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Dear Oprah,

I need to give a shout out to Five Second Rules who has endured a longer dry spell than me, but that’s probably because she has way more cool stuff to do with her time than I do.  Anyway, if you’re not going to read my blog posts, get me a book deal, a fancy new car, and millions of dollars, maybe you can read hers and do all that for her.

Thanks, Five Second Rules for somehow getting me through my writers block or boredom with children or motherhood or whatever to write something!

Summer…oh blissful summer when I can sleep until 7:00 or 7:30 (if my children do) will you ever end? And take with you the constant demands for food, drinks, video games, new toys, new brothers and all the other thriving nuisances that are born of boredom?  Yes you will!  In exactly 12 days!  And with your departure, my youngest will be starting pre-school for three hours a day!  If only it could be 12 hours a day for both of them.  Imagine what I could get done?  I could do more design, and when I wasn’t, I could nap uninterruptedly.  I would save hundreds of dollars a day in food, and Pierce would save hundreds of tears a day (unless school allows him to be the giant baby I have allowed him to be.)

Seriously, though, this summer has been fun from the standpoint of days spent playing in the sun around Auntie’s and Grammy’s pools and at the beach.  It’s been leisurely, as my business usually slows down over the summer months, so I’ve had more free time to play with my boys.

Here is the flip side to less business and Florida summers spent with two wild boys.  As my income slowed to a trickle, I took a second mortgage to pay for the grocery and power bills!  GOOD GOD!  I have been warned that teenage boys will eat you out of house and home.  If they are worse than Mikey, then we will need to put him up for adoption pretty soon.  Just like driving a car you can’t afford—you sell it!  I have made no bones about being zaftig, so I should know about calorie consumption, but Mike has taken it to a new level.  He is eating constantly!  Con.stant.ly.  It’s a good thing he never quits moving because he’d be working his way to a 52” waist.  I need locks on the pantry.  Actually I do have a child lock still on one pantry cabinet that the boys haven’t figured out, so I put precious commodities in there, but frankly, it’s not that big.  It’s like picking what to save in case of fire.

Pierce isn’t a great eater, but add him to his brother who we should have named Dyson (because it’s sort of a cool name, plus he sucks up our groceries like a vacuüm cleaner) and there is constant nosing around in the kitchen.

I don’t know what is worse—the grocery bill, or the endless mess under my kitchen table.  Really?  Maybe you don’t eat as much as I thought, Mikey.  Maybe you are like Cookie Monster and just mash food in your face all the while never actually swallowing anything.  That latter seems more probable given the kid’s beautiful physique and the grimy stickiness that grabs the soles of my feet when I am in my kitchen.  Pierce isn’t terribly fastidious about his table manners either, but he is better than his brother.  Marginally.

Mikey is fast-moving, demanding, interrupting, and totally unable to stop and think about what he is doing before he does it unless the consequence could mean hospitalization.  Pierce is more methodical, patient and quiet most of the time, but when he ramps up it’s unbearable.  That sweet little voice turns into shrill screams and squeals and he gets really antagonistic.  They both annoy the crap out of us in totally different ways.

One of the biggest summer downers is the squabbling between them.  Pierce comes out of the kid room a dozen times each day with a horrible look on his face, mumbling and whimpering about something his brother did.  He is a giant baby and it all started when he was born and Mikey was learning how to deal with competition and jealousy.  He would get aggressive with his little brother and Pierce would get hurt and we would scold the older one while petting and consoling the younger one.  It didn’t take long for the little twerp to figure out the art of manipulation, and now we have an often charming but frequently whiny and pitiful little boy.  It’s combo that is so paradoxical that pendulum swinging between adoration and abhorrent is enough to make any parent feel like they have bi-polar disorder.

For all of their demands and fighting each other, they are entertaining and sweet, but bedtime is sweeter.  Wait—No.  No it’s not, because all summer neither of them will go to bed without me lying down with one of them until they are both asleep.  They share a room for heaven’s sake!  Isn’t that enough company at bedtime?  Nope.  They need mommy.  I console myself with hugs and kisses and knowing that when they are teenagers they won’t want me to snuggle anymore (probably because they are in the kitchen eating all my food!)

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