It Adds Up to a Good Day


Yesterday marked the first day, since we graduated from cheese rolls to soft-taco-no-lettuce, that Isaac ordered something new at Taco Bell. We are now in the era of the Doritos Locos Taco.

While out on our errands, we discovered that Office Depot is moving and they are deeply discounting everything. The boys got excited about a bin of calculators, so they each got one. It’s as if I bought them puppies that poop video games that spawn actual robots. They are mathing all day. If I could manufacture calculator shoes, we’d never be late to anywhere. I gave them the Spy Upgrade by introducing calculator messages like 0.7734, which says “hello” upside-down on a calculator. If you didn’t already know that — first of all, *gasp!* and second,  much to learn have you, padawan.

After voting today, I decided it had been too many eons since I took the boys out on an exploration, so I said we were going leaf hunting. Ian, between that announcement and finishing his lunch, decided he wanted to play Legos and griped that we “always have to go on so many adventures and they’re always at the wrong time.” Curious, I asked what the right time was. It amounted to 2 to 3 unspecified occasions a week, in which he determines is the right time. I think the likelihood of his supreme rulership sunk in and he slowly found his way into a pair of boots. We hadn’t made it out of the yard before he forgot how miserable adventures are. On our walk, we collected a rainbow of leaves, inspected a worm, set up a mobile investigation station, dodged a yellow jacket, identified a mushroom, blew some bubbles, collected some rocks, and headed home to start a fire with a magnifying glass. We didn’t get more than a smolder before the younger two decided to go inside and pray for my safety.

Elijah was the first to decide to work on “the list.” It’s five things I require before they get screen time: make/build/imagine, read, do music, clean, have outside time. I assigned him to put away his share of a basket of toys I’d collected. I verbally observed that he was sticking with his job and putting away even his brother’s toys. He liked the feel of that and decided he was powered by nice words. After returning from a “mission,” he’d slow down in need of a complimentary “power up,” which would make him go fast again. That inspired his brothers to participate.

I just missed the crossed-legs shot.

Dinner tonight was purple cauliflower with a spicy yogurt sauce. I’ve been doing that with a whole head of cauliflower, and I was giving the recipe one more chance with spears tossed in sauce. It’s still not a hit with the kids, so I need to keep looking. For something other than half a bottle of ketchup. I also had roasted eggplant wedges, which were enjoyed by the parents, but not the kids. Moving on. The boiled cabbage was kid-tolerated, parent-enjoyed. Everyone liked the sausages. I told Elijah he needed to eat all of one vegetable or a third of each one. So, he decided the best route was to eat the entire remainder of his cauliflower in one massive bite. He did his best to believe it tasted like marshmallows. I did too.

Ian spent a couple hours this evening chatting on the phone with his teenage cousin about Minecraft. I have a feeling this foreshadows the next 10 years, at best. So, as the cabbage boiled, I accepted my fate and fired up a survival world of my own and had my 4 year old teach me how to craft and smelt.

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