Friday, May 25, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Tiny Terrorists at the Orchestra, Questionable Energy Savings, and a True Story That Tells You All You Need to Know About Parenthood

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My older kids invented this game where they all call the youngest "Sir" and frantically scramble to serve him. It's actually quite hilarious.

The youngest (who is 2) naturally has no idea what's going on, but right now he's sitting in the cushion fort they built around him with a snack and a huge smile as four other kids trip over each other offering him things and going "Yes, Sir! Right away, Sir! Whatever you need, Sir! Would this make Sir more comfortable?"

People think kids in a big family don't get enough attention, but in reality, most of the time it's like this. There's a lot of love to go around, and bonus points if you managed to be the youngest sibling — the benefits of having a very large universe revolving around you go to the baby of a big family. I mean, to Sir.


I turned 36 on Tuesday so happy birthday to me! My two oldest kids were out of town on a school trip and my son was at soccer tryouts, though, so we decided to postpone it until the weekend.

Meaning my birthday was a totally normal day, the highlight of which was fishing shards of glass out of the garbage disposal from a Pyrex container falling in the sink.

However, Phillip has been clandestinely working on a cake and dropping cryptic hints about a present I'm going to love, so I'm looking forward to celebrating properly this weekend.


During my daughter's orchestra concerts, Phillip and I either tag team it or leave the younger kids at home with the 14-year-old. But since the 14-year-old was on the school trip and we both wanted to see the last concert of the year, we decided to just take everybody.

After sitting quietly for about 10 minutes, the novelty wore off for the 2-year-old and things quickly devolved into a terrorist situation.

The fear of having him erupt into screams in the middle of Vivaldi's Concerto in G Major was so high we did things we never thought we'd do as parents, including kicking his brother out of his own seat because the 2-year-old decided he wanted to sit there and encouraging him to draw on my money and scatter my credit cards all over the aisle as long as he did it quietly.

We caved to every unreasonable demand he made faster than you can say "taking you here was a huge mistake."


During a pit stop at the orchestra concert (in addition to being terrorists, little kids also have bladders the size of walnuts) I noticed this drinking fountain outside the restroom:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
The LED display at the top right says: "Helped eliminate waste from _____ disposable plastic bottles."

Initially I thought keeping track of the waste you prevented was pretty cool, but then I realized the energy used to operate the LED display 24/7 was in itself wasteful.

Also, was I the only one seized with an immature urge to run the water just to see the numbers on the display go up? Tell me I'm not the only one.


We've been running a humidifier in my son's room all night because somehow the whole family caught a cold, and then the 2-year-old's cough turned into croup. Again.

I've been exhausted, between feeling sick myself and also being up all night with him because he can't sleep, but the silver lining is that my 6-year-old mispronounces 'humidifier' and keeps asking if we are going to turn on "The Humilitator."


My friend's husband went out of town, leaving her with two little boys who are bursting with superhuman amounts of energy all day long, so I watched them at my house to give her a break.

She was going to see a play and have a nice, relaxing time, but just after dropping the kids off she got a phone call about a plumbing emergency at her house and long story short, missed the play and spent her 3 hours of kid-free time at Home Depot picking out a new toilet.

Which is basically a perfect anecdote to share when people ask, "What's it like to have kids?"


I let myself get talked into signing up for a combination TurboKick/PiYo class (yes, I had to look up all those words, too.)

I was terribly scared because I've never taken a formal exercise class that costs real money, and I was afraid it might be too intense for me. I'm not exactly a hardcore fitness enthusiast; I still have sports bras in excellent condition that were purchased in high school.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I can handle it, even if I could barely walk the next day.

I also learned that paying for an 8 AM class doesn't give you the motivation to get up and out the door on time, which I'd kind of been banking on when I signed up in the first place.

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Anonymous said...

I was wondering (and think you may have addressed this before) but do you pay your kids for babysitting their younger siblings? My aunt and uncle have 4 children, first they had two very close together and then there was a gap of a few years and they had two more quite close together, all boys. The older boys babysat the younger on occasion and were sometimes paid and sometimes not paid. My aunt and uncle would "hire" them if they were going out for entertainment purposes (i.e.,going to the movies or visiting friends) but would not pay them if they were going out to do something that was to benefit the family, in whole or in part (i.e., Attending a parent/teacher conference, grocery shopping). They believed that the babysitting in the latter instance was akin to a "chore" and a reasonable responsibility for the kids whereas in the first instance it was akin to a "favor" and they should be paid for their time. I thought this was a reasonable plan as it required a certain sense of family unity and cooperation but was not exploitive. I know you expect your kids to take on responsibilities in the home starting at a young age and wondered how sibling "babysitting" was addressed. - Kathy Young

Jenny Evans said...

I've about that and even wondered out loud to Phillip sometimes if maybe we should pay the older kids for babysitting siblings (not always, but sometimes.)

For now, we decided no on giving money outright, but on occasion we'll give the babysitting child a special thank-you reward like dinner out with one of us or letting them stay up late to watch a movie with us.

Rachel said...

Taking a real exercise class would be interesting and intimidating for me. Both. I wanted to sign up for ballroom lessons here a year or so ago but they were too expensive so didn't. But I still find the idea very intriguing.
Happy birthday to you!!
Cyrus is getting the "big family" experience. I'm already wondering if he doesn't get enough time to chillax and be a baby and hang out on the floor with his toys because his young aunts ALWAYS want to play with him. It's like a fight over the baby every time we're at my parents' house--I can't count the number of times I've already heard "but you've been playing with him for so long!" "It's my turn!" "But I didn't get to see him since yesterday!"...these statements might come from any of my little sisters...but also from my mom and dad, which I find hilarious. Babies, man.

Jenny Evans said...

Babies with a big family (extended family included) are so lucky! I do think it's funny when the other kids still ask me for "a turn" holding the 2-year-old. I'm like, "he's a toddler, why don't you ask HIM instead?"