I couldn't figure out #4, but after some heavy thinking I realized that she was talking about our pool neighbor's dog (our neighbors with the pool who have a dog).
And you know you just have to jot down those hamster factoids while they're fresh in your mind:
I was really encouraged when Elizabeth took it upon herself to draft up a Family Politeness Plan:
But I was a bit perplexed by one thing: the consequence for "forget thank you" is "beat 2 rugs." Now that is a level of cleanliness that has has not been seen in this household since mid-2001. I couldn't figure out where she would have witnessed such behavior. Also, we have never called our basement a cellar ("celler") before, so I wasn't sure where she learned that word. After a little investigating, I tracked down the source of these crazy ideas: The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners, one of her books. That is the magic of a good book: it can take you anywhere -- even to a magical land where people beat out their rugs as part of their weekly house cleaning regimen.
Jacob wasn't too happy when he saw Elizabeth's list -- I don't think he liked the punishments. For example, the consequence for "talk back" is "put sister to bed" (which is quite the production around here with
So actually, if you talk back you do have to put a sister to bed, but you get the sister of your choice. Similarly, if you intarup, you do have to clean out the car, but it's the car of your choice. I'm afraid that the offenders will choose Elizabeth/Dad's car, and then they may never learn not to talk back/not to interrupt!
In addition to Elizabeth's signs and lists, Jacob brought home some letters that his classmates wrote to him when he was Student of the Week. The letters covered a wide range of topics. This friend apologized for an earlier incident and then bonded over crazy siblings:
This friend noted (in paragraph 2) a distinction between the baby Caroline in one of Jacob's pictures and his own baby sister:
My own baby sister is a lot fatter and looks a lot meaner too.
I wish that all of my paper piles could be this amusing!