By midsummer, things were getting a bit unsteady around the Manor. When I’d get home from work, the Mrs., she would have ‘the look.’ You know the one. It’s mostly in the eyes, but her face, oy vey; it gets so ashen and screams of defeat. It’s as if her pupils’ turn into little waving white flags, “I give! Uncle! Calgon, take me away!” (Note: if you are not living life as a baby boomer, Calgon was marketed to females only as the answer to life’s woes in the form of a bubble bath). It’s a strong tell for me that the Littles had spent yet another day as tiny behavioral terrorists, ignoring all forms of vocal messaging from the mother ship until things got bat-shit crazy. Tears have fallen from all six eyes, Gatsby hides under the bed, and then, only then, do apologies abound from two miniature mouths.
Life without the chaos routine of school and all it’s afternoon extracurricular activities was affecting us all. The Mrs. and me, we needed to lay down the law. While not outnumbered, and still holding a slight edge in altitude, we needed some household rules. Over dinner, a purely shpilkes (anxiety, ants in the pants kind of feeling) producing activity referred to in a past post, I broached the topic of developing martial law some guidelines to help us all through sanity our cohabitation. I needed ‘buy in’ fast, so I said to Little and Big, as I made those eyes to the Mrs., you know the ones that say please, please, please… just go with me on this, “You two get to set the rules on how we are going to get along. Mommy and Ema need your help.” I begged, “Think about it now and let’s discuss how this is going to work.” And the Littles, they spoke, excitedly:
- Always listen to Mommy and Ema
- Don’t interrupt when anyone is talking
- Clean up after we play
- Answer your questions and look at you in the eyes
- Clean our room after our friends come over or we made a mess
- Don’t hurt Gatsby, or pull his tail, or poke him or yank his ears or put our hands in his mouth
- No kicking or hitting or spitting
- Share more and don’t say ‘mine’
- No screaming because we have neighbors
- Don’t jump on the sofa
- Say I’m sorry like we mean it
- When Mommy and Ema say it’s bedtime, we have to get ready for bed
They do listen. They just don’t do. We both applauded their thoughtfulness and went about our evening foolishly thinking, we rocked this! And then two minutes later… not so much.
I sadly looked over all of our house rules, and then came up with an idea. At the next meal (Jews, we always have to eat while doing important things, or at least talk about where we will next eat, or what we just ate), I bring it up:
All of the rules we discussed are wonderful and I think there are too many to remember? Why don’t we start with just one rule?
- Be kind
And don’t you know, about two weeks in, we are living life so much better, with two simple words…
Now, mittendrinnen (in the middle of) this mishegas (craziness), my Mrs., she loses both her credit card and her bankcard. Now, was it not just two weeks ago when I shared with you the struggles of the missing wallet? Oy vey (sheesh). In a freakish, ominous ‘take 2’ moment, we found ourselves at the same movie theatre, to see the same movie, Pete’s Dragon. This time, the hooligans who found her goods were not as nice as the previous Good Samaritan. They bee-lined it to Best Buy and did some substantial ‘best-buying.’ Over $2000 worth… enough damage to give us our own detective!
We are now without a credit card or cash and are fighting fraud. Our frugalista status has reached a record new low. The Mrs., she is distraught in a new way. I remember it is not her fault.
There is a genetic marker on her very DNA strand, aligned with both her mother and her sister – a truly unfair predisposition to the mis-placement of important items. Latin name, ‘vitalgoneastrayitis.’ They suffer.
Me, I thankfully also remember our house rule, be kind.
A shtikel mazel iz vert merer vi a ton gold. A little bit of luck is better than a ton of gold.