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Category: Family Life

Pep Talks

Quinlan, age 11, is on the couch, playing a game on her new Nintendo. I’ve just asked Cian, newly age 9, to start a load of his laundry. “What?!” he says. “How do I do that??” Me, calm: “Cian. You do laundry all the time. Just grab a couple armfuls of the dirty clothes in your hamper and put them in.” There’s a sigh. A mutter. A mumbled “Why do I hafta do the laundry? I don’t know how to do the laundry! Ugh I don’t want to do the laundry.” (Same, kid. Same.) But he goes upstairs, gets the clothes, comes down with them, and goes into the laundry room, which is in the hallway on the other side of the kitchen from where Quinlan and I sit. I hear the rustle of clothing being shoved into the washing machine. “Mom! What do I do now!” It’s called at top volume from the other side of the house. Me, calm: “You put in one of the laundry pods.” “But where are they?!” Me, sighing, but…

Happy New Year, but Late (and Normal)

It’s the second day back to school–back to “normal,” I guess?–after the winter holiday break. Saoirse and Cian are in school but Quinlan is lying on the couch next to me in the living room, watching Netflix (Alexa & Katie is really cute, by the way). She’s home with a stomachache. Nothing major, but it is Covid Times, so we play it safe. This morning she joked with us. “Jeez, Mom,” she said. “Any other year, you’d send us into school if we only had an upset stomach. Or sniffles. Or anything! It’s so different now.” Oh, yes it is. David just drove to a big box store that’s a half hour away to hunt down Covid-19 home tests. They’re sold out everywhere else. We don’t think Quinn has Covid, but you know. They’re good to have around. Cases are rising at our kids’ small Catholic school, but the administration is trying to stay open. (Meanwhile, our huge local public school district just lifted their mask mandate. Makes sense. Sure.)   &nbsp…

They’ll Have Fun Whether They Like It or Not

Are there any family activities your children absolutely refuse to do with you? I’ll give you a hint what ours is.     A couple weeks ago, on a late afternoon after the Saturday soccer/errands run, I suggested to David that we go for a quick hike on a mountain trail that’s about ten minutes from our house. Before I could even ask the kids to join us, Quinlan called out from another room.     “PLEASE do not make us do that with you.”     We went alone.     This past Saturday, on a dinner out with our neighbors, one of our friends suggested that our three families take the trip up to Ricketts Glen State Park, which is a hike I’ve always wanted to do after seeing photos of its beautiful waterfalls. When I mentioned it afterward to Quinlan, she just went, “Nope.”     The next day, in the car with Saoirse, I brought it up again. I talked about the streams and the waterfalls, and the neat experience of hiking with friends. She groaned in only the way a beloved teenager can (three syllables…