Along the same lines of last week's Tuesday Tip, here is something else we do when heading out in public with our precious children. Several years realized that we needed to be able to round up our children quickly.
We voted on a code word, something that was rather unique so whenever they heard it, they would know to come to the parent immediately and pay attention. The winning word(s) was "Banana Slug," mascot of UC Santa Cruz. Just one more glimpse into the oddities of the Stumpfs, but it's not something that normally comes up in conversation.
For a couple weeks we practiced at home. Bryan even got a stopwatch. He'd yell "Banana Slug," and the children would run from all over the house and line up in age order in front of him. If they made it under 15 seconds, we'd pass out M&Ms (my favorite training tool). I think the record was around 7 seconds.
Pretty soon we were able to try out this new skill in public. It is especially helpful when rounding the troops up after church, calling everyone together to make an announcement, or lining them up to pay at the Chinese Buffet. The funniest thing is how quickly the children's friends caught on. Now we will often have "honorary Stumpfs" in our line!