#17 I, Isabel Scheherazade explain the list Pop and Mimi created to make it easier here at home once school starts. What do you get when you mix socks, underwear, chores, great books, and television? You get one item from this list removed to a closet. Really. It’s in the closet.

by storytellerisabel

Socks and underwear, Pop? I bristle like a porcupine. Girls don’t need help with socks and underwear.

Not you, Isabel. Sam and Clyde. You know how they are. 

The guys bounce like Tigger. They think they’re being complimented.

How about the chores? I do stuff. 

Tons. You’re a huge help. Pop pats my hand. But I think we can get the boys emptying baskets and such.

I tap the next item. Read aloud? 

We want to read aloud every day after supper. To do it right we’ll need a stack of  good books, so when we finish one, we won’t have a gap before we start another. 

I love the read aloud plan. (Mom and Dad sort of did this with us.) Here’s how it works:  We find a great book that the 5 of us will “get” in some way. For instance, I KNOW the twins didn’t understand all the plot twists in Toad for Tuesday, but they loved Wharton and George; they cried when they thought George was going to be eaten by the fox. On my own I’ll read other books too. And Mimi and Pop will read simpler books to Clyde and Sam when I’m not around. (I wonder if we could do the second Redwall book? Dad had just finished the first one the week before he was killed.)

And this supper table one?

No more eat and run. We want us to have discussions. 

We sit and talk already.

Well, we need to PLAN to sit and talk. Right now we jump up because a game or show’s on television. Pop circles the word TELEVISION. We need to cut down. He scribbles tiny numbers in the notebook margin.

We mostly watch Sesame Street, The Electric Company, MSNBC, ball games. Cartoons. Some series shows. Not much, but something every night. Which shows?  I ask. I’m hoping it isn’t Little House on the Prairie.

Well, we can’t cut Sesame Street but still watch the Red Sox. 

Cut the Sox? I was just getting into them, too.

In fact, Pop leans forward like he is gearing up for a big hill on his bike. Let’s get rid of it. He sits back, relaxed. Games can tempt me, but not if the TV’s gone. He looks at the numbers. I’ve added it upIf we eliminate that hour a day during the week and the games on weekends, we’d gain 10 to 15 hours. 

So, that’s what we did. The TV went in the front hall closet. Anytime I open the door to get my jacket, I can see it behind the vacuum cleaner.

Signing off, or should I say, sighing off–