As you prepare to babysit our kids for a week, there are a few things you are going to need to know.
First of all, I already emailed the kids teachers and told them to completely disregard their lack of hygeine, discipline, and homework this week. This will save you from all manner of embarrassment. However, should you try to keep it together, here are 13 magic tips.
1. Check the soap in the shower after they get out, but before they get dressed. It probably won't even be wet, in which case, you can send them back to the shower.
2. Willie will try to wear the exact same outfit all six days. Even if it requires hiding it under a clean outfit. This goes for underwear, too. You have a couple of choices. You can make him change his underwear and socks and threaten to smell the so-called dirty ones. Most of the time, this results in having to smell only a pair of clean socks and undies that he swears are the dirty ones. Occassionally, though, you're in for an unwanted treat. Your choice. You could also make him shower and switch clean clothes for dirty ones while he's in the shower...make sure to throw them all over the bathroom floor so he thinks they are the dirty ones. Also, see #1.
3. Put toothpaste on the toothbrushes first thing in the morning. That way they can't lie about having brushed their teeth. Quality control is another issue all together.
4. Gus will not respond to you rushing him. Asking him to hurry, bribing, threatening, or anything of the matter will only cause him to move slower. I have not as yet found a solution to this problem. Good luck.
5. EmJ thinks that she can cook. Supervise her closely to avoid a trip to urgent care.
6. Scratch that. We've already met our deductible, so if you want to let her cook, pick a time when it would be convenient for you to also drive to urgent care. Address is on the fridge.
7. If EmJ starts into a monologue about the merits of strawberry milk versus chocolate milk, her basketball aspirations, unicorns, or heaven-forbid, "growing up" do your best to not look bored, perplexed, annoyed, irritated, or incredulous. Trust me, you don't want to deal with the fall out.
8. Sam is a runner. You will lose her. Don't be afraid to use the leash. Or just stay home.
9. Each of the children that we are leaving are toilet trained. Hooray for you! They can also mostly all cut their own food. Whew! If cutting is too much work for you, I have in the freezer a number of easy meals that are finger food-ish (chicken nuggets and the like). If heating these up is still too hard (and Luke's actions over the last 10 years would indicate that it is), just serve cereal.
10. Even though they are toilet trained, the boys sometimes miss. You know what I mean. This is why we have lysol wipes in bulk in the garage. Pick a culprit (you've got a 100% chance of being right) and put them to work cleaning. You may want to check the downstairs bathroom before anybody comes over.
11. You are the boss. Sam is not the boss. You are the boss. Sam is not the boss. You can find these words repeated over and over again if you play track #7 on the iPod. I sometimes listen to this as I try to fall asleep at night.
12. If the kids start listening to MattyB on YouTube, you have two choices. Turning off the computer or shooting yourself in the foot. I find turning off the computer to be more effective.
13. I don't care if Reillee watches Cinderella 20 times while we are gone. Don't care. I also don't care if she wears a princess dress every single day and to bed. Keep the peace.
We wish you much luck, few tears, lots of laughs, and some good memories!!
Kirstin and Luke