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Pens, Room Checks, and Running Interference

How many writing utensils does a lady nerd have on herself at any random moment?

Seven. I had 7 writing utensils today in my bag. The red pen is important because I like red. Then the green is important just to have another color. I need the pen that fits in my zippered wallet case because if I just grab that, not the bag, at least I'll have a pen. Then I had another black pall point and a pencil. The pencil is important for my planner--paper planner, that is. And, let's see, 2 more ball point black pens for the note-taking I've had to do lately.

I come by the pen fetish honestly: my dad is never without several choices in writing utensils at any given time. The cartoon Dilbert has always struck a chord with both of us.


I've instituted what I call room checks every day before fun screens are allowed. It's actually made my job so much easier. You see, when I tell my children to clean their rooms, nothing of substance happens. The clothes/junk just get shuffled into another part of the room.

But when I say "room check," they scramble in there and actually put away the mess because they know I'm coming to check it in a few minutes, and they'll have to redo it as many times as it takes before they get fun screens. And we have had a few do-overs. I know the tricks to look for because I played them all too as a kid.

I'm also starting to use room checks in the living room and any other room that needs attention. There's no reason one person (Mom) should be responsible for the mess of four people.


I said yesterday that my brother has a wonderful girlfriend. Well, I have to amend that today and say he has a wonderful fiancee. She said yes! (In case you're wondering, I couldn't get this blogging type editor to put an accent over the first e to make fiancee correct. Please just insert it in your mind's eye if you're the sort that even cares about that.)


How does it happen on one day that I can have the kids up a good hour and a half before we have to go to school and be scrambling to leave on time? Then on another day, such as this morning, we all didn't hear the alarms, woke up late with only 18 minutes to get out the door, and left plenty early for school? And all without whining, tears, sibling rivalry, or running interference?

Wait a minute. Maybe it really only takes 10-15 minutes to get ready in the morning, but whining, tears, sibling rivalry, and running interference take up the other hour-plus in the morning.


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