The Family Who Wouldn't Change The Toilet Paper Roll
Without whom this book would not have been possible.
Once upon a time, there was a Mommy who got tired of being The Only Person in the house to properly hang up a new roll of toilet paper when the old one ran out.
One day, She decided to just stop doing it and to see how long it would take before Someone Else in the Family would change the toilet paper.
The Mommy lived with a big, strong Daddy, and a 21 Year Old Girl, and a 12 Year Old Girl, and a 7 Year Old Boy, and she knew that all four of them were smart and capable enough to change a roll of toilet paper.
She knew this because They could do things like read and write and count and draw pictures and make up games and ask for spending money, and, in the Daddy's case, go to work, and They wouldn't be able to do any of those things if They weren't capable and smart.
She was sure that if She just waited long enough, One of Them would realize that No-One Else was changing the toilet paper anymore and decide to do it themselves.
On the first day of the Mommy's experiment, Someone finished the roll of toilet paper and set a fresh roll on top of the empty cardboard tube in the holder.
The Mommy was not surprised by this. She knew She'd have to be patient for longer than a day to see any change.
On the second day of the Mommy's experiment, there were TWO empty cardboard tubes sitting in the holder, and a fresh roll on the back of the toilet tank.
The Mommy was not surprised by this either and idly wondered how many empty cardboard tubes would eventually pile up in the bathroom.
Maybe they'd pile all the way up to the ceiling and No One would be able to use the bathroom anymore! Maybe they'd overflow and spill out into the rest of the house and turn into such a huge mountain of cardboard tubes that They'd have to move out!
On the third day of the Mommy's experiment, though, the Mommy saw that Someone had thrown away the second empty tube and set the fresh roll on top of the original empty tube in the holder.
The Mommy was proud that Someone had taken some initiative, at least, and glad that multiple empty cardboard tubes would not build up in the bathroom and the rest of the house and that They would not have to move after all. But She did wonder why that Someone couldn't have thrown away BOTH empty rolls. Because the Mommy knew it only took a matter of seconds to remove an empty tube from the holder. She'd done it many times!
On the fourth day of the Mommy's experiment, things were the same as they were on the third day- with the current roll just sitting on top of the original empty roll in the holder, looking uncomfortable and out of place and practically begging to be changed.
The Mommy was beginning to lose hope that Anyone But Her would ever change the roll of toilet paper. But She was determined to be patient just a while longer. Surely Someone would notice that the toilet paper needed changing! Any day now Someone would do it!
Then, on the fifth day of the Mommy's experiment, something funny happened.
She was in the bathroom brushing her hair and the Daddy was in the doorway talking to Her. The Daddy came into the bathroom, got a piece of toilet paper, and started wiping the edge of the sink where it was a little wet. Then the Daddy said, "Isn't anyone ever going to change this thing?!"
(He meant the roll of toilet paper).
The Mommy tried very hard not to laugh out loud. She had, after all, been wondering the very same thing Herself. She wondered if the Daddy would do it, now that He'd obviously noticed the situation and brought it up to Her. She even sent telepathic thoughts in the Daddy's direction as hard as She could, mentally encouraging Him to go ahead and change it.
But the Daddy didn't change it.
He finished wiping the sink, and He walked out of the bathroom.
On the sixth day of the Mommy's experiment, there were once again two empty cardboard tubes in the bathroom. And this time there was no fresh roll sitting on the toilet tank. Instead, the Mommy saw a small stack of napkins sitting on the tank.
Now, two steps outside of the bathroom, there was a basement door. And a step or two inside that basement door, there were some shelves. And on those shelves, there were some fresh rolls of toilet paper.
The Mommy decided that having to open and close a door was too hard an obstacle for Her family as it was apparent Someone would rather walk further into the kitchen, which required more steps, and use the rougher napkins on Their tender bits, than have to open a door to get toilet paper.
Since that was not acceptable to the Mommy (the Mommy preferred softer material on Her tender bits, plus Internet Friends told the Mommy that napkins can cause plumbing problems!), the Mommy told Everyone not to do that again, and directed the 12 Year Old Girl to put toilet paper in the bathroom. The Twelve Year Old Girl did so, leaving the fresh roll on the toilet tank.
That night, the Mommy decided that She was going to have to start dropping some major hints for Her Family. She took a sharpie marker into the bathroom and scrawled a note on the empty cardboard tube that was still sitting in the holder. It said:
TIRED OF SITTING HERE... ISN'T IT SOMEONE ELSE'S TURN TO SIT IN THIS HOLDER?
The Mommy also wrote a note on the second empty tube that was laying on the floor. It said:
I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP!
On a square of toilet paper that had drifted to the floor and had never been picked up, the Mommy added:
The Seven Year Old Boy was the first to notice the message. He called out, "Why is there writing on the toilet paper?"
The Twelve Year Old Girl, her curiosity aroused, jumped up and ran into the bathroom to see what He was talking about. She read the notes aloud, then came into the kitchen laughing, and asked the Mommy, "Did You write that?!"
The Mommy said, "Yes," and the Twelve Year Old Girl laughed again.
Neither the Girl nor the Boy threw away the garbage or changed the toilet paper, though.
On the seventh morning of the Mommy's experiment, She peeked into the bathroom to see if anything had changed overnight.
But a short while later, the 21 Year Old Girl went in to use the bathroom. When She came out, the Mommy peeked in to see if She had done anything about the situation in the bathroom, and saw that She had merely moved the fresh roll from the toilet tank to the top of the empty cardboard tube in the holder.
The Mommy threw up Her hands in despair. This was getting ridiculous! She decided to drop just One More Hint before throwing in the towel completely.
She decided that She'd write about her Experiment and print it out with pictures and give it to the Daddy to read to the Children as a Bedtime Story.
If No-One took the hint after that and changed the roll of toilet paper, the Mommy thought She might move.
Choose Your Own Adventure:
Do You...Go change the roll of toilet paper and throw out any empty tubes?
Or...Help the Mommy pack?
(And Anyone Who thinks it would be funny to say, "Help the Mommy pack!" will be spending tomorrow cleaning the Entire House by Themselves).
No, really. That was the end. Now Someone go change the toilet paper roll!
This means YOU!!!
September 24, 2013
Baby Adelaide will be a 4 weeks old tomorrow. I'm slowly adjusting and trying to fall into a routine. Shawn has been back at work for a while now and sadly my meal deliveries have ended. I really feel that a new mother should have family and friends available to deliver meals until baby's first birthday. At least. :)
I still spend almost all of my time nursing or pumping, holding the baby, changing the baby, etc. So far she wants to be held and/or nursed most of the time and when I try to lay or set her down in a cradle, swing, carrier, etc, she wakes up within minutes and cries and I have to pick her up and rock or nurse her again.
I squeeze in bathroom, shower, and meal breaks, and have started fitting in some errands and outside activities here and there. I feel like I don't spend enough time with the other kids, really, but so far they seem okay with it and are all really good about helping me out as necessary.
A friend of mine took them recently to a program called Attack at a science museum, I took them to a playground with homeschool friends, and between Shawn and I we've managed to keep up with their various activities- soccer for Ben, judo, guitar, and girl scouts for alexa.
I plan on resuming schoolwork in about a week, which seems SO soon. I hope I can keep up with everything!
Life Without School!
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -William Butler Yeats
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I have no time to take notes every day at this point, so my blog will be sporadic for now.
Baby Adelaide is two weeks old today, and my life is a constant cycle of supplementing, nursing, pumping, changing diapers, rinsing pump parts, and trying to squeeze in bathroom, meal, shower, and sleep breaks in between, and trying to pay a little bit of attention to the other kids!
The past week we've spent time with Shawn's mother and sister and brother and his family, including celebrating his mom's 80th birthday which was nice.
I've been able to get out of the house here and there- I accompanied Shawn to Ben's soccer game on Saturday, had a doctor appointment, went to the store once or twice. But it's not easy yet!
The kids do their own thing, and help me with the baby and the house. It is good that they are old enough to amuse themselves and old enough to be mostly self-sufficient and old enough to help!
Shawn went back to work yesterday which was kind of scary! But friends started delivering some dinners to us which was really nice and incredibly helpful. Highly recommended to do for any new mother.
Monday, August 26, 2013 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013
So, apparently kids around here would have been starting public school Monday! Alexa and Ben already have just about 4 weeks of the school year completed (Alexa is one history assignment, one science assignment, and a little Story of the World reading shy of that).
But this morning I had to go to my last non stress test, and then we did all necessary laundry and house cleaning, Shawn hung some towel hooks up in the bathroom, we picked up my car when the brakes were done, stopped at Lowe's for screws for the crib, and went food shopping.
Shawn's mom came over and will be staying with us for a while. We hung out with her and relaxed a bit, then Shawn finished putting the crib together and attached the mobile.
Later, Shawn's mom watched the kids and he and I went out on a date night, out to dinner and a movie. We saw Kickass 2.
Tuesday, I slept in as I had some insomnia last night, showered, Shawn made waffles and bacon for breakfast. WE'RE HAVING A BABY TOMORROW!!!
We straightened up, I dozed off in the recliner, then took Alexa to her guitar lesson from 1-1:30.
When I got back, we went to the store quick just for supplies for dinner, ate lunch, then Shawn and his mom and Alexa started preparing the brisket and veggies so it could cook for a few hours.
I relaxed a bit, took Ben to soccer practice. At home, we ate dinner, Shawn and I ran to Walmart for a few last minute things (where I felt rather crampy), and his mom watched the kids and taught them to play poker.
Wednesday- well, I was supposed to get to the hospital by 6 AM for my scheduled induction. Instead, I woke at 3:15 AM, got up to pee, and as soon as I stood up, my water broke in a huge gush!
I woke Shawn and he grabbed me a towel. I called my doctor, rinsed my lower body off quick in the shower, put on clean clothes, packed a few toiletries, and we headed to the hospital.
At 8:33 AM, On Wednesday, August 28th, I gave birth to an 8 lb 1.5 oz, 20" long baby girl, who we named Adelaide Elizabeth!
I stayed in the hospital till Friday then came home.
Breastfeeding had a rough start with a lot of difficulty latching. We were at the pediatrician Saturday and Monday and worked with a lactation consultant and there are several concerns about supply, so I've been busy supplementing, followed by nursing, followed by pumping, and it leaves little time for anything else. I've been tired and stressed and weepy. But also totally in love with this tiny little girl, who we've taken to calling Adelaide Lemonade, or Floppy, or Snort. Or in Shawn's case, Puddin' Pop.
I've had very little time for the other kids which I feel some guilt about, but at least they are old enough to understand the kind of care and attention a newborn needs and can entertain themselves and each other, and can help out. And their grandma is here from Florida and spends time with them, too.
Using a Boba wrap I did manage to accompany Shawn and Ben to Ben's soccer practice yesterday, and Shawn was the one who took Alexa to her guitar lesson. He took her to her orthodontist appointment today, too, and did the grocery shopping on his way home. He's been a big help!
I am very glad the kids and I got a month of school done over the summer so I can take this month off without feeling stressed about it!
More when I can!
Life Without School!
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. -Dr. Seuss
Thursday, August 22, 2013 - Sunday, August 25, 2013
Thursday morning, I had a non-stress test. I sopped to get an insulin refill, then went home and hung out with Shawn. Alexa came home from her sleepover and we had lunch and did some chores.
Alexa and Ben had dentist appointments. No cavities!
We did laundry, and I had Alexa do science, drawing a map of the solar system, and Story of the World, making a "Magna Carta" for her bedroom and making "King Richard's shield."
I took Ben to soccer practice while she was still working on that stuff and then the girls did their own thing till I got back.
Friday, we slept in a bit, had breakfast, did morning chores and more laundry.
Wrapping up week 4 of school with Alexa (it was my goal to get in four weeks before the baby comes), she did health, taking a quiz on bike safety and designing a bike tag with 5 bike safety tips on it.
For history she read about "enlightened despots," then picked one to read more about and did a brief writing assignment on their reign and what entitled them to be called an "enlightened despot" rather than just a "despot." As it turned out we had a book here on Ten Great Queens and Catherine The Great was one of them, so Alexa read the chapter on her and then did her assignment on her.
We finished up the laundry, Alexa vacuumed for me, and then I dropped her off at a friend's house for a few hours. At home Ben played on computer, I had a meeting with Melissa's services coordinator, then just relaxed. Alexa came home with her friend a little after 7 and her friend slept over. Ben went outside for a while and played with little girl next door.
Saturday, I took Alexa to judo class, dropped off her friend who had slept over, and went home to relax a bit. Alexa showered, changed, and packed an overnight bag, we had lunch, Ben got ready for his soccer game then played on the computer till it was time to leave, while Alexa read from Magna Carta for Story of the World supplemental reading.
When it was time, we picked up my mother-in-law and went to Ben's first soccer game of the season.
When I went to drop my mother-in-law and Alexa off at my sister-in-law's, as she was sleeping there tonight, we were invited to stay for dinner. I had to go take Ben to do his soccer pics first, then stopped home to change and grab bathing suits as it was so hot out.
At my sister-in-law's, we dunked in the pool, ate, visited a bit, then went home to shower and relax. When Shawn came home, it was his last day of work and the start of his baby vacation!
Sunday, we straightened kitchen, had breakfast, Shawn mowed the lawn, and I ran to the pet store for gecko food.
After lunch, we went to my sister-in-law's for swimming and a BBQ. Back at home, we started some laundry, brought Ben's old crib up from the basement, partially put it together, and thoroughly cleaned it. It was pretty dirty from sitting in the basement for several years!
We also couldn't find the right screws to be able to finish putting it together, so on top of a bunch of other things on my to do list, we will need to stop at Lowe's tomorrow to buy some and finish it then. At least staying busy will help pass these few days until the baby comes!
Anyway I had all the kids shower and I showered, I packed Melissa's lunch for tomorrow and Shawn and I dropped my car off to get the brakes done tomorrow.
Life Without School!
Monday, August 19, 2013 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013
As of Monday, we're in single digits! 9 days till baby comes!
Melissa had her first day of her sheltered workshop program, so I got up early to see her off. Alexa had already been up playing Minecraft. I gave her a while to play then had her do a Teaching Textbooks math lesson.
She and Ben had breakfast and I left her with instructions to do a Story of the World craft (a simple Robin Hood quiver and arrows) while I went to my non stress test.
After my non stress test, we went grocery shopping, had lunch, and did a few chores. I also had the kids clean the car out and Alexa vacuumed it for me. I had Alexa take a spelling quiz and then answer a few questions in writing about Summer of the Monkeys, the assigned book she recently finished, then we relaxed.
Later, we made dinner and Shawn's mom (out from Florida), brother, sister-in-law, and nephew came over for a BBQ. They left around 9:30.
Tuesday, I saw Melissa off, showered and got ready, and went to my doctor appointment.
After lunch and chores, Alexa had a guitar lesson. We stopped for a prescription and gas, then I dropped Alexa at a friend's house. It was hot and Ben and I stopped at Wendy's for Frosties. Later, Ben had soccer practice, and we picked Alexa up from her friend's house. She and I read from The Devil's Arithmetic together then she did a Teaching Textbooks math lesson while Ben played in the backyard with the little girl next door for a bit.
Wednesday, Alexa went to an amusement park then the lake with friends. When Shawn went to work, Ben and I went to my sister-in-law's for a couple hours to visit and swim. At home, we showered, and then I left the kids doing their own thing while I took a late afternoon nap. It was the most relaxing day I've had in a while!
Alexa ended up sleeping at her friend's house, and that was really about it for today.
Life Without School!
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost
Thursday, August 15, 2013 - Sunday, August 18, 2013
Thursday, I was still not feeling well, but it was a busy day- non-stress test, lost my iphone calendar entries so had to make a bunch of calls and texts to find out when all my appointments and activities were, had to stop at Melissa's doctor for paperwork, needed to grab milk and bread, etc.
After lunch, Alexa finished making a birthday card for a friend and practiced guitar. She did the map work and coloring page for the current chapter of Story of the World. I read a chapter of The Devil's Arithmetic to her, then did Reading Eggs with Ben. He did several math worksheets, I read to him from Fables, and he read to me from Animal Stories.
Alexa then did social studies. She read Lesson 4, The Age of Enlightenment or Reason. She had to choose an activity and she chose one in which she drew cartoons portraying the ideas of two different scientists or philosophers discussed in the lesson (she chose John Locke and Rene Descartes).
She did spelling/vocab review, writing her words five times each, and she did a Teaching Textbooks math lesson. Lastly she read to herself from Summer of The Monkeys.
At that point I had her take the garbage out, pack a bag, we grabbed dinner, and I took the kids to their swim lesson. Afterward we dropped Alexa off at her friend's house for a sleepover, and Ben and I got Rita's for a treat.
Friday, we slept in a bit. After breakfast, Shawn took my car for an oil change and I did school with Ben.
I read him a story from Tatterhood, he narrated the story back to me, drew a picture from the story, and wrote a couple of sentences to go with it. He did several math worksheets, then he read to me from Animal Stories and I read to him from Fables, finishing the book. He did Reading Eggs then did his own thing.
Later in the afternoon, Alexa came home from her sleepover. She did school. First she did spelling/vocab review, using her words in sentences. She read a bit more from her history lesson on The Age of Reason or Enlightenment and did a brief writing assignment in which she had to plan an imaginary salon of today, describing who she'd invite, what kind of music she'd include, what topics might be discussed, etc.
She did a Teaching Textbooks math lesson, had a snack, and then did science. For science she had to write a short report on a constellation of her choice, describing what it represents, its location, etc. Next, she read to herself from Summer of the Monkeys, finishing the book, and practiced guitar.
We had free time till the last swim lesson of the season. Ben passed level 3- it was his second year trying. Last year he couldn't tread at all and could barely float without sinking. This year he did great!
Alexa was in level 5 again this year and did fantastic with everything except her butterfly stroke. She has to be able to do 25 yards and she would get tired halfway through and her arms wouldn't come up out of the water as much as they should and her dolphin kicks would get smaller, etc. It was the only thing preventing her from passing. So they said that she should get to the pool and practice it as much as she could before next year's lessons start and then the week before starting she could go get tested just on that one stroke. If she has no problem with it, she'll go straight to level 6 next year. If she still struggles with it she'll have to repeat level 5 again next year. But I'm sure with some extra practice and being another year older, bigger, and stronger, she'll have no problem next summer. We'll see! Either way she's gained knowledge and experience and shown improvement, and that's all that matters to me!
Anyway at home we relaxed a bit and when Shawn came home we had a late dinner then settled down for bed.
Saturday, Alexa had judo, then we went to New Jersey and visited with relatives and had dinner with them. On the way home, we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for a treat.
Sunday, we all slept late, had a late breakfast together, and spent big chunk of the day doing house cleaning and organizational stuff and laundry with some breaks in between.
Alexa review spelling and vocab words, the kids played video games with their dad, and we watched a movie before bed.
Life Without School!
What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child. -George Bernard Shaw
Monday, August 12, 2013 - Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Monday I went to the ER around 5 am when day 6 of my sore throat also turned into pain and pressure in both ears and I just could not sleep. I was diagnosed with throat and ear infections, prescribed meds, and got home around 7:30 where I took antibiotics and pain meds, plus ear drops, and rested a short bit.
After a little rest and a bite to eat, I dropped the kids at my mom's and went to my doctor's office for a non-stress test and growth scan. Good times- I threw up on the way there (Shawn was driving fortunately), and I looked up the antibiotic they'd prescribed me in the ER and sure enough, that was what caused it.
The OB prescribed a different one at my request, but not in time to prevent me from throwing up again during my non-stress test.
Next, we had the growth scan- baby weighs around 6 1/2 lbs! Because of the position and size, though, we could not see the baby's face at all, which was a little disappointing.
When we were done, I dropped off my mom's overdue library books, filled my scripts, got the kids, ate lunch, took my meds, and took a nap. I rested pretty much all day. Shawn took the kids to their swim lessons in the evening.
Tuesday, I was up around 9 and had a doctor appointment (non-stress test and ultrasound one day, check up the next). At home, I relaxed and had lunch. Shawn went to work and I did my own thing, took my meds and rested, and took Alexa to her 3 pm teen writer's club at the library. This, unfortunately, turned out to be a waste of time, gas, and quarters at the meter parking since no one else showed up and at 3:15 they sent us home again.
After dinner, I took the kids to the pool a little bit early so they could play and practice a little before their swim lesson.
Wednesday, we got up and did chores, got ready, and took Alexa to her guitar lesson, then did school.
Ben did Reading Eggs, a page in his second grade math workbook, and a few pages in his Big First Grade Workbook.
Alexa did a grid perplexor puzzle for logic and did a Teaching Textbooks math lesson.
Ben read to me from Animal Stories and I read to him from Fables. I also read him a story from Tatterhood, then had him summarize it for me and draw a picture from the story, writing a few sentences to describe it.
Alexa did spelling/vocab, alphabetizing and defining words, and grammar, listing synonyms for a group of words.
For science she read me Lesson 4, "Where Do You Live?, Astronomy, Stars, The Life Of A Star, Constellations." She had a few questions to answer in writing, and then she got to make a star chart showing the changes in color and size of a star during its lifetime, labeling each stage of change.
We had a late lunch, during which I read to Alexa from The Devil's Arithmetic. She then read to herself from Summer of The Monkeys.
We did Story of the World, reading Chapter 19, A New Kind of King. We did the review questions and narration exercises orally and read the relevant pages in Usborne Book of World History.
Eventually it was time to take the kids to their swim lesson, then we relaxed and watched TV before bed.
Life Without School!
Friday, August 9, 2013 - Sunday, August 11, 2013
Friday, we got some stuff done around the house, had lunch with a friend, and stopped at the supermarket.
I dropped Alexa off with her scout leader for her first camping trip, relaxed a bit, then took Ben to his swim lesson.
Here's a picture of Alexa ready to leave and one her leader sent me of her canoeing:
Saturday was an uneventful day. Day 4 of a sore throat for me, Alexa was gone camping, Shawn had work. So it was just me and Ben doing our own thing, a bit of cleaning, relaxing, etc. I did take him to the park for a while.
Sunday, I went to MommyCon with a friend who is also pregnant. It was fun. It was in Philadelphia and we drove together and spent the whole day at different seminars and lectures pertaining to pregnancy, breastfeeding, babies, carseat safety, and so on. They had lots of contests and we each won stuff- I won a Nuroo babywearing shirt and an OnyaBaby carrier!
Unfortunately, it was also day 5 of my sore throat and now my ears were starting to hurt, too. :(
Life Without School!
You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count. -Winnie The Pooh
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - Thursday, August 8, 2013
Wednesday, I took the kids to art class and went shopping at Walmart, picked up a prescription, then went home and ordered some baby stuff online (my due date is three weeks from today!).
Then I picked the kids up from camp, we ate lunch, did some chores, and had some free time. I started doing a bunch of baby sorting, organizing, arranging, pre-washing and so on.
Evening swim lessons were canceled due to bad weather which is good since Ben is on day 2 of antibiotics for an ear infection and it'll be good for him to get another couple of doses in before he has to get in a pool!
The kids played Hangman after dinner, nothing else noteworthy.
Thursday, I woke up with the beginnings of a sore throat. Alexa had one that lasted 6 or 7 days and just got over it, Ben is on day 3 of antibiotics for a cough and ear infection, so I guess it's my turn. If it had to happen, better it comes and goes before the baby's arrival, but, still, not fun!
This morning I took the kids to their last day of art camp, went to the doctor for my non-stress test, went back home for a bit, and around 10:25 we picked up my mom and went to the camp for the art show they always do on the last day of each session.
This session Alexa had done a music camp, which consisted of just her and one other girl, so they sang a few duets together. She also did a theater camp, and they put on a mini play for us.
Ben had done a sculpture class and a drawing and painting class and we got to see his stuff on display before taking it home with us.
We dropped my mom off, had lunch, Shawn went to work, I relaxed, and the kids did their own thing. I ended up napping for quite a while (not feeling well plus sleeping poorly last night plus last few weeks of pregnancy= TIRED!).
We had dinner, determined that swimming lessons were canceled again, so I took Ben to soccer practice instead. Glad he will get a few more doses of antibiotic for that ear infection before getting in a pool again!
I helped Alexa start packing for her Girl Scouts camping trip (she leaves tomorrow evening), and that was about it.