Year 1: I fretted about forgetting to wipe down the kitchen chairs when they got dusty.
Year 9: Rejoice with me! My chairs never get dusty! How did I reach this state of cleaning-nirvana? I have employed the peanut butter method. Have three children smear each chair and most of the table liberally with peanut butter and then rinse with milk. This method is actually dust repellant, because I haven't seen any dust on those chairs in roughly four years. Butter, jelly, honey, syrup, spaghetti sauce and ketchup work equally well although I would discourage the use of oatmeal or granola because those substances are actually part concrete when dry.
Year 1: I felt guilty about sleeping past 10:00 am on Saturdays because...I have no idea: I just did.
Year 9: I have shed this burden completely. I feel set free and totally released of my overwhelming guilt. Again, what soul-cleansing practice did I employ? I have learned to deploy children at two hour intervals beginning at 4:00 am who populate my bed with knees and elbows in increasing numbers making my repose so forced and uncomfortable that I haul my tattered carcass out of bed at a truly respectable hour.
Year 1: I routinely procrastinated about putting things away. Non-perishable groceries would stand on the counter for two days or more before I got around to putting them away.
Year 9: Over the past nine years I have tried many methods to motivate myself to be more compulsive about putting things away including stern talks, time-outs, bribery and motivational quotes displayed under the unsorted mail and spaghetti noodles, but the most successful, by far, has been the leave-it-out-and-lose-it method. If I leave a box of cereal out, Annabel has solemnly promised to cut it open and dump it on the floor of her bedroom. If I leave yarn out, Laine has taken an unbreakable oath to wind it around every object in our home then cut it in to tiny strings which will then be glued to the freshly peanut buttered table.
Luke, I am raising my wine glass full of unsweetened, decaffeinated tea to us--our life, our love and the last fragments of our sanity. If I could go back and tell that 15 year old girl who fell in love with you so long ago one thing it would be this...he is the real deal! Also, you aren't fat, no really, you aren't.