids for a week.

"Turn off the t.v. and please do your homework now!"

That is right. 7 kids for 7 days. Basically Christopher and I decided that we should retire our hirability for extensive babysitting because it's really, really, well, hard. But when your brother-in-law flies you to Europe, and then wants to fly his wife to China before the birth of their number 8, and they need a babysitter you just say "And what time is family scripture reading again?"

And they say "6 a.m."

And you say "Awesome!"

(And then you cross your fingers and just hope that the 6 a.m. wake-up call/ scripture study was worth the trip to Europe.)

"Please turn off the t.v. It's time to do homework!"

I went to an educators convention (Hold the phones! This lady HATES conventions!) where a masculine lady with a southern drawl told us to never say "please" or "thank-you" when you are talking to kids. Her reason being that those words teach children that obedience requires our gratitude. I am not sure how much tuition was for me to go to that convention (thank heavens the school district foot the bill) but what a waste of scratch!

"Turn off the t.v. now BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

And so the statements begin "You won't want to have kids after this!" or "What a great method of birth control!" and "This is going to give you second thoughts!" Which is true. We've done this a half dozen times and our marriage BARELY survives. At the end of the stay I am checking CK vital signs on the hour. Then I order pizza.

"Will someone please feed the dog?"

But it never causes me to rethink children. In fact, after the parents return and CK and I trek back home, I cry for days afterwards. I cry because no four-year-old needs me, no baby to change, no ten-year-old to make laugh. It's like having your dream job for a week and then going back to being a chimney sweep.

"Will you take your please sister downstairs please and turn on Mary please Poppins?"

So please don't feel sorry for me whilst my world turns upside down for a week. Instead, please pray for me the week following as I fall into a heap of self-pity. And please keep using the word please. Thank you.

"I said RIGHT NOW!"