Thursday, October 30, 2014

House Rules

David and I were raised on coffee. He used to have a cup each morning before school to wash down his multivitamins (no wonder he's only 5'6") and my grandma used to set me up at her farmhouse kitchen table with a cup of coffee, the bowl of sugar, and a stack of ginger snap cookies (no wonder I've been chubby my whole life). 

The sight, smell, and taste of coffee are now ingrained in who we are. Not to mention, David has a tendency to grunt and walk around in circles until he's had his first cup of day. As a result, coffee cups are often littered throughout our house. David will often mindlessly set them down as he goes about his morning, only to make a panicked yell for everyone to stop what they're doing and go find his mug. I have found mugs in the laundry room, Morgan's room, and even the bathroom. No place is safe. 

I recently went in to Morgan's room one morning to wake her for school, carrying my own cup of coffee with me. As Morgan rolled over, she slowly opened one eye, wincing at the day ahead. Suddenly, she shot straight up, eyes wide.

"Mom, I have to tell you something."

"What?" (Those words always make me nervous, as it usually means she has broken something and hidden the evidence.) 

Remember how we got new carpet in my room last year?" (It was two months ago, but children clearly have their own sense of time.)

"Well, I've made a new rule. There is no coffee allowed in my room now. I'm gonna need you to take that back to the kitchen."

"Fair enough." I walked my mug back to the counter and returned to her room.

"Now hold out your hands."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"I need you to show me that you actually put it down."

I held them out for her to assess, chuckling not only at her new rules, but at her commitment to enforcing them. The rules I write - a jumping off point for negotiation. The rules she writes - the law of the land. Her future college roommates are going to love her so much.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I am pleased to report my daughter knows every syllable of the Pledge of Allegiance. Listening to her recite it warms my heart, bringing me back to my own elementary school days, when we began each morning with a unified chorus resonating down the halls.

Alas, despite her true patriotism, Morgan is struggling a bit in her U.S. history.  Her first grade class recently finished a unit on the Statue of Liberty. Morgan not only brought home her own hand made flag (don't count the number of stars, she may have cherry picked the states that align with our family's political views), but also a silhouette of the one and only Lady Liberty. She was beaming; they've been on our fridge for weeks.

It was only when David shared with me what happened in class that I began to question our daughter's commitment to our country. 

You see, Morgan's class was having lengthy discussion about the history surrounding the Statue of Liberty and how she came to be such a central figure in America. One of the key parts of the story is how the U.S. acquired the statue. Morgan's teacher asked if anyone knew where we got the Statue of Liberty. Hands shot up, and Morgan's was no exception. She waved her hand wildly, confident in her answer. 

When she was finally called on, she took a deep breath before exuberantly exclaiming, "Vegas! We got the Statue of Liberty from Las Vegas!!!!"  France, Vegas, whatever. Maybe she's right; maybe not everything that happens in Vegas stays there after all.