How do you solve a problem like three children?

None of them named "Maria."

I'm beginning to think we didn't train them right as little ones, and it's really starting to show. Here I am, in all this pain from my STILL UNDIAGNOSED knee pain, yet who's the one left throwing out old microwave popcorn bags, candy wrappers and wadded up paper from false homework starts?

Guess. I'll give you three chances, and the first two don't count.

Sitting here at the computer I see: two empty cans of soda, one empty bag of popcorn, a miscellaneous wrapper that could have come from any pre-wrapped treat, and two (almost) empty bowls of cereal. And my coffee cup, but that's supposed to be here. And that's just this one, small 3' x 4' -ish area.

I would yell at them to come clean up their mess, but they're at school. Come to think of it, even if they weren't at school the response would be roughly the same, save the sound of scampering feet going up the stairs. And if I call up after them, "Get down here before I call the police to pick you up for loitering!"all three would yell, "I HAVE HOMEWORK!"

The I have homework ploy. You can't argue it. We spend so much time telling them how important homework is if they want to grow up and afford a house, a car and little JOYS of their own. Yet, it's curious how often teachers give them video game assignments as homework. Maybe it's for physics, studying the properties of gravity as Mario falls off a cliff and onto inconveniently located spikes. Or philosophy, to learn what Luigi will do with the second life he's been given. Which is pretty much always fall off a cliff and onto inconveniently located spikes.

Will that man NEVER LEARN?

Ah, but I have today off. Tomorrow, too, and on Thursday I don't have to go in until 6:00! P.M., that is. I plan to spend the time resting my knee and reading, reveling in my solitude. If it means hobbling over a few candy wrappers I know won't get picked up unless I do it, that's the price I pay for three days' relief from the worst of the pain. Three days spent waiting for the stupid doctor's office to call and tell me the verdict. Three days to decide how I'll explain to my boss it's not my fault I happen to need surgery when we're short on staff, unhappy though it makes her.

Sigh.

I hear bed calling. Loudly. I think I'll go see what it wants.

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