Hi. How are you? Notice anything different around here?

If this is your first visit to Uncharted Parent, welcome, and please just continue reading. If you’ve been here before, you’re probably noticing that new-paint smell right about now. The old wallpaper has been torn down and a new pattern has been put up. The furniture and décor have been rearranged and replaced to make everything more comfortable. Go ahead, sit down. Browse the bookshelves. Tell me what you think.

Of course, what I mean via this overstretched metaphor is that the blog renovation to which I referred quite a few months ago is now complete! It’s my hope that it will be simpler for you to find what you’re looking for and easier for you actually to read the words once you’ve found them. Many thanks go to Kayleen of Booyah Creative, who designed the site, and to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, who provided the grant that funded it.

In keeping with today’s theme of appearances and functionality, I’m going to share a couple of short anecdotes from bedtime at my house, both of which occurred shortly before I sat down to write this post.

Eight-year-old “Emmie” had gone to bed about ten minutes before my son called out to me from his room. I replied to him from the hallway that I needed to give his sister a goodnight kiss before I went into his room.

I heard Emmie jump out of bed. “I’m coming out,” she called.

Emmie, who is generally very perceptive when it comes to people, has somehow not figured out that this action by her is the very same thing as would be a flashing neon sign that says, “I don’t want you to come into my room because there’s something in here you won’t like.”

“No, no, Emmie, I’ll come in.”

Emmie beat me to the door and opened it for me, attempting to block my entry.

“Emmie, you were in bed. I’ll come in.”

Come in I did, and immediately understood why she wanted to keep me out. We’ve been trying to work with Emmie to break her of her habit of removing her clothes and dropping them wherever she happens to be standing, or pulling something out of a drawer/closet/pile of laundry, considering it, then dropping it wherever she happens to be standing. Apparently, we are making no progress in this area.

“Emmie, get out of bed and pick up all of the clothes between your bed and the wall. And around the circumference of the bed. And the pile by the dollhouse. And put them in the hamper.”

Emmie stomped out of bed, grabbed the clothes and stuffed them into the hamper we recently placed in her closet to make it easier for her to keep her room neat. “I was almost asleep,” she said, remembering to be offended.

I decided to leave the additional socks and pajamas I noticed on the way out.

I’d almost moved on from this exchange when twelve-year-old “Jack” walked up to the doorway of my bedroom and said, “I’m ready for you to tuck me in.” (This has been our routine since we ended the bedtime story.)

I looked up at Jack, who was wearing: athletic pants, a T-shirt and a fleece jacket.

“No, you’re not,” I said.

“Yes, I am.”

“No, you’re not. You have to change.”

“I’m ready.”

I laughed. Had the silly child forgotten he had street clothes on? “No. Look at what you’re wearing. You have to change for bed.”

His eyes lit up with the look of someone who was about to lay the winning card on the table. “I’m ready. I can wear this tomorrow!”

And there it was: my son believed he had invented the idea of wearing clean clothes to sleep, then rolling out of bed in the morning and getting on with his day. Not surprising, really, given that this is the same kid who believes that putting clothes in drawers is a waste of time; if you just leave them in laundry baskets and take out what you need when you need it, isn’t that more efficient?

I’ll cut the rest of the conversation off here and simply tell you that Jack wore pajamas to bed–on this night. Tomorrow night, who knows?

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