Inventions, Creations, Experiments,  School Today: Eraserboard Jungle


My middle sister has always joked that I run my house like a boot camp. In the past, I’ve laughed nervously and said things like, “Well, with three boys it’s essential for them to be able to do things themselves so we aren’t late everywhere” or “I just think it’s important that they know what I expect of them.” Then I’d change the subject.

Really, though, my sister is much closer to the secret truth than she knows. From Potty Training 2001 to Self-Sufficiency Summer 2003 (Teach your kids to pack and carry their own bags to take to the pool!), my kids have graduated from one training program to the next.

School Preparation Boot Camp 2006 starts soon. Only my readers get a glimpse of this classified document!


1. At reveille, each boy is to make up his bed, get dressed, and bring his backpack into the kitchen. Any time remaining between dressing and carpool time (7:25 am) may be used for eating and cleaning up breakfast. Choice of breakfast is at the child’s discretion, but must be chosen from the list labeled “Acceptable Breakfast Foodstuffs In The Glamore Household” which is attached as Exhibit A. Please note that while yogurt is acceptable, cookies are not.

2. Merit points will be awarded to any boy who brings Major Mom coffee (with small splash of half and half) in bed and announces that he is dressed, packed, nourished, and clean.

3. When it is Chatty Mom’s week to drive, boys should be waiting outside for her at 7:25. Boys will have 30 seconds after her horn honks to enter the van in an orderly manner. When it is Major Mom’s week to drive, boys should be in the van at 7:25 with seat belts securely fastened.

4. During the ride to school, all boys will refrain from farting, burping, imitating sirens, telling knock-knock jokes, or sudden movements that might cause Major Mom to spill her coffee. Anyone who is not riding home, or who is bringing home an extra passenger, should advise Major Mom or Chatty Mom during the ride to school so that room for extra bodies may be made, if needed.

5. Any deviation from these rules may result in explosive, embarrassing outbursts from Major Mom.

6. Upon exiting the vehicle, each boy is to gather his belongings and declare, “Thank you for the ride!” in an audible and grateful voice.

7. The following words are not to be uttered at school: penis (unless said organ needs medical attention), butt (same), stupid, dumb, snot or poop, alone or in combination with any other word (i.e. “poophead”), hell, shut up, bosom, pinkeye, lice, fever, itchy head.

8. When school is out, boys are to follow the same carpool protocol as in the morning with regard to seat belts, noises, and expressions of gratitude toward the driver.

9. Upon arrival at home, each boy is to hang his backpack on the appropriate hook. Backpacks are not to be slung about like a dead squirrel.

10. Boys may snack until 4:30. Boys consuming anything other than water after this time will have their treats confiscated and extra chores imposed.

11. There will be no TV viewing during the week except under extreme circumstances as designated by Major Mom. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, events of national significance, weather emergencies, and American Idol. If you need something to do and homework is done, go outside and make mud pies. If you prefer to stay inside, you can fold laundry.

12. No computer games will be played during the week. The computer may be used under adult supervision only for school-related research projects. Major Mom has checked with the school; no one will be asked to research “nekkid ladies” this year.

13. Chores will be performed immediately before (Chore Groups A and B) and after (Chore Group C) dinner. Chore Groups will be rotated on a monthly basis.

14. Because Drew and Porter have not been able to resolve this issue in a satisfactory manner, Drew will sit next to Major Mom at dinner on even days, and Porter will sit next to Major Mom on odd days.

15. Boys have a choice of a bath or a shower, but penises and hair must be washed regardless of the method chosen.

16. Teeth should be thoroughly brushed and towels hung up when bathing is finished. Failure to hang towels is punishable with a fine of twenty-five cents to go in the quarter jar in the kitchen. The fine may be made up of any combination of legal U.S. coins totaling twenty-five cents. Cutting a piece off a dollar bill is unacceptable.

17. Before bedtime, each boy is to pack up his backpack and set it out beside his clothes (including footwear) that will be worn in the morning. Porter is required to wear socks each day regardless of his choice of footwear, in order to reduce his noxious foot odor. Clothing choices are left to the discretion of each boy, except in the case of egregious fashion gaffes, in which case Major Mom will step in. Her sartorial decisions will be final. Whining and backtalk will be rewarded with 50 pushups or vacuuming the den.

18. All troops to bed by 8:30 pm (2nd grade) or 9:00 pm (5th grade).
Alarms should be set and turned on. Alarm levels should not exceed the allowable decibel level. Lights out to follow thirty minutes after tucking, prayers and kissing (if allowed). No exceptions.

19. All boys should keep in mind that Major Mom loves you, regardless of how long it takes you to get with the program.