Dear Parents,

Dear Parents Who Allow Their Children To Spend Any Length Of Time Here,

We are not a normal family. This, you should already know, if you know us at all. As a not-normal family, we need you to understand a few things about your kids' stay with us. 

1. One change of clothes is usually not enough. Kids around here get messy in many different ways - as a result of helping to bake or cook, with any number of craft-type items, and in a variety of outdoor activities such as water battles, playing in the rain, digging in the yard, and epic mudfests. We, however, have been known to loan clothing and wash a child's clothes to ensure the child remains comfortable. We may also hose down bathe the child as needed.

2. If your child is here for a sleepover, we will in all likelihood end up playing with fire. Roasting marshmallows for gluten-free/diary-free cookie s'mores is a wonderful sleepover activity. Since I, the mom, am REALLY bad at building fires, this falls to the soon-to-be 12 year old in our family, as he's a pyromaniac  very skilled outdoorsman. Sparklers are also a favorite here as they a) are an excuse to stay up until it's reeeeeeeeeeally dark out, b) I'm a huge fan of "sparkler art" and c) they're sparkly. 

3. Your child may at some point be duct-taped. This would not be my fault. This would totally have to do with my husband - and with the fact that with many kids, when you threaten, jokingly, to duct tape them if they don't quiet down and go to sleep, they think this is a fabulous idea. 

4. Your child may or may not sleep. Although I'm very good at naptime as I crave downtime in the afternoon, bedtime is not huge with me. My children, left to their own devices, put themselves to bed quite well. My children, having friends sleeping over, seem incapable of settling down to sleep. Seeing as they reside in the bedrooms upstairs - which is frankly a scary, scary place for someone with OCD who has visions of torching the place and starting over shoveling everything into garbage bags and starting over from scratch - I tend not to check on them too often to see if they're actually sleeping. See #3. Where they end up sleeping is also questionable, although usually it's in a bed. 

5. My children may introduce your children to things like AFV (America's Funniest Videos), Balderdash, and practical jokes involving creamed spinach. (Ok, that last one might be my fault.)

6. My house is chaos. Should you come to pick up your child and find a million kids being very loud, making big creative messes, and the younger ones perhaps only partially clothed, it is because we're having too much fun - and the little kids are "having trouble keeping our clothes on." 

So there you have it. You have been warned!


  1. I so need a car so I can bring wolfie and trilli to play. seriously. they need the experience.


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