Survival of the Fittest

One of the many advantages of having an excessively large family is that it provides ample opportunity for me to exercise my powers of delegation.

I leave my daughter and her partner to mind Nonna and the three siblings, a two to one ratio, whilst I rush off to the supermarket to feed the hungry hoards. Within 30 minutes I’m back, fully and efficiently re-stocked for possibly another 24 hour period. Predictably enough, the house is in chaos but that does not deflect me from my mission.
“Right! I want every one of you out on the drive way to carry in a bag into the kitchen…..except you Nonna, you’re excused.” Three small people blink in disbelief, “you want to eat, right?” I add encouragingly.
“I am not liking yur disgustin foods.”
“Never mind that, it’s your new job.”
“Jobs is for adults.”
“Nope, not around here. This is how it works. I shop for the food. Daddy pays for the food, you do your work by carrying the food inside the house.”
“I cannot be doing dah working chores today.”
“Really. And why would that be then?”
“Because I am dah weakest one.”
“Rubbish! You’re as strong as a cat.”
“But my cat body is being too empty of the good foods for the giving of the energy.”
“Fair enough. I’ll just have to eat the three catering cartons of Goldfish crackers on my own then.”

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How to make your own Webkinz [posable]

One of the best ways to get organized is to delegate household chores to your children. One of the best ways to motivate your children to co-operate is to provide finely targeted bribes. The current bribe currency around here is Webkinz, but they’re a bit pricey, especially in these financially stricken times. So, if your household is in need of a little extra motivation, why not make a few of your own bribes.

Cast on 30 stitches to a size 10 [US] circular needle. Mark the beginning of the round. Knit two rows knitwise.
Increase one stitch knitwise every second stitch. [60 stitches]

Knit one round
Increase one stitch every third stitch. [80 stitches]
Knit seven rounds without increasing.
Decrease – knit two together, repeat to end of the round [40 stitches]
Knit one round
Decrease – knit two together, repeat to end of the round. [20 stitches]
Knit two together, repeat [ten stitches]
Thread through the tail with the crochet hook and pull through and tie off on the wrong side.


Knit eight I cords with six stitches, one inch shorter than the length of a standard pipe cleaner. Insert pipe cleaner with a crochet hook and pull through the centre. Fashion each end of the pip cleaner into a loop and squeeze the pointy end tightly with wire cutters. Sew the loose end on the yarn at each end to cover and flatten the ends. Atatch home made or shop bought pompoms to one end. Sew the bald end to the body of the spider on the outside [right side] with invisible stitches.

Sew on eyes and pompom mouth. Secure contrasting coloured pipe-cleaner for the mouth and make sure to neaten the inside ends so that they don’t poke through = tie the ends together on the inside, twist off and add a blob of glue so that if they do move they will not be sharp.

Stuff the body and sew contrasting circle of fabric to the underbelly.

Clearly, they motivate lots of children, not just mine.

Now with the easy part over, it’s down to the real business. If your children have an eye for detail, then a Webkinz logo is an absolute must.

First pick a language, an unfamiliar one. Learn two or three lines, together with an authentic accent. Secondly, decide upon which type of disguise best suits you. Ideally this should be a disguise that is credible, no Chuck E Cheese Mouse suits please. Find you finest pair of small sharp sewing scissors and secret them about your person. Then, take yourself off to the local Hallmark shop or any other fine retailer of the much favoured Webkinz.

On arrival, blend discretely amongst the other legitimate shoppers. Do not draw attention to yourself by acting oddly. Wait patiently for the right moment and then discretely hack off the nearest Webkinz label available. Return the bald Webkinz to the back of the shelf and run like hell. Do not worry if you are caught as you have the best defense in the world, a real justification that cannot be thwarted by logic.

As I may have mentioned earlier, this tackle is not for the faint hearted.

If you find that you’re not a ‘Mission Impossible’ type, your second option is to take careful note of the Webkinz that already enjoy household space at home. Wait until all junior persons are absent from the home, preferably for a long period of time, such as during school and then determine which Webkinz is for the chop? Take your sacrificial Webkinz and slice off it’s leg, unpick the Webkinz logo and sew it neatly on the new and perfectly unique Webkinz of your own design.

Before the children return home, nip outside and find a rock. Smash your front window with the rock from the outside to make sure that the broken glass falls on the inside of the floor to prove that you had no defense against the wicked, Webkinz robber who burgled the house whilst they were away.

Either option should be completed early in the morning. On completion, early in the morning, you shall now have the rest of the day to complete your mission. First it is necessarily to acquire a massive brain such that you are able to hack into the Webkinz site on-line. Once hacked, it is then essential to steal a legitimate Webkinz code. Having stolen the Webkinz code, all you have to do is to perfectly forge the Webkinz papers of authenticity, insert into a plastic Webkinz liner. Carefully wipe clean of all incriminating evidence, such as finger prints. Be sure to wear latex gloves. Attach code package to the Webkinz, with a pale blue ribbon that you saved from a previous purchase.

I think this is probably where I went wrong?

Anyone want a green spider perchance? I’ll forward the ribbon later on, if I ever find it.

Try This Tuesday

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The threat of evisceration

At 7:05 in the morning I place fruit on the table, the empty table before school. I check the time. I beam with self satisfaction. Never in the history of this household have we made it to anywhere near seven in the morning without a houseful of screaming banshees. I tip toe upstairs to gently waken my sweet bairns from their slumbers. Each bed has a mound and sound. I lift the covers to a sudden flurry of activity, to discover that each is playing an electronic device, “we've only been playing a few hours!” she pleads in her defense, white faced and dark eyed from sleep deprivation. Each child now sits on an electronic device with their hands behind their backs, a picture of innocence but for the little muffled tunes emanating from their bottoms. I pout and purse my lips, searching for the correct verbal response. I remain silent for safety purposes and mime them to 'go downstairs.'

I debate the best method of reaching the goal of 'school on time,' now that I have three thoroughly exhausted little individuals to speed through a contracted morning “routine?” Every minute counts and we're already 5 behind.

Spouse appears after a disturbed and brief, night's sleep.

“I'm warning you now,” he announces to three sets of eyes. Spouse is taking command and I watch in awe, because he has skills that I do not. In his open palms, he manages to contain a wide collection of 'electronics.' [translation = the tools of bribery, “reinforcement” and possibly, most importantly, motivation]
He continues, “I'm going to take them all to work with me, every last one of them!” A collective gasp of warm horror steams into the cold room, where goose bumps cover each naked body. “I will not tolerate this kind of theft!” It would appear that my own 'hiding' skills are not up to par. {translation = they are getting much better at finding.]

My daughter just covers her mouth with her hands, holding it all in.

No so her brothers. Junior is the first to explode, “ I be angry wiv you. Dat is not fair. I not tolerate, coz you are at dah workin forever!” A valid point, that demonstrates his increasing grasp of the concept of time and delayed gratification. In this instance, a huge delay, due to the long hours that spouse spends toiling away at work.

His brother has already managed to use up his bank of words during the early twilight hours of the day, in bed, with the Gameboy. Wordless, he keels over like an axed tree, rigid. Spouse continues, “I going to take them to work and take out their tunes! If you're very good, you MAY have them back, …… some juncture.”

“I wan my juncture now!” screams the sparking jumping jack.

Spouse and I exchange glances as he marches off the scene to find something to put them all in. I consider my incredibly long 'to do' list of jobs, chores, errands and things to mend. Whilst a few are of an “electronic” nature, most are far more dull. Disemboweling 'electronics' failed to reach 'list status' at all.

As he passes, I notice the corner of a crooked smile on his face. He will have such fun dismembering, disconnecting and then re-assembling those three little devices, whilst he is 'at work.'

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