messy baby eating in high chair In high school, I always snorted at the schlubs who'd signed up to take "child development." You could tell 'em a mile away -- they were miserably lugging around a five-pound bag of flour "baby." (On the non-Alanis Morissette-Definition-of-Ironic side, *I'm* the one who got knocked up at 20. Perhaps I should have taken the damn class).

Three kids later, I'm still not sure what flour has to do with raising children, but I just know I'll figure it out one of these days. What I do know about raising three kids is this: three is a hell of a lot of kids. I take my hat off to those of you who have more than three, because there are days (most days) when I'm ready to shave my head and run off to Detroit to join a cult.

Because, as my nearly 10-year-old likes to point out, I am boring, the weekends in my house are long. I'm not great at playing games unless they involve vodka, so the kids end up crawling the walls until we decide to go out somewhere.

Like the hardware store. Or, as I like to call it, "The Happiest Place on Earth." If I could, I'd move in there, just like that chick did in that movie where she popped out a kid in Walmart.

To me, there's nothing better than the aisles full of assorted nuts and bolts and things that I can make other people do to make my house, well, better. My children, for some mysterious reason, agree.

The best part of taking the kids there, though, is that they can be their loud annoying selves without me having to shush them. Because, seriously, it's a hardware store and no one gives a shit, so long as you're not stealing crap. But the teenage clerks, well, sometimes they look a bit horrified at the energy my children exude.

Yep. Kids ain't NOTHING like the bag of flour.

So I came up with this fabulous idea the other day that will probably make me a million bucks: I'm going to start offering my children up as free birth control. High school teenagers, rather than lugging around a lame bag of flour or an egg, will have to take my children for the weekend.

THEY can try and see how easy it is to wrangle three kids through the grocery store on a budget. THEY can try and entertain three kids, crawling the walls while the rain pours outside. THEY can experience what it's like to travel in a car while three happy kids sing songs at the top of their lungs.

And when they give my kids back -- they will run to the nearest pharmacy to stock up on birth control pills and condoms.

I figure it's a win for both of us.