October 6th, 2010

An Open Letter to My Son, Who Needs to Get a Few Things Straight

Angie McCullagh

Dear oldest child,

You are seven-and-a-half now. You have just started second grade. You’re developing empathy and a good sense of humor and I’m humbled to be a part of that.


We have issues that need addressing.

1. Homework. I don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, trying to motivate you to sit down and complete 10 minutes worth of math gives me heartburn for six hours before the tussle even begins. You need to just do it. Your whining and moaning only make the endeavor more stressful for everyone involved.

2. Buttface. Please stop saying this. I know it’s your version of a curse word, but I don’t like living with Beavis.

3. Tormenting your little sister. It’s fun. I get that. Scoring a hysterical scream in return for your efforts is more satisfying than someone giving you a metric ton of bubblegum. (I was an older sibling, too.) But it’s mean and annoying and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like it if I started feinting kicking you in the face every time you turned around or smashed your artistic creations when you brought them home from school.

4. The food I cook you. Eat it. End of story.

5. Chores. Yes, they apply to you. My attempts at charts and stickers have failed. But I expect a made bed, a packed backpack, brushed teeth, and a decent attitude.

6. Peeing. Please learn to do it sitting down. Or at the very least, lift the seat when you go. Because….yick.

7. Handwriting. Readability does matter. No one will know how smart you are if they can’t read what you write.

8. Garbage. It belongs in the trashcan. Not strewn about the stairway, hallway, car, and living room.

9. The kitchen table. That’s where we take our meals. At least dinner. And please tuck your legs underneath rather than slumping on your lower back with your knees up by your ears. I really don’t need to stare at your crotch while I’m eating my lasagna.

10. Your tone. You’re not yet 13, and until you enter your teens, I’ll thank you to talk to me like the polite kid you are.

Address these concerns, oldest child, and we’ll be well on our way to a happy, mutually respectful relationship. At least until you hit puberty and I have a whole new game to figure out.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)