It’s Just That Way.

September 10, 2008

We have a lot of things going on at our house, all the time it seems. And after the Summer of Spending Dangerously, which resulted in a lot of additional upheaval while a plethora of things were constructed, re-constructed, cleaned, painted, and replaced inside and out… well, let’s just say that we have been looking for ways to cut down on spending wherever we can.

I should clarify: we’re not heading for the poor house just yet… but there comes a time, especially after you’ve been writing big checks to contractors for several weeks, when you just want to scream STOP THE MADNESS!  I DO NOT WISH TO SPEND ANY MORE MONEY, EVEN IF IT IS FOR SOMETHING WORTHWHILE.

So, a few weeks ago, I told the boys that we would be packing lunches to school almost all the time now. And by “we” I really meant “they,” because they are old enough and quite capable of packing their own school lunches. I had to lay down a few ground rules, of course. Things like “only 3 twinkies per day” and “do not crush the potato chips in order to fit more of them into the baggie.” And the boys took to it pretty quickly… after all it’s not rock science. 🙂

In addition to packing their lunches at least 4 out of 5 days a week, the boys are also expected to keep up with simple daily responsibilities. Keep rooms picked up… do homework… keep your backpacks organized and ready to go each day… and a few others, but all simple things that are to be expected of any functioning member of the family.

Wednesday nights are historically a little bit hectic, because we spend the first half of the evening out at church, and then spend the rest of the evening trying to get the boys to settle down after running around with all their buddies. I generally have to do some extra “reminding” to be sure things get done before bedtime on Wednesdays. And such was the case tonight. We got home, and I instructed the boys to get showers, clean up their rooms, get their school things together, and pack their lunches.

Aaron has been the one lately who really needs extra motivation to do anything that might be considered a “chore.”  He is the master of daydreaming, getting sidetracked, pursuing tangents… however you want to put it, he needs some help to stay focused if he’s given any sort of task that isn’t his favorite thing to do.

I had told Aaron that it was getting late and he needed to finish getting his papers together – plus his violin, which he needs tomorrow morning for orchestra practice – and that he also needed to pack his lunch for tomorrow. Brent was already packing his own lunch, and Glenn was in the kitchen with them watching something on the news.

I went downstairs to my office for several minutes.

When I came back upstairs I saw Aaron’s violin in one corner of the living room, his music folder in another, and his backpack in yet a third location. His lunch had not been put together.

I called down the hall and asked what he was doing. He replied “I’m in bed.”

I quickly summoned him out of his room, and when he came down the hall, I pointed out the things he had neglected to do. I repeated once more the list of things he needed to complete before he went to bed. At which point he threw his hands in the air and with his whiniest voice, replied: “WHY do I always have to do EVERYTHING?! I am JUST trying to get some SLEEP!”

And with that, he flung himself upside-down on our overstuffed chair.

This is life at the Doolittle’s. Can anyone relate?



  1. Why yes I can. That’s why here at our household we have a separate holding cell buried under our garage. Our kids get out of line, and down they go. Solitaire confinement. Get out of hand real bad, and you have to eat broccoli two nights in a row.

  2. Oh come now, maybe you throw Jonathan down there once in a while… but I can’t imagine you confining poor sweet little Elizabeth!!

  3. ok, this blog was a great way to start my monday morning. Even if you weren’t laughing, know that your life entertained me for a moment.
    And please post something about the Trek!!!

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