Dear Family: I am taking a leave of absence. Signed, Mom

Dear family,

I am taking a leave of absence.

My sanity, as well as your happiness depends on it. After all if Mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy! 

I will be at an undisclosed location with zero cell reception. But don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of nothing to do for the utmost relaxing and rejuvenating time of my life!

Rules for the kids

The only rule for you guys is that there are no rules! Live it up! Have fun, and act as if my absence had no effect on your behavior. Treat your Dad just as you do me. Don’t hold back on anything.

Whine, argue, pout, throw tantrums, leave your dirty dishes in the sink and your dirty clothes on the floor. Ignore him when he asks you to do something. Interrupt him when he’s on the phone. Refuse to eat what he cooks.

It’s only fair that you treat he and I as equals.

Instructions for Dad

My dear, naive husband,

Remember how you’ve longingly said you wish you could spend as much time with our four delightful children as I do? Well here’s your chance to experience such bliss. You’re welcome.

I thought I would kindly give you a few pointers to help you better transition into your new role as the temporary CEO of Smith-Ecke Manor during my absence. I will break it down per child, with the most high maintenance listed first.

The Kindergartner

Breakfast is usually the easiest meal of the day with this one. Oatmeal, eggs, fruit, or even dry cereal in a baggy will do just fine. But whatever you do, don’t dare forget her chocolate almond milk in her sippy cup! If you make this mistake once, trust me, you’ll never make it again.

Getting her dressed for school is a gamble. She’s a moody one. Some days she’s very cooperative with the process, others not so much. The red sweater is too itchy, the flower dress too poofy. There’s something wrong with one of her brown sandals, but she won’t say what. To save time and avoid a mega meltdown, just put her in a t-shirt, leggings, and sneakers.

For lunch and dinner your best bet is peanut butter and jelly. With anything else, she is super unpredictable. Wednesday she likes mac n cheese, Friday it’s her least favorite food. When all else fails, peanut butter and jelly.

Bedtime is a nightmare with this child. Non-school nights she has to have her Kindle. School nights is music and coloring. Even with such fine entertainment, she still finds other excuses to come out of her bedroom to avoid sleep! She’s thirsty, she’s hungry, she’s scared, she’s bored, her eye hurts, etc. To save your sanity and get some sleep, give the little Gremlin what she asks for, and nobody gets hurt!

The Sixth Grader

Since it’s summer, she’s pretty easy. Just give her the remote to her t.v. and she’s good. Don’t suggest she practice her multiplication tables however, or a preteen meltdown will ensue. Complete with eye rolls, yelling, and door slamming. When leaving the house, just be sure to do a clothing/makeup check. Otherwise you may later find her sporting daisy dukes, red lipstick, and five coats of mascara!

The Teen Boys

You won’t see one of them too often, much to your benefit. The King of bodily functions spends most of the time in his room on at least one of his electronic devices. He’ll come out to eat and use the bathroom. Be careful (seriously, hide the food) because this kid loves to eat! Other than that, he’ll make an appearance here and there to annoy his sisters. You’ll have to remind him to shower, and go out into the daylight once in a while.

Then there is the easy one (most of the time). He’ll be wearing his headphones day and night, so you might have to talk super loud or even yell to get his attention. Sometimes it’s hard to know if he’s being sarcastic in a playful way, or just plain rude. You gotta love that teenage humor! If you ever need help with chores or the girls (not saying you can’t handle it, just hypothetical) he’s your guy. Another teenage boy with two hollow legs. Be prepared to make a lot of trips to the grocery store.

Final words of wisdom

When the kids drive you to the brink of insanity (they will) with their incessant whining, bickering, complaining, obnoxious noises, disgusting smells, filthy messes, selective hearing, yelling, holier-than-thou attitudes, eye rolling, and all the other annoying things that kids do, just pour yourself a tall glass of wine and lock yourself in the bathroom until bedtime.

I think that covers pretty much everything. I’ll be back in two weeks. During my absence should you have any questions, use google! 

Love,

Mom

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