Last night was going to be another crazy night, slamming down some macaroni & cheese before hurrying off to basketball practice. Homework was fairly light except for studying for the dreaded weekly vocabulary test. Just why a nine year old needs to know the definition of ‘proximity’ and ‘advantageous’ is lost on me…but we needed to study nonetheless. (Note the word ‘we’. The last time I checked, I had passed the third grade. Given the amount of parental assistance needed with homework these days, it feels like I’m right back there in the classroom). Sport and Rocky were particularly squirrely and had no interest in sitting still to define the word ‘negotiate’. After several minutes without progress, I sternly told them that their ‘defiant’ (vocab word) behavior was making me ‘wretched’ (vocab word) and they were now on their own for studying. As I huffed away, Sport grabbed my hand and apologized. Knowing we needed to get back on track, I grabbed a package of light bulbs from the cupboard and told him to follow me. Upstairs, we counted six burned out lights throughout the rooms. We went from space to space replacing the bulbs, spewing vocab definitions along the way. He would precariously climb on boxes and stand on counters to reach the bulbs simply because it was more fun, and I withheld my instinct to yank him down. In the end, it took a little negotiating, but the light bulb escapade was advantageous for us both.