Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crossing the River

You know that riddle about a man who has a fox, a rabbit, and a cabbage?  He has to get them all across the river safely in his boat which only holds two things.  But the tricky part is that the fox will eat the rabbit and the rabbit will eat the cabbage if left alone together.

I've been stuck in a puzzle like that for the last week.  It's been interesting, to say the least.  Shaggy had a big old hernia.  Which he ignored for many months.  But finally it was painful enough that he consented to surgery.  Open surgery.  Not the nice little laproscopic version with the quicker recovery time.  So he's been convalescing and trying to recover.  Which, unfortunately, is terribly hard to do at our house.

The good news is that we all survived relatively unscathed.  Well, except for Shaggy who will have a wicked scar across his abdomen.  But maybe that's not a bad thing, because as he says, "Chicks dig scars."

Here's my version of the puzzle.  A mom has three girls, a little boy, a baby, an invalid husband, a dog, six lizards, and a box of crickets.  The crickets must be fed to the lizards at regular intervals without being left out for the dog . . . or the baby (ewwww!) to eat.  The crickets cannot be left alone with the little boy or they WILL end up all over the house for the dog and the baby to eat.  Girl #1 wouldn't touch the cricket container if her life depended on it.  Girl #2 is a pro at handling both crickets and lizards.  The littlest girl won't bother the crickets if they don't bother her.

The dog can't be left alone with the baby or the littlest girl.  He licks the baby's face too much and will steal the littlest girl's snacks.  He also cannot be left alone in the kitchen when there is butter, or even empty butter boxes that have been left out.  Or anything that contains butter.  He has taken quite a fancy to butter, in all its forms.

Girl #1 must be retrieved from swim practice four days a week.  And taken to, and picked up from, music rehearsal.  Girl #2 must be retrieved from lego robotics at the same time as girl #1 gets out of swimming.  The little boy can walk home from school with girl #2 except when she goes to lego robotics, in which case mom has to get him.  The little boy and littlest girl cannot be taken much of anywhere together because they end up fighting too much.  The baby cannot be left alone with the invalid husband because he is unable to lift, or even hold her.  The baby cannot be left alone for long with the little boy as his love is sometimes rough and unpredictable.  Both girl #1 and girl #2 are trustworthy caretakers of the baby.

Provided that the invalid husband is awake and not knocked out from his pain meds, he is able to be left in charge of the little boy and littlest girl.  As long as they don't fight.  Or need help with anything.  Or talk too much.

Meals, snacks, clean clothes, time, love, and attention must be given to the children, baby, and the invalid husband in order to avoid meltdowns, tantrums, bad grades and bad attitudes.

For an extra challenge, the baby gets sick and can't sleep for more than an hour at time because she can't breathe, and she can't tolerate floorplay for more than twenty minutes for the same reason.

All homework, clarinet, flute, computer, reading, bath, and bedtime routines must remain the same as they were prior to the husband becoming an invalid.  Or as close as possible.

So how would you solve this puzzle?

And no, pulling your hair out and walking away is NOT a valid option.  Believe me.  I tried.


Mom said...

What - - - no meals, snacks, time, love and attention for the dog or the lizards or the crickets??? Oh wait, the crickets are meals themselves. Good thing none of them need clean clothes! Your blog totally cracks me up. I'm glad everyone survived the week and that your blog helps you see the humor in what might otherwise make you want to pull out your hair and run (not walk) away.

Natasha said...

You are pretty amazing, you know. I think mothers throughout the history of motherhood would be getting a lot more sympathy if they all wrote with the clarity, honesty, and humor that you do. Thank you for sharing this episode!