Some helpful hints for the zookeeper

Tomorrow morning I am getting on a plane with my People magazine and the Husband, and heading for a little ski getaway. The animals children will be left in the fine care of the Oma, and the kids are dying with excitement for her to get here.

To make Oma's life easier, I thought I would leave some helpful hints about each child, their quirks, and individual needs. You know, things that might help Oma when they have tied her to a chair, built a fire in the living room, and are madly dancing half-nekkid around her.

Or something like that.

Boy number one:

This one likes to be called Mack, Mackey, Dude, and Hey You, but will flip out if referred to as "Bub," (which apparently is a name from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series that was adopted by Chase and makes McKay crazy with rage).

He will probably be the most agreeable of the bunch and easily gives in for others to get their way. He is flexible and cheerful by nature. He shrugs his shoulders and tries not to smile when attention is on him, which you will probably find utterly irresistible.

He seldom remembers to pick up after himself and will leave a trail of shoes, books, jackets, and musical instruments behind him. He will look around in disbelief at the mention of his discarded items, shocked that he could do such a thing.

His appetite for bread is voracious, but he can be staved off with fresh strawberries. He will not remember to brush his teeth unless reminded. He does, however, remember to wear the deodorant.

Thank goodness for us all.

In case of emergency: Send him outside with a basketball and he will only return periodically for water and fresh strawberries.

Boy number two:

This wily fellow is a clever one. He has been known to wake up the entire house at the crack of dawn and then be slightly annoyed when action is not happening at the dark, unholy hour of seven in the a.m. It will be hard to remain annoyed, however, when he flashes that big, toothy grin, flanked by his lone dimple. He is always happy, and has a tender-hearted soul.

He WILL track mud into the house obliviously, make no mistake about that. He will wander the forest in the backyard for hours, and do not be surprised when he unearths bones of some sort. He will study them and definitely have facts to share when he's done.

He is very kinesthetic. The boy CANNOT. SIT. STILL. When he's telling you a story (as he undoubtedly will 1,549 times per day) he will circle you as though he were a jungle cat and you were his prey. Feel free to read blogs, online shop, or give yourself a manicure during any of these stories. He will not notice and you will be happy for the distraction. After all, there are only so many times one can hear about hobbits, frogs, weapons, and war.

In case of emergency: Tell him there is a dinosaur buried in the sandbox and that he can sell the skeleton on e-Bay once he finds it. You will not see him for hours. Possibly days.

The Girl:

This little munchkin will probably want to be your tiny, talking shadow. Do not be surprised if she offers to style your hair, fix your make-up, and give you a pedicure. She will most likely critique your outfit in such a way that you will second-guess yourself for years to come.

She is happiest when she is baking or cleaning. She can scale the counter tops with the agility of a tree monkey to reach ingredients on the top shelf. She constantly likes to snack, but very seldom eats more than a few bites of any meal. She will pretend she is the boss of you, and no amount of convincing will tell her otherwise.

She is cuddly and will sit happily at your feet for hours listening to stories. She loves movies, and has a penchant for the romantic comedies. A word of warning though: She almost always cries at the end. Be prepared with a box of tissues.

In case of emergency: Tell her you want to have a tea party and she will scamper off to prepare one. This will buy you at least an hour's reprieve, but it will unfortunately require your presence eventually at the tea party.

So, Oma, any questions? If so, you can reach me in one of the following places:

My hotel bed, where I will be napping and eating room service pancakes
The spa, where I will be getting massages, manis, pedis, and facials
Shopping, where I will be spending all of the Husband's money

Good luck. You're going to need it!