December 14, 2010

The Invisible Fence

Last week, the family who lives across the street got a dog.

Today, a man came and installed an invisible fence around their yard. The concept is genius: every time the dog crosses the line, it gets a little bit electrocuted.

I want an invisible fence for my bedroom.

Ever since my daughter discovered hair spray, mine is always missing. All of the pencils in my desk have broken tips. My printer paper is constantly being turned into paper airplanes. One of my sons runs off with my toothpaste on a daily basis. The other one can't stay off of my toilet.

"There are two other toilets in this house!" I yelled through the bathroom door this morning. "Why are you always on that one?"

The straw that broke the camel's back was when I tried to wrap Christmas presents this afternoon but couldn't find any tape.

"I bought three rolls at the store yesterday!" I cried. "I put them right here!" I said, pointing at my desk.

Three seven year-olds stared at me nervously and asked if they could go take a long walk off a short pier.

I found the empty tape dispensers in my daughter's closet, along with half of my stash of wrapping paper. Instead of doing their homework, my kids wrapped up half of their personal belongings for the fun of it.


I wanted to stick my fingers in the nearest electrical outlet.

Once I calmed down, I made them put the "presents" under the tree and told them that they couldn't open them until Christmas morning.

"You brought this upon yourselves," I lectured.

"I wrapped up all my underwear," Cortlen announced after I stopped talking.

One of us was visibly distraught by this news. The other giggled and ran out the front door.

Please tell me that it gets better.

63 comments

Meg said...

I am laughing so hard on this one. You are hilarious. Your kids are hilarious, but, I am afraid, normal. You just have the best way of writing it. Thanks for the laugh today.
Now, any tips on how to reign in a whiny four year old? Really, when does the whining STOP?

tina said...

Ha, ha, ha. "I wrapped up my underwear . . ." That is hilarious. I am sure it gets better . . . it's got to.

Megan said...

My stuff is always disappearing too. I am 12 and my brothers and sisters are always stealing my stuff.

Sara A Broers said...

Yep, kids, you gotta love 'em! Thanks for the smile!

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

This made me crack up, and my husband was laughing too. Ahh, first that they actually took the wrapping paper and tape to wrap their stuff, then because he wrapped his underwear. Hilarious! I'm afraid to laugh too much, every time I laugh at things other people's kids do, mine do something horrible.

Anonymous said...

You're a great writer. You make me laugh almost every day. The tone of your posts indicates that it's been a rough couple of months. It gets better. Merry Christmas.

Six-Pack Momma said...

I'd like to say it does get better. But so far with my kids ranging from 4-14 it hasn't improved. I have more than once dreamed of the many uses for the dog's collar.

Danae said...

I guess it's good to know my kids aren't the only ones who pilfer my stuff and insist on using MY bathroom. You are so funny!

Donna in VA said...

I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I only have one, a 5 year old boy, who drives me absolutely crazy! Strong personality and lately going through a really bad phase where he is just whiney, mean, talking back, etc... But...when I come here and read your posts...I don't feel so alone and can even find the humor (kind of) in my own life. You are the BEST! Please don't ever stop blogging!!!!!

Natalie said...

Oh good grief. I wish I could tell you that it gets better, but I now have a tweenage girl on the verge of puberty and the hormone level is building. Between the sudden tearbursts and the "He's touching me!" I look for an electrical socket every 20 minutes or so.

Laurie said...

You didn't hear the wrapping party going on? Are your children much quieter than mine? I would hear, "Grab your underwear, let's wrap THAT!!!" and come running. Perhaps that's one advantage of having a smaller house. I hear everything. :) You crack me up- and when you don't write daily I get sad. Just so you know. :)

Angela said...

I'm wondering if maybe you should change the name of your blog to "The Meanest Kids". whoa... those kids ... are terribly normal, I'm afraid!

Anonymous said...

Where were you for the 1/2 hour or more that it took your kids to do that? Don't get me wrong, I have four and I know things happen, but you really leave them unsupervised for that long?

Ruth Ann said...

Being a Mom of 7 myself, (the last is a Senior)I can think of several ways to handle this - but I'd rather hear how you decide to change the situations. It must have taken at least an hour for them to wrap enough stuff to use three rolls of tape...

Anonymous said...

At our house it only takes seconds for mischief to happen - my kids could go through tape and wrapping paper in no time!

Only problem with putting the wrapped underwear under the tree is that he may start to enjoy going comando. My 6 year old has surprised me with that plenty of times!

You are a great mom and writer. Thank you so much for the laughs - getting through some of the daily naughtiness is much easier when you have a sense of humor. You remind me to look at the humorous side of things.

Cecilia

Jensamom23 said...

Oh Jana! When they are teenagers, you will look back on these days with a chuckle and a wish they were still wrapping their underwear in pretty paper. I love that you made them up it under the tree!

I'm So Fancy said...

If you can find an invisible fence for children, DO let me know. The baby gates are killing me. Actually, if you just put a zip line on the ceiling and attach each of your children to it, you can control exactly which toilet is within reach...

Southern Queen of the Crazies said...

If can ONLY get better from here!!

Anonymous said...

I want the dog collar that shocks with the remote. For hubby AND kids. Dirty clothes thrown on the floor? ZAAAP! Whining? ZAAAAP! You got a D on your science test? ZAAAP! You peed on the toilet seat? ZAAAP! You get the idea...I have 4 kids and another on the way. I'm in your boat, lady :)

WendyLou said...

Ummm ... sorry ... NO! It does NOT get any better! I've already told my oldest (13) that she will be getting tape for every major gift-giving event. Birthdays, Christmas, wedding showers, baby showers, etc. I LoVe your solution to put them all under the tree - BEAUTIFUL!!

b said...

Holy cats, this made me laugh SO HARD! There always the zinger at the end with your posts. Sounds like our house. ;-)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Jana, I don't know yet if it gets better, but I can assure you that it's normal, or at least that there's another family out there livin' the same script.

As a side note, isn't it interesting that the commenters who feel compelled to question your parenting also choose to remain anonymous? I'm sure that's because if you looked at their blog, it's a glass house, and they couldn't afford any stones in return. :)
I know it's hard for some people to fathom, but sometimes mothers have to shower or take phone calls or attend to specific needs of one child, and that often leaves a small crowd of children unsupervised, sometimes (gasp) for even 30 minutes or so at a time. Despite our best efforts, the exasperating results are not necessarily surprising, but they're almost always exhausting and disappointing. Sometimes, though, it just can't be helped. Someday their brains will be fully developed, but unfortunately it's after they've already left the household. Sigh.

eliana23 said...

It is going to be a long December at your house...

Heather said...

That is the perfect consequence. Please post pictures.

I hope he overlooked some undies that maybe were in the wash or something.

Donna said...

It doesn't get better, it gets different! And that's why I love reading your blog. You turn these normal, mundane things that anger us regularly into something to laugh about.

Anonymous said...

PROMISE it gets better!!! I am at the stage where my 4 kids - 18-10 are low maintenance and FUN FUN FUN!!! But I REALLY miss little ones. I see the mom of 4 under 10 in the store ready to pull her hair out and get misty eyed and sentimental! Enjoy it because it goes SO fast!!!

Candace T

Anonymous said...

I love reading this. You make me laugh so hard I cry. Yesterday my 2-year old unwrapped everything I had just wrapped. I learned a valuable lesson...

Allison said...

My oldest is 10. For the last 9 or so years we've had a pretty strict off-limits policy for mom & dad's bedroom. That doesn't stop toys from mysterioursly appearing on the floor and my things from mysteriously disappearing from the room and reappearing in my daughters' bedroom. Or under the living room sofa. Or anywhere else but my bedroom. Rolls of tape, especially new ones, seem to have grown the longest legs.

Don't hesitate to pass along any information you find about invisible fences for bedrooms, okay?

Jeni said...

Ahahahaha! Love it! You should get him some really embarrassing underwear that he has to wear until Christmas!

Paula/adhocmom said...

Why are kids so obsessed with tape? Why do I bother to buy gifts other than tape and post it notes? Why do I think I can actually keep post it notes on my desk for my own use?

melanie said...

My child went through all his underwear yesterday, My three year old has, this week, coated the bathroom with three cans of shaving cream, a tube of toothpaste, and an entire bottle of shampoo in sucession (not to mention the entire roll of toilet paper unraveled) my baby has learned to pull everything down on her head, my six year old runs around everywhere in his underwear, the toothbrushes are missing again, my house is a disaster as I try to make christmas presents, someone is hungry, someone needs a diaper changed, I havent had breakfast yet, someone just puked on the sheet and it needs to be washed, before or after the 600 loads of clothes? i have 20 more presents to make before the saturday family christmas party, which, incidentally is at my house (oh, I need to go to the grocery store! And cook at some point, maybe 3 am?) everything seems to be broken and evbery wall is colored on, my husband brought home markers yesterday....i hope it gets better too : )PLEASE HEAVENLY FATHER, PLEASE LET IT GT BETTER!!!!!!

Cindy said...

That. Was. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I look forward to reading your posts everyday. Your posts really brighten my day. You have such a great sense of humor and your kids sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing your life with us and making us laugh daily!!

Pastrami said...

I want a souped up version of the fence like Tim the Tool Man Taylor would have. "A little bit electrocuted" is just not always enought, you know?

Deanna said...

LOL! I read every post of yours. You are a saint...or an angel....your kids are hilarious, and your outlook on life brightens my days. Thanks. :)

~Deanna

Mal said...

Please tell me you were the one who giggled and ran out the door! Oh please!

Erin said...

Thanks for the laugh. My 7 year old likes to wrap up her belongings too, or use the computer paper, or hide the tape. I'm glad I'm not alone.

KJS said...

No it doesn't stop! I have three under four and my days are very similar to yours:) Take heart~

Lori said...

Those children have wonderful imaginations. As long as you blog about it then you have this memory to embarress them with when they are in high school. You are doing a wonderful job of making sure they are very well rounded and can look forward to the lovely stories you will tell their future families. Besides who needs tape, right? Oh wait, everyone. Oh well.

melissa78 said...

LOVE reading your blog!! Love seeing what your children are up to EVERYDAY!!! THANK YOU for charing your fun stories!!! BOO to the neagative comment's .

Cate said...

"AAhhh, but luckily your sister didn't wrap HER underwear. You can borrow hers until Christmas..."
Mine outsmart me every chance they get. I'm beginning to feel like I'm an unwitting participant in some experiment.

Amanda said...

A friend of mine forwarded their feedburner email to me with this post in it. Freakin' hilarious! I'm a new subscriber :)

Natalia said...

I love it!

dcr said...

OMG so very funny!!! i have found it gets better eventually...as my older daughter just moved away to college, i can find my clothes much more often! until then, you're screwed. sorry!

Beth said...

What is it with kids and tape? I have to hide mine so my daughter won't find it. Then my husband thought he'd be helpful and bring home some rolls of that blue, painters tape for her to play with. Now EVERYTHING in the house is taped up!!

AlsoMean said...

charge each of them a dollar for tape and wrapping paper, possible deterrent against future gifts?

Gets better? If I had just told my 8 yr old that he could not open the homemade gift until Christmas, and then he told me it was all his underwear, that would be priceless!
The whole family would be ROFL! Nothing better than that!

1-2-3 Magic, you may want to check it out.

Nicole said...

I don't know what it is about tape that is so appealing! I can't keep it in the house either! Its so annoying to have to hide it in the garage (its too cold for them to go looking for it there)
You made my day!

amyhick said...

Dear Anonymous,

7 year olds are perfectly capable of playing independently for 30 minutes while their mother is busy accomplishing something in another room.

bruno.emma.jose said...

ahahahah your kids are really funny!

Anonymous said...

I would have said I didn't know you wanted underwear for Christmas...have to return what I got you and get some. No NO don't protest, I don't mind.

HW said...

Really, leaving them unattended for 30 minutes at age 7 is a bad thing???? It't not like you found them cooking in their bedrooms or performing surgery on the cat, for Pete's sake. It was TAPE AND PAPER!!!! It's interesting that some of the anonoymous posters think that's a event worthy of criticizing you. I'd like see how those parents shadow their kids all day long.

Oh, and in my experience it does get better.

Leanne said...

Perfect and uh, funny. Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. Tuna said...

They will get used to their little shock collars in no time.

Rose in Bloom said...

There's just something about tape and bandaides!

Anonymous said...

I am a mom of three from five to ten. Stuff like this happens here too. I am keeping mine in line right now by threatening to wear my undies on the outside of my clothes with a sign that says ________'s MOM to school functions. Maybe this would work for you?

Christine said...

Hilarious!

Amy said...

I love that you don't micro manage your kids. I love that they did this. It means they're happy, and not afraid of their mom. Of course, I say this because almost any one of your posts could pass for something that happened in my house as well. So I just tell myself that I'm awesome and that my kids feel free to be creative without thinking I will be mad all the time. Instead of the truth, which is that I hide in the bathroom from them, and THAT's why they can be left unsupervised for more than 15 minutes at a time. ha ha ha!

Melinda said...

LOL That is genius. I want an invisible fence around my bathroom. Why a 12 year old wants my Oil of Olay collection is beyond me.

Charlotte said...

This is hilarious. Love it! Way to take a humorous look at daily kid disasters. Thank you for giving me a laugh today. Charlotte
www.charlottesadhdweb.blogspot.com

myevil3yearold said...

The disappearing tape really pisses me off. My seven year old tapes EVERYTHING!. I decided this year to keep a running total on how many times I have to buy scotch friggin tape. The currrent count is 28. No joking- I've even been hiding it.

Sorry for the rant you just hit a nerve

Valerie said...

I think this is one of my favorite posts...ever!
My daughter is 20...no, it doesn't get better. Sorry! :)

Audrey Hammer said...

That is my house every single day. It's such a relief to not be alone.

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