Having never actually watched an entire episode of Wife Swap, it is tough for me to say whether or not I would be willing to do this show (I am guessing NOT....and it is a moot point because Jarhead would NEVER agree to this!!!) however, even if I was willing to swap, and even if hubby agreed to it, I know for a fact that the show's producers could NEVER find anyone willing to take on my insane life for any period of time.
The manual I would have to leave for anyone so crazy would probably go something like this:
"Welcome to our insane asylum. If you did not bring your own meds, well sorry - you'll wish you had. If you feel the need to 'borrow' some, borrow mine, they're the BEST. But they always run out, so good luck with that. In an emergency, you can borrow my 'backup meds':
As you will notice when you enter our home, dust is a NOUN here, not a verb. (it is something that is HERE, not something I DO) If this bothers you, feel free to waste your time constantly shifting the never-ending supply of dust from one surface to another. I prefer to spend my time tending to the needs of all the men in my life:
This is Jarhead.
He is always right. Don't question it, just know that he IS always right. He has a charming mix of Bi-polar symptoms and O.C.D., with A.D.D. tendencies and some violent anger outbursts thrown in for fun. I am pretty sure this is actually undiagnosed PTSD, unless maybe he is taking asshole pills behind my back. DON'T POKE THIS BEAR. He doesn't regularly take any meds, much to my dismay. Your best bet is to provide timely meals that are at least a little appealing, with plenty of salt and cold Coke Zero. Desserts help, too. Serve with a remote control on the side, and stay out of his line of sight. Do NOT, under any circumstances, make fun of his incessant channel surfing. He is only home 3 out of every seven days, so just keep the peace while he's home, and you can breathe easier and stop walking on eggshells for four straight days.
This is Bonehead.
He will be 18 in 149 days, but who's counting? He is ridiculously funny, but even more ridiculously inappropriate. If you are easily offended, bring ear plugs or an iPod so you can ignore him. 99.9% of everything that comes out of his mouth is a meaningless joke, anyway. He can be trusted to babysit the toddler for a few hours at a time, but be prepared to come home to this scene if you take advantage of this:
(yes, that is a baby asleep in a laundry hamper)Bonehead can also be very violent if provoked, and stands a full 6' 4" so don't poke THIS bear, either. His primary trigger is anyone mentioning his Asperger's Syndrome, or anything that he perceives to be a reference to this. One recent meltdown started with me saying, "you would be good at X" because he assumed that my reason for thinking he would be good at it was because of his Asperger's. Just give him something constructive to do each day, and give very clear & concise instructions. If you leave room for interpretation, YOU WILL GET his interpretation (and it won't match anything you could ever come up with on your own). Ask him to show you his speed-solving skills with his Rubik's Cube - this is phenomenal to see, and he is always happy to show off.
This is Knucklehead.
He is our 'perfect child'. Or was, until he hit middle school. Now he occasionally brings out a teenage attitude, but generally uses this to go pout in solitude. He can be trusted to watch the toddler, but is not great about changing diapers - so limit your errands to 2 hours or less, if you leave Knucklehead in charge. He will spend his free time playing videogames, shooting hoops at the park down the street, or playing with his little brother. He is low-maintenance, but don't forget to give him some attention or you'll see that attitude I mentioned above.
This is Bobblehead.
He loves eggs and hates being told what to do. He knows he is cute, so beware! He will use those dimples against you if he can. He naps pretty well (finally!) and sleeps through the night, but is very dependent on certain routines and comfort items to make this happen. See the 'sleep manual' provided in a separate volume. He wiggles during diaper changes, as he seems to think his purpose in life is to streak around the house naked. He throws a mean tantrum, but can usually be distracted from a fit with a ball; any ball will work, but basketballs are his favorite. He also loves splashing in water... ANY kind of water (keep bathrooms off limits or he will play in the toilet)
His language has been a little slow to develop, but is now picking up, so you can expect him to learn hundreds of new words during your stay here. Please don't teach him any four-letter-words, as I have worked very hard to curb my own swearing to keep him from repeating anything that might embarrass me, say, at church. Or at the Christian Preschool where I teach (that's another whole manual there). Bobblehead gives the BEST cuddles, so if there are no 'meds' or 'backup meds' in the house, his snuggly hugs and kisses should get you through the rough days. They certainly do for me."
What would you put in your manual, if you went on Wife Swap? Post in the comments below, or better yet make a blog post about this and put the link in a comment below :)
As always, THANKS SO MUCH for reading!