Friday, May 3, 2013

Everyone Out of the Kitchen Unless You Plan on Sleeping There

Something good will happen the day I decide to move the three-year-old's bed into the kitchen. Either he'll finally sleep in his own bed since he is addicted to the kitchen, or he'll finally get out of the kitchen. I suspect the latter, since his mama has no desire to sleep in the kitchen, and he can't fall asleep unless he's holding two fistfuls of her hair. I would offer to buy him a wig to hold onto in his kitchen-bed and release his 259 negelected stuffed animals to the nearby shelter, where they're sure to find a more loving home.

Either way it's a win. Getting all the kids out of the kitchen is a fine way to start. Parenthood has come with many surprises for me, but somewhere in the Top 15 is how stupidly unproductive the day is when kids are in the kitchen. Nothing good EVER happens when kids are in the kitchen.

We then are enacting several new kitchen rules, effective immediately, which should increase our daily household productivity 10-fold, by which we mean we can fold about 10 more pairs of unmatched socks daily.

1. All trips into or through the kitchen must be pre-arranged and pre-approved. This will put an immediate stop to (a) that game where they chase each other using the the baby's high chair, or sometimes just the baby, as a temporary speed impediment, and (2) the mid-morning, mid-day, mid-mid-day, post-lunch, pre-supper, post-supper, pre-teeth-brushing, bedtime, and pre-post-bedtime snacking, none of which includes their bowl of cereal. Not so much because we aim to curb childhood obesity, (though that's cool too) but because we don't have enough room in our cabinets for all the half-eaten sleeves of Saltines and Ritz.

Going forward if kids want to set foot in the kitchen, we will require them to fill out an application stating the reason for the visit --eating at designated times (see #6 below), answering a ringing telephone, or actually cleaning the kitchen are the only acceptable reasons-- the length of their prospective visit, (not to exceed 9 minutes) and three valid forms of identification.

2. Nobody is allowed to touch the dishwasher under any circumstance. This seems counter-intuitive, given that the oldest could be soon mature enough to have "loading/unloading the dishwasher" as an official chore, but right now the only chore is watching the kids empty it one... spoon... at... a... time.

3. The 1-year-old is not allowed in the kitchen at any time. Period. Maybe to eat. If there is a market somewhere for re-arranging the bowls in the lower cabinets via the kitchen floor, we should send him on a plane tomorrow to that land and no longer encumber him with our simplistic, short-sighted ways; we are only stunting his earning power. Also, he uses an open dishwasher like half of a see-saw.

4. The next person who drops more of their meal on the floor than in their mouth will be forced to lick...wait, usually that's me.

5. We are not entertaining the thought of adding doors to the kitchen. This suggestion was brought by the middle child, who while attempting to sneak a piece of brownie, was so startled by his Dad I could have been Chris Hansen. Afterwards, the rankled boy, using his best "Don't you know how to knock?" voice asked why there were no doors to the kitchen. It's so Dad can catch you eating brownies, boy!

6. We will eat dinner together as a family in the kitchen. Except the nights when Dad works late. Or the kids have soccer practice, or dance practice, or violin practice, or the Steelers play at 4 o'clock (which means we get to eat downstairs!!) But all other times we will eat together as a family. We'll ask each other how our day was. We won't ask you what you learned in school today, because you'll just mumble out "nothing" with a big gob of meatball in your mouth. But we'll talk and we'll listen and maybe we'll laugh, as long as you kids don't overdo your comedy routines. And then somebody will have to go to the bathroom, particularly if he doesn't like what's on the menu that day. Then we'll do it again the next day.

No comments:

Post a Comment