My mom is whisking me away to Florida for three days of interrupted conversation and sunshine. Me and my sisters too. Thanks to dear friends who have shared their cottage and parents who love love love that their daughters are so close. And the daddies will be in charge while we are away. Thirteen kids in the hands of three men. Lord have mercy. I have stocked the cabinet with crap they love to eat but never get to. Things like lunchables for, well, their lunches and frosted flakes and squeeze cheese mac n cheese. Their clothes are laid out from now until kingdom come, piles of slippery clothes smelling like seventh generation and a type A mama. I have left Dan with several emergency numbers, none of them mine. He is capable. So capable.
But before I go, I promised to tell you about the Get-Along shirt. Google it. Not to be confused with it’s slightly twisted and rebellious older brother, Fundies, the Get-Along shirt may be the greatest disciplinary tool ever. All you need is a t-shirt big enough for a couple children. When they bicker, stick them in it. Tell them they each get one sleeve, but they have to share the neck hole. Tell them they can come out when they are ready to get along. Tell them when they are teenagers you’ll be waiting with it at the door for them when they come home from school and you’re going to crawl into the shirt with them and not let them out until they’ve told you all their secrets. Now you can chop the time out chair up and use it for kindling. You can use your wooden spoons to make some gooey brownies. It’ll take most children, if mine are any indicator, less than three minutes to figure out that being in the Get Along shirt sucks. Once you’ve hit that place, you need only hold it up and they’ll begin kissing the sibling they were just decking. Try it. You can thank me later.
This is me being real. Aching already for the small arms of my children around my neck. And promising Dan that after four nights and three and a half days alone with the Smalls, he’ll have earned some time in the Get Along shirt. I’ll be wearing it when I step off the plane.