Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Where is the...?

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

And one daily experience that used to leave this Mama very unhappy was the dinner scene. After I'd spent an inordinate amount of time in meal preparation - alone, it would be scarfed down and left for me to spend even more time cleaning it up - again alone. If I was lucky, a starving child would come along during the prep period and ask to set the table in hopes of getting a meal before wasting away. Purely selfish motives and it didn't really help to make Mama all that happy.

So about two years ago we instituted a new King family rule: Every member of the family will help with dinner for one half hour. You can either help with thirty minutes of dinner preparation, or thirty minutes of after-dinner clean-up. And no, setting the table does not take thirty minutes, nor does that one job save you from clean-up duties. (Believe me, it's been tried as in, "But I put the cups around before we ate. Do I really have to clean-up?")

While this family ordinance means that I get to enjoy relaxing in my end-of-the-table throne during clean-up, it does mean that I have to contend with items put away in very interesting locations. Meal preparation has become a whole new experience as I stand in the middle of the kitchen, asking, "If I were a teen-age boy, where would I put a wire whisk?" or "If I were 11 years old, where would I think a measuring spoon belongs?" and "If I were 5, where would I put Mom's rolling pin?"

And when opening a drawer to find an obviously (to me) out-of-place item, I am reminded of that old Bert and Ernie book, appropriately named The Ernie and Bert Book, where Ernie sends Bert on a long chase to find out why the goldfish is in Bert's cowboy hat.

Around here, it goes something like this (and yes, these are all actual true-life scenarios, although they may not all have happened in the same day):

I need the ketchup. Does anyone know where the ketchup is?

No, but why is there a pot holder in the junk drawer?

Maybe because there was a paring knife in the pot holder drawer.

I see. So where is the paring knife?

Your guess is as good as mine. Have you seen the pizza cutter?

Yeah, it's with the pots and pans.

I'm still looking for the ketchup. And where's the lid to this pot?

On top of the stack of dishes.

Has anyone seen the 1 cup measuring cup?

Found it! It's with the drinking cups.

Of course it is. Measuring CUP, drinking CUP. It's an easy mistake. So, where is the missing drinking cup?

Here, it is. Someone put it in the Tupperware drawer.

Did you say Tupperware drawer? Of course. It's a Tupperware drinking cup. I think someone's been thinking too hard around here. Did you find the ketchup?

No, but I need a knife and spoon. Any idea where I might find them?

The knife's in the desk drawer and the spoon's with the water bottles.

I'm not even going to ask how they got there. Have you seen my rolling pin?

Yeah, it's with the play-doh.

Okay, I think I know this one; it's easy... One of the little girls was helping that day and thought it was a toy? I'm going to heat this soup in the microwave and then I think we're ready to eat. Hey! Guess what? I found the ketchup. In the microwave. Just where (someone thinks) it should be! I think I'm getting a headache. When did cooking get to be so tough?


  1. Wow, this sounds like my family growing up! I'm the oldest of five, but we lived on a farm and I was the one watching the kids many times. Mom and Dad were in the fields. Things were put many places. I give you a lot of credit! I love the scenario writing! It is fun! I teach school but I was a stay at home mom and went back to school when i was 39 and started teaching when my youngest was a Freshman and my oldest was a Senior in high school. It wasn't easy, for them or me. It wasn't easy staying home either. I know that it takes a dedicated person either way. I give you a lot of credit! So glad you can do it. Thanks for sharing! You made me laugh! Happy Slicing! :)

  2. What a great post and a reminder that teaching and raising great kids is achieved through opportunites to TRY the tasks of learning in supported environments. I once found a can opener - missing for a long time - in the freezer - I didn't even try to find the culprit - I just saved it for when the "replacement" went missing - it would certainly do so at some point!

  3. I'm going to apologize for chuckling at this post. I'm sure it's much funnier from my side of it all. On the other hand, it sounds like you have a great sense of humour, something that is totally necessary in all families. I think you're wise to lower your standards and let your kids learn how to help out. Your writing was so genuine and engaging and . . .funny. I loved the line: "If I were a teenaged boy, where would I put the wire whisk?"

    1. Chuckling is a compliment and that makes me happy. :)

  4. I think your family sounds delightful. Kudos to you for giving everyone a chance to help so that it is not all up to you. A mom has to have down-time, too. The way you put it all into words is so full of life. God bless your family.