You know that improv maxim “yes, and”? Basically, whatever your fellow improviser says, you have to roll with and add to. This describes Margaret (age 6) and Paul’s (age 4) relationship perfectly. Alone, they sometimes misbehave or talk back, but they’re basically good kids. Together? They’ll ‘yes, and’ each other until your house is a ball of flames.
Yesterday they wanted the cat to come play with them in the TV room in the basement. So they picked up her entire bin of cat food and poured it in a trail from the laundry room/pantry (where she eats) to the couch. Apparently there was a can of oatmeal nearby that struck their one-year-old sister’s fancy so they decided, yeah, sure, let’s dump that on the pile, too.
Then, for what reason I have NO IDEA, they poured cup after cup of water along the whole mess of it, so when I came downstairs I found our shag-like carpet saturated with a paste of cat food and sticky oatmeal. Only I didn’t realize it was wet. So I started vacuuming it. Which added a vacuum gummed up with wet cat food and oatmeal to the problem.
Oh, and Margaret made a sign for the cat. With a Sharpie. Which Eleanor (age 1) found when I went to call Thomas and ask how to use the carpet shampooer. I came back two minutes later to find Sharpie all over our chairs, the coffee table, her clothes… I think we’re just going to declare the basement a loss and pretend we live in a ranch.
The big kids got a nice long lecture on destructiveness, lying, and the cost of cat food and carpet shampoo while they cleaned AND then helped me pack every single toy they own into boxes to be put away. All they got to keep was books, workbooks, and flash cards. Six days of winter break to go! (SOB)