Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How To Bring Them Back

In my last post, I shared some ideas on how I get my children to make themselves scarce. Now, there are definitely times that you need to have your children nearby--like when you need to get them to an appointment or you want them to do a job that they would normally hide from (like setting the table, taking out the garbage, and so on). So today, I will share some things that I have found can make my children magically appear from wherever they have hidden themselves.

1. Pop popcorn for yourself. I don't know exactly what magical qualities are in popcorn kernels, but somehow when they pop, something is released from within them that draws my children out of the woodwork.

2. Sit down to read a book. Not only does sitting quietly to read bring my offspring near, it makes them unusually talkative. Suddenly, I'm forced to reread the same sentence 20 times while being regaled with tales of broken crayons, Madden 11 stats, play-by-plays of WWE wrestling matches, or who broke up with who, when they did it, and what everyone in the vicinity was wearing.

3. Turn on your favorite television program. This will either guarantee the same results as #2 or it will cause a sudden outbreak of my children speaking Whinese because they really need to watch just one more cartoon, sporting event, wrestling match, or truly crappy reality show. *If you want to watch your children fall over themselves to get to your side, combine #1 and #3. This gives the added bonus of being able to see the looks on their faces as you tell them that you are now controlling the television and that you are consuming the last bag of popcorn. Double score!

4. Have a phone conversation. The minute you pick up your phone, you can be guaranteed of locating your children by either their immediate presence in front of you requesting your help in an emergent need--like what to have for a snack because they are starving, or you will locate them through the sound of their raised voices and body slams as they begin WWIII.

5. Bring in groceries. Nothing draws my children out faster than food. When they know that I've been shopping and they hear me come back in the house with the groceries, they are on me like white on rice. If I am feeling supremely cunning, I am able to wrangle help with the unloading and putting away of the groceries before they can snatch stuff and run off, but if I'm being honest, I'm only able to accomplish this about 25% of the time. Most of the time what happens is I bring in the groceries and then there is a loud noise and a rushing wind as my children run by and pillage the food and then disappear.

6. Say you are going for a walk. Any announcement that I'm about to go somewhere or do something by myself is nearly guaranteed to bring at least one child to my side with the question "Can I come too?" flowing from their lips.

7. Take a bubble bath. Take a bubble bath and have a book with you. Take a bubble bath with a book and a glass of wine. That my friends, will bring them flocking to your door.

8. Have a private conversation with your spouse. Any time my children hear us speaking in low tones, they are certain that their presence is required and that they must have all access to the conversation.

9. Start tickling one child. If you really, really need all of your offspring to come to you posthaste, I cannot recommend this one highly enough. All I have to do is start tickling one child, and suddenly I am irresistible. The only drawback to this one is that it often leads to dogpiles in which I am the bottom dog and possible loss of bodily fluids because I end up laughing so hard I almost wet myself.

Well, it's almost time to fold some laundry. Maybe I should check to see if I have any popcorn first.

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