Karin's Charivari

“You have to do this perfect,” the biggest tells the smallest, then adds, “I’m going to go downstairs for a while. . . . Make sure you dry them off.”

They’ve been up there nearly an hour, working and devising strategies for clean. Big brother is, of course, the captain, directing and assigning tasks as they scrub, strain, and sort thousands of Lego bricks from Kinex, KRE-O’s and Halo bricks. There’s a steady clunk of plastic and industrious conversation interrupted by bursts of enthusiastic humming and occasional song.

All this a bit shocking because the three can’t spot a six-foot pile of dirty socks in an otherwise empty room. And when I ask them to clean their room, they do the sweep, moving a book or two from one pile or another, pass by the unmade beds and the clean clothes I’ve asked them to put away, stumble over the…

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