“Mom, can I cut the couch?”

Imagine this…

Monday morning we were at the table chowing down on our cereal.

“Mom,” Linc says between bites of cereal.  “You know how things fall into the cracks on the couch?”

I nodded. The remote to the DVD player is currently MIA and if I had to guess it’s camping out in the company of some spare change and lint in the deep, dark crevices of the sofa. It’s what it is. We’ve all dropped our remote down there and every few days have to fish it out.

I digress.

“So last night Abe and I were moving the couch–”

“Why?”

“Because we wanted to see if when we dropped something behind the cushions if it’d fall straight to the floor.” His matter of fact tone was almost more than I could bear.

“We’ve had that sofa for six years, don’t you think if it worked that way, we wouldn’t have spent so much time blindly groping into the interior of the sofa for lost objects?”

“That’s because there’s a liner,” he says as if he’s just made the greatest discovery in the world.

“Yes, there is.” I tried to keep the sarcasm from my tone, but I’m pretty sure I failed. “Hence, why we have to fish…”

“OK but see, the liner goes so deep down the couch, Abe nor I can reach our hand down there, so…” He shrugs as he trials off.

“And?”

“Well, Abe and I want to cut the bottom of the couch so things just fall out the bottom.”

Mom, can I cut the couch?

I’m sure the look on my face spoke volumes of the annoyance and disbelief I was feeling.

“See, it’ll be great,” Linc says as if he really thinks he’s convincing me of this. “Then we won’t have to reach down in there when we lose stuff, it’ll just fall out the bottom.”

“Uh huh, I see.” I seriously just lied to him. I don’t see. I do see his brother Abe nodding his head in agreement like a bobble head dog. I see Linc looking all excited that he thinks he just won me over. I can almost my blood pressure rising. But what I don’t see is the utility it a huge whole in the bottom of a leather sofa so things that are dropped can fall out the bottom!

“So we can do it?” Abe asks, his brown eyes sparkling with excitement.

“Sure.” I smiled. “Just as soon as you both do enough chores to earn the money to buy that sofa.”

My two youngest boys both looked at me as if I’d just taken away their puppy.

“Sorry, guys,” I started. “There isn’t any use in this modification other than just destroying the furniture.”

Let me pause here to say, at least they asked me first. I do have to give them credit for that. There are several people of my acquaintance who’d be telling this story a little differently–like after they’d discovered a freaking huge hole in the bottom of their sofa. So at least there’s that.

Back to the story…

“But what about not having to reach down into the cracks?” Linc persists. ” Remember the time you found the grilled cheese?”

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth at the memory of the an ancient, cold and partially deteriorated grilled cheese that I once pulled out from the back corner of the sofa. “That’s what I have you guys for. You eat on the couch, you can be the ones to dig in the crumb abyss.” I tried not to grin at their disgusted faces. “The answer is no.”

Linc’s eyes lit again as if he’d just had such a brilliant idea that I couldn’t say no. “What if Mickey gets stuck back there?”

“Son, if you think asking me if your guinea pig crawls around on the couch and gets stuck back behind the cushions and so far down your arm cannot reach is going to convince me to allow you to cut a hole in the bottom of the couch, then I think it’s time to go find her a new home before you can be so negligent.”

And THAT is how you stop the nonsense. I know, I know Imma Mean Mom. But good gravy, what the hell is the obsession with destroying the furniture? I’ve seen so many dang sitcoms I almost feel shamed into having little debates with my kids about things that I’m never going to allow to happen just to be “fair”. However, in my world, no means no and Mom’s word is final.

So, what crazy request have you received from a kid that you felt like an idiot debating? Imma curious and I wanna know so comment below!

Imma B.

Hell in the Frank Household

I’m currently living in an inferno. It’s bad enough I live in the deep south, but now my air conditioner is on the fritz so it’s definitely become an inferno.

I started to notice the A/C hasn’t been able to keep up at the end of July and August the past two years, but this year it hasn’t kept up at all. In the past it’s just been a little warm in he house. This year…

Trapped in Hell

This has been us this past week. (Well, some of us, I’ll get to the rest in a minute.)

I was thinking it was time to suck it up and get a new unit when one of my boys came up and said, “Mama, I think I’d like a buzz cut.”

His hair isn’t THAT thick. Nor that long. I checked my thermostat. It was 78 in the house. That was with all the fans on and the poor air conditioner blowing as hard as it could, bless its heart.

The final nail in my poor A/C’s coffin came yesterday when I went to pick my eldest son up from summer camp and he was wearing a hoodie. Yes, a hoodie. It was 95 degrees outside and the air conditioner was blowing like crazy in his cabin to keep it 72 degrees in there and he was cold! My poor baby.

My Clever Son

In my house we have direct consequences for actions. Usually, they’re very definite consequences and I try very hard to tailor them to the action.

In regards to chores, it goes like this: If your chore isn’t done properly, you get to do it again and again until it’s done properly.

When my kids were toddler and pre-school age, this just consisted of at that moment redoing the chore. Now that my kids are a little older (all of mine are in the double digits-  0_o ) the rules are a little more…er…severe. If you didn’t do a good job of your chores today, you get to do that same chore again tomorrow and whoever was supposed to have it, gets a day off.

Example: you don’t get the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away today, you get to do it tomorrow–and if more has accumulated, guess who gets to do it? YOU! With so may bodies in this house, we have to do a minimum of one load per day. It’s how we manage. I’ve tried having “laundry days” they just don’t pan out because Mt. Laundry forms in my mudroom because nobody has time to fold and put it away.

Another example, if we run out of a certain type of clean dish or eating utensil (plate, bowl, spoon, cup, etc) you get to do dishes again the next day.

This sounds mean, but this rule has really helped my boys to stay on top of their chores and not leave things undone so it falls on someone else the next day. Parenting is about teaching your kids responsibility, right?

So, my youngest child, who, I will openly admit is the academic of the family and fully plans to “use his noodle, not his back” when he grows up–meaning quite frankly, he’ll do anything he can to get out of his chores because he hates work has discovered a way to outwit me (or so he thinks!).

Today, I went to open the silverware drawer to get a spoon for applesauce and found this:

Silverware drawer.JPG

Well played, Son. But do you see that nasty stain on the butterknife? That means, you’ll still be doing the dishes again tomorrow! (And I’ll be adding an addendum to my rulebook: real silverware only.)

Love my kids! Gotta stay one step ahead though! 😀