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Living Room Sleep Out Checklist

  • Kids express wish to sleep out in the living room and watch movies.
  • Make family friendly dinner.
  • Serve family friendly dinner.
  • Take over-excited five-year-old to shower and hose him off.
  • Bring wet-dry vacuum to bathroom, along with mops, squeegee, and possibly a portable sump pump.
  • Get kids into pajamas.  Be prepared for the Spiderman top to be worn with the Scooby Doo bottoms.
  • Start sleep-out movie on TV.  Oversee negotiations between children over whether to watch Annoying American Animated Movie or Annoying Japanese Animated Movie.
  • If using air mattresses for the sleepout:
    • Search for air mattresses in the camping equipment.  They will be situated at the bottom of the stack of boxes, in the containers marked “Kitchen” and “Arctic Expedition Miscellaneous”.
    • Search for electric air pump.  It is in the trunk of a 1947 Packard that was last seen going southbound on FM 27 in Tom Green County, Texas.
    • After acquiring all of these items, attempt to inflate the air mattresses.
    • Notice the air mattress is making sounds like a bagpipe as air escapes at high speed.
    • Find a roll of duct tape.  You only own 28, so this should be easy.
    • Give up and go to the store to buy duct tape roll number 29.
    • Patch the myriad holes in the air mattresses, which surprisingly enough, appear to be feline in origin.
    • Inflate the air mattresses.
  • If using the pull-out couch:
    • Remove all of the cushions from the couch.  Try to put them somewhere that isn’t covered in pet hair.
    • Stretch and warm up.  You don’t want to do this with cold muscles.
    • Chalk up.
    • Place your feet one shoulder width apart, making sure to center your body over your feet.
    • Flex your knees.
    • Grasp the bar of the pull-out section firmly.
    • Take a deep breath.
    • Pull firmly, but with explosive force, on the bar of the pullout section.
    • Exhale as you lift.  If necessary, grunt or shout.
    • As the mattress starts to move up, push up with your legs. DO NOT lift with your back.
    • When the mattress reaches it maximum height, start rotating it down toward you.  Be careful to not get any body part you care to keep directly underneath the frame, as its descent can be quite fast and violent.  This can lead to some rather impressive bruises and stitches in the event that it comes down on you.
    • After the frame crashes down and gouges holes in the hardwood floor, fold out the mattress and frame to complete assembly of the fold-out bed.
  • Place sheets, pillows, and blankets on the bed
  • Retreat to the bathroom to put on either a truss, a back brace, or both, depending on your needs.  Feel free to partake of your anti-inflammatory / mood stabilizer / muscle relaxer of choice at this time.
  • Pass out.
  • Awake to the dulcet tones of children fighting.
  • Stumble out into the living room to find them arguing about whether to watch Death Fist XMIII or Blood Runs Red on the Highway XLV before breakfast.
  • Start the coffee maker and make breakfast for the kids.
  • Deny requests to eat breakfast in front of the TV.  It is impossible to get eggs and bacon grease out of a pull out bed or a vinyl air mattress.
  • As the kids are eating and arguing, put away the beds.
  • Notice that all of the bedding is now coated in dog hair, which may lead you to suspect that the dog and kids are ignoring your rule about dogs on the furniture.
  • Put sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and pillows into the laundry.  You will remember to do them 10 minutes before bedtime tonight.
  • If you used the air mattress.
    • Notice that the mattress is deflated before you take out the plug.
    • Inspect for new leaks.
    • Find a fun new pattern of claw-like holes on the top surface of the mattress.
    • Look around for your new roll of duct tape.
    • Give up on finding your new roll of duct tape and decide that you’re not going to the store for roll number 31 in your pajamas.
    • Fold up air mattresses and put them, along with the air pump, into box clearly marked “Air Mattresses”.  Return box to storage area in basement.  The magic aggravation elves will sort them back into their proper places at a later date.
  • If you used the pull-out bed:
    • Fold the foot of the frame and mattress down.
    • Reversing the process from the night before, lift the frame and mattress up off the floor and back into the couch.  This time, remember to lift with  your legs, not with your spleen.
    • Call your chiropractor for an adjustment.
    • Search for the sofa cushions.  One will be found behind the television, one has been stuffed up the chimney to the fireplace, and the other is in the washing machine.
  • Clean up the breakfast dishes.  No, I don’t know how so few children could make such a large mess.
  • Make another pot of coffee.  Apparently the little darlings are graduating up to bean juice from apple juice.
  • Get a cup of coffee, open up the laptop, and start making promises to yourself that start with “Never again”.

Spidertot, spidertot, does whatever a spider can

For dinner last night, we decided to get some stuff at the deli and have a picnic at the new park down the road from us.  Basically it went like this:

  • I show up with groceries and grab a picnic table
  • Irish Woman arrives with Girlie Bear and Boo in tow
  • I start making up a plate for Boo
  • Irish Woman takes Boo to the restroom to change into his bathing suit
  • Boo eats half a piece of cheese and runs off to play in the splash park
  • We start eating our meal
  • Boo returns, finishes the cheese, and eats some chicken, then heads back to play in the fountain
  • We continue our meal
  • Boo comes back, finishes off his grapes, and heads out to spray other kids with one of the built-in water guns
  • We finish our dinners, and start cleaning up
  • Boo makes one more trip to the picnic table to finish his chicken and strawberries, then heads over to the playground
  • I eventually retrieve Boo, and carry him kicking and screaming over my shoulder to the car and head home.

Hey, at least he wore himself out.  He went to bed tonight with no protest at all.

These pics were taken as Boo scaled the new jungle gym.  It’s basically a spiderweb configuration of 1 inch rope.  He made it all the way to the top this time.

Getting Started
Halfway There

Look at me Dad!  Hey Dad! Look!

There would have been a fourth picture, but I dropped my phone in a mad rush to catch him when his feet slipped and he was hanging 7 feet off the ground.  His mother gave me a rather harsh look as I lifted him down.  I guess she wasn’t happy about him getting so high up, but he’s going to have to learn that gravity works somehow.

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