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Household Principles For Children


We have friends whose daughter in Kindergarten has been giving them fits lately with things she should not even be using. One day recently she painted her legs with nail polish, getting some on the carpet. Today she wrote on the wall of her bedroom with lipstick. As I was looking through my files recently, I ran across something I hadn't read in years. It came to mind when I heard about our friends' daughter's misdeeds. I pass it along for your amusement.

Household Principles For Children - from Lamentations of the Father, by Ian Frazier

LAWS OF FORBIDDEN PLACES

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room.

Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein.

Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink. But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.

LAWS WHEN AT TABLE

And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me.

Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.

Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away.

When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck: for you will be sent away.

When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same to you.

Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is.

And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why.

And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why.

Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.

LAWS PERTAINING TO DESSERTS

For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert.

But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert.

But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof.

And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.

ON SCREAMING

Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault.

Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming.

Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.

CONCERNING FACE AND HANDS

Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice thereon.

And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see.

Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.

VARIOUS OTHER LAWS, STATUTES, AND ORDINANCES

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time.

Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape?

And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness.

Nor forget what I said about the tape.

COMPLAINTS AND LAMENTATIONS

O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail; and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick. Yes, and even sometime do you spit, and shout and do other blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof when you are sent to the corner.

And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the corner for more minutes than he has years of age, you may be an exception!

quotation...

"My obedience to God is not based on my level of comfort with what God has told me to do." - Steve Ridge

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.


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Dads Survive Somehow


Grandma and I are enjoying seeing our grandson Drew on webcam over the internet as we talk by Skype to Megan. He's cooing and smiling more and more, just like his grandfather. At Drew's check up last week the doctor said he's now passed the 8 pound mark and is doing very well. Yippee!

As a final installment for Father's Day, here's an article by Dave Barry I found in my files. I chuckled and LOL often while reading this one - it's so exaggeratedly true!

Miracle of Birth: That Dads Survive
by Dave Barry
Sunday, January 23, 2000

So my wife and I are preparing for childbirth. When I say "my wife and I," I of course mean "my wife." She will be the most directly involved. On behalf of all men, I just want to take a moment here to get down on my knees and thank whoever invented our current biological system, under which the woman's job is to have the baby somehow go from the inside of her body to the outside of her body, in clear violation of every known law of physics, and the man's job is to stand around looking supportive and upbeat and periodically no matter what is actually happening to the woman, say, in an upbeat and perky voice, "You're doing great!"

My wife thinks the only fair system would be, every time the woman had a contraction, she got to hit her husband on the body part of her choice with a ball-peen hammer. Of course she is kidding. But only because her contractions have not yet started.

We've been going to Childbirth Classes, which involve sitting in a classroom filled with expectant couples and a mounting sense of dread. The teacher usually starts with a scientific discussion of childbirth, in which she shows us various models and diagrams to give us an idea of what will be happening when the Big Moment arrives. In my opinion, the most informative way to do this would be to hold up a bowling ball and a drinking straw, and say: "Basically, this has to go through this. Ha Ha!"

But our teacher keeps fairly technical. After a while, we're starting to feel confident about this childbirth thing. We're thinking, "OK, all that has to happen is the cervix has to dilate to 10 centimeters! How hard can that be? I wonder what a cervix is? Also, centimeter."

So we're pondering these abstract questions and maybe thinking about what we're going to have for dinner, when suddenly, with no warning, the teacher turns out the lights and shows a horror movie. Oh, it starts out innocently enough: There is a nice couple consisting of a woman who is pregnant and a man who is supportive-looking and generally has a beard. They seem happy, but you just know she's going to go into labor. You want to stop her. It's exactly like those scary movies where the heroine goes down into the basement, and you want to shout, "Don't go down into the basement!", except in the childbirth class you want to shout, "Don't go into labor!"

But she always does go into labor. It seems to last a lot longer than necessary. Hours turn into days, and still she is in labor. Outside her window, the seasons change. Her doctor grows old and gray and eventually is replaced by a new doctor, and still this poor woman is in labor. Her husband keeps telling her that she's doing great, but you can tell from her expression that he's very lucky she doesn't have a ball-peen hammer. Eventually she becomes so deranged that she apparently does not even notice that there is a cameraperson shooting extreme close-up footage of...OK, let's just say that it is not her most flattering angle.

When the woman gets approximately to her 15th year of labor, she begins making noises that you rarely hear outside of nature documentaries and her husband edges back a little bit in case she gets her hand on a scalpel. The movie now becomes very explicit, causing the entire childbirth class to go into a mass cringe, all of us hunched up and involuntarily protecting as many of our body parts as possible. I use this time to practice my squinting, which is the most important thing the husband learns in childbirth class. I use a special Lamaze squinting technique that enables me to prevent virually all rays of light from penetrating my eyeballs.

When the woman in the movie makes a noise identical to what you would hear if a live yak went through a garlic press, I unsquint my eyes just enough to see it happen, the Blessed Event, the timeless miracle that makes the whole thing worthwhile: An alien bursting out of the woman's chest cavity. No seriously, what happens is that the woman has a baby, via a process that makes what happened in "Alien" look like a episode of "Teletubbies." Then our childbirth-class teacher turns the light on, and the pregnant women all turn to face their husbands, and they all have the same facial expression, which says: "this is not fair." We husbands respond supportively and pat their arms in a reassuring manner because we're sure that they're going to do great!

quotation...

"The task of Christian parents is to transmit their heritage to the next generation." - Dr. Jim Deuink

=^..^= =^..^=
Grandpa Rob

People who say they sleep like a baby obviously don't have one.


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Job description: Dad


As Father's Day approaches I want to post one or two things about dads. Today's is a job description for the position of "Dad." Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Subject: JOB DESCRIPTION
Position: DAD

Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES
Must provide on-site training in basic life skills, such as nose blowing.

Must have strong skills in negotiating, conflict resolution and crisis management.

Ability to suture flesh wounds a plus.

Must be able to think out of the box but not lose track of the box, because you most likely will need it for a school project.

Must reconcile petty cash disbursements and be proficient in managing budgets and resources fairly, unless you want to hear, "He got more than me!" for the rest of your life.

Must be able to drive motor vehicles safely under loud and adverse conditions while simultaneously practicing above mentioned skills in conflict resolution.

Must be able to choose your battles wisely and then stick to your guns.

Must be able to withstand criticism, such as "You don't know anything."

Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5 to go skating.

Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.

Must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat, in case this time the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.

Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery-operated devices.

Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.

Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.

Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.

Must have a highly energetic entrepreneurial spirit, because fund-raiser will be your middle name.

Must have a diverse knowledge base, so as to answer questions on the fly such as "What makes the wind move?" or "Why can't we just stop all wars?"

Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Other responsibilities include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you. One possible promotion is to "Grandpa," but that's really a totally different job.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION
You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, the job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life, if you play your cards right.

divider

Since the blog post earlier this week, seedlings are already beginning to appear in the flower box! Cool! More updates as they develop (we hope).

Three weeks from today is our son's wedding. Time is flying by!

quotation...

"There are almost always human causes for what happens in history, but there are also hidden, divine causes working in it all." - Andrew Franseen

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

It rarely occurs to young people that the day will come when they'll know as little as their parents.


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Parental Readiness Test


Grandma and I plan to leave ASAP after graduation this Saturday to head up to Michigan. A baby dedication has been planned for grandson Drew on Sunday morning at Jim and Megan's church, and we're looking forward to being there. Nora and Mark will be holding down there fort here at our house, watering the garden, caring for the cats, etc., while we're up north for a week. We hope to drive down to Ohio one day so that my mom can see her latest great-grandson.

Today's blog post is a parental readiness test. I know of several people who read my blog who are awaiting their first child (or second, third, etc.), have small children, have recently adopted, or have even raised their kids and are now enjoy having grandkids. Today's iv is advice especially to those are thinking about having a baby for the first time. I don't know who wrote the following, but I personally found that some of it may be at least a tiny bit exaggerated.

Are you ready to be a parent? Take the following parental readiness test....

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: To prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag chair down the front. Leave it there for nine months. After nine months, remove 10% of the beans. Men: To prepare for paternity, go to the local drug store, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Next, go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to its corporate office. Go home. Pick up the paper and read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior. Enjoy it - it's the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8 - 12 pounds. At 10 p.m. put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 a.m. and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1 a.m. Put the alarm on for 3 a.m. Since you can't go back to sleep, get up at 2 a.m. and make a pot of tea. Go to bed at 2:45 a.m. Get up again at 3 a.m. when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark till 4 a.m. Put the alarm on for 5 a.m. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Will you be able to stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish stick behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look to you?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all morning.

6. Get an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now get a toilet paper tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas tree. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of CoCo Puffs and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations, you have just qualified for a place on the play group committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy the mini-van. And don't think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size bag of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There! Perfect!

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the bathroom for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front walk. Walk back up it again. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as you can stand until all the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back in the house. You're now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the closest thing to a pre-school child that you can find. A fully-grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this, DO NOT even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Fruit Loops and attempt to spoon it into the hole in the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half of the Fruit Loops are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old child.

12. Learn the names of every character from 'Barney and Friends', 'Sesame Street', and 'Power Rangers'. When you find yourself singing, "I love you, you love me" at work, you finally qualify as a parent.

divider

Here's something that combines the parental readiness theme and this Saturday's being the Cinco de Mayo....

One young woman didn't think she'd ever have a mother's intuition. One day her sister left her alone in a restaurant with her 10-month-old nephew. She asked the child's mother, "What do I do if he cries?"

She said, "Give him some vegetables."

It turned out that jalapeño was not his favorite.

picture of extreme baby food

quotation...

"What people don't know can hurt them." - Dr. Steve Hankins

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

There are three ways to get things done: 1) do it yourself, 2) hire someone to do it, or 3) forbid your kids to do it


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