Tuesday, August 29 2023


page banner

Hey Reader!

You know what I've found is the best way to start the day? A swordfight. Lacking any real, formidable opponent, I had to make due with Miles. No words were exchanged. No stare-downs, no trash talk, no characters or back story to why we were fighting. We just mashed the buttons on our space swords and got to work. Miles has no shortage of spirit, but frankly his technique needs a lot of work. He telegraphed his strikes seconds in advance. His footwork was all over the place. If we were fighting with real space swords, he would be in a lot of trouble.

I make the point of calling these "Space Swords" and not "Light Sabers", because "light saber" is a trademark, and buying official Star Wars light sabers would be more expensive than these five dollar knock-offs from Walmart. Officially licensed or not, these things tend to only last a few days before they explode in the heat of battle or until Rodney pulls out the battery with the wires out of curiosity, so the knock-offs do just fine.

To incentivize the boys to help around the house, Marissa instituted "good helper charts" - two pieces of hand decorated paper taped to the fridge. Whenever Miles or Rodney does something helpful, they earn the right to add a star sticker of their choosing on the paper. Each star equates to a dollar.


The Good Helper Chart (pardon the foggy camera lens)

Most of the toys they bought have, by now, been rendered useless. Rodney's two dollar slime ball sprang a leak, but he got more than two dollars of enjoyment out of it while it lasted. He's into the genre of what he calls satisfying things, and he finds all kinds of strange videos on YouTube to scratch this itch. Shifting colored sand. Wax melting. Time lapses of ink diffusing in water.

Yesterday, I took five containers of white chicken stock out of the fridge, and knowing his new love of satisfying things, I called him over to watch me skim the layer of fat that congealed over each container. The murky chicken fat forms a smooth, perfect surface on the top. Using a spoon, you can easily scrape it off the clear, jiggly stock below. "It's soooo satisfying," he sighed in approval.


On our toy run at Walmart, we bought Ollie a big blue ball. He earned this prize, not from doing chores around the house, but simply because he's a good boy. While his sisters were at an agility practice, he proudly trotted his ball around the yard.


Play time is important. In the middle of a busy work week, it's important to take time to pick up a space sword or kick a big ball around the yard. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.