Back when my first three kiddos were tiny (2, 2, and new) people would tell me, "Hang in there, soon they'll be able to give back." I interpreted that to mean that they would eventually pick up after themselves and bake their own cookies. It sounded glorious if a bit unrealistic.
I didn't anticipate the mental stimulation.
This morning, less than a block from home, there was a big white TV van driving through the neighborhood that I believe was the home appraisal people. For the next seven minutes my children discussed home appraisal, its purpose, how much they charge and the term "highway robbery" and its root meaning. The reason property taxes goes to public schools and the reason private schools are defined as private. Why it takes so long to pay off a house and how much of each payment goes to property taxes whether or not you use the public school system. And the fact that you do still have to pay "the king" to drive on certain highways. It was VERY enjoyable.
Much more so than the previous conversation about what the proper way to play Old Maid is and how Frodo was doing it wrong and whether Princess was overreacting and whether Frodo was really too loud when yelling "Cookie Crisp!" and whether that would be distracting should he do it in the classroom and how ridiculous it would be for him to do it since there is no Cookie Crisp in the classroom. They were in rare form, I tell ya.
Except it is hard to call it "rare form" when that is the dominant form.
But maybe that's just me.