…it was me.
Because MCPS closed AGAIN for the bazillionth time this winter. On yet another Monday too, which is completely messing with my psychology. I’m the kind of person who likes to know what to expect, you know what I mean? Simple little things like will my kid be in school tomorrow? Is that really asking so much? I don’t think it is. And yes, as a matter of fact, I have always been interested in the Unschooling movement, but this is getting beyond ridiculous. So just c’mon now. And also, in case you haven’t realized, IT’S MARCH.
Boy was thrilled, of course. You probably know by now that he is not the kind of kid who sleeps in and lounges for hours on a snow day, or any day. He’s typically up at 6:30, his creative juices flowing, his mouth running, and he’s ready to GO. He also routinely reminds me that he strongly objects to the fact that he doesn’t have a sibling closer in age and that he wouldn’t be so high maintenance if he did. If you’re friends with me on FB, you know that I’m no slacker in the providing my kid with opportunities for fun and enrichment department. Not that I’m trying to be some sort of super mom because let’s face it, I’m more super freaky mom material. And its not that he can’t entertain himself. HE CAN. His ideas never, ever stop. Its just that he’s really, REALLY social, he has trouble breaking down the big picture into smaller parts, and also I need to be very present on days like this to make sure that all of that creative energy is channeled productively and appropriately. In other words, its a freaking zoo around here and the main living spaces in our house often resemble a trash can. And I wouldn’t have it any other way for this kid, truly. It’s his childhood. But this morning, I felt like I had to set guidelines that were more structured than usual, mainly for his protection, because my coping skills are slightly compromised at this point and I’m prone to yelling sometimes which is not ok with me.
After Husband left for work at about 7am, Boy and I had a little pre-game family meeting, just the two of us. This is how it went down:
Congratulations on your umpteenth bonus day off, kid. Who cares if your mother is losing her mind. Embrace it as the gift it is and use it well.
Here is a list of fun possibilities for today. I’ll be happy to do some of this stuff with you or to keep you company while you do it:
Work on your cardboard arcade.
Work on your time machine.
Work on your stories – I’ll scribe.
Work on your comics.
You can take a swimming bath – or 2 or 3 or 5 I don’t care – in my big tub.
Have a play date, either here or there.
Pretend play with your action figures or plush thingies.
Have a sword fight or Nerf battle.
Build with Legos.
Make and run an obstacle course.
Jump on your trampoline.
Play with your thinking putty.
Work on your fair trade store for school.
Work on your YouTube videos.
Maybe make a potion.
Have some screen time – TV, DS, iPad, whatever.
Really, the possibilities are endless (sort of) aren’t they?
My rules for the day are few. Keep them in mind and we’ll get along fine:
Do not bug the crap out of me about who can come over here until I’ve had 2 cups of coffee or after 9am, whichever is later.
Realize that I do not have control over the weather, the roads, other people, or their schedules (even though I sort of understand why you think I do).
Do not growl at me or repeatedly yell my name when I’m stealing a few minutes on the internets or in the bathroom.
Do not whine about being bored or about the food choices.
And it would be helpful if you’d pick up your pants and socks, but whatever.
See what I mean?
Got it? Got it. Good? Good. High five. Let us carry on then.
We sat together as he ate breakfast and worked on his comics and then he sighed. Not a good sign, it was only 8am. I can’t remember if I’ve told you guys about the sighing problem I inherited from my mother who inherited it from her mother, but apparently my son has inherited it from me. He uses it very appropriately too, like a true fatalistic Greek. If it wasn’t so freaking annoying, it would be hilarious.
Anyway, he sighed. But to his credit, the stuff obviously bubbling over in his head that I know he was dying to say didn’t actually come out of his mouth. I helped him out by interrupting his thoughts and suggested we go downstairs to work on another obstacle course that he could use throughout the day to have some fun and get some exercise.
He had to be coaxed a little but we went on down and then I tricked him into helping me clean that hell hole up. Ha.
It was horrible down there, probably as bad as I’ve ever seen it, the scene of big fun over the last week or two for sure. To be honest, I don’t go down there everyday. In fact, I often open the door, start down the steps to check it out, and when I catch a glimpse, I turn right back around and close the door behind me. I just can’t. But the time had come and I wanted it done right. Boy growled a little but I gave him a pass because, after all, I did pull one over on him. However, I did turn our clean up operation into a pseudo-obstacle course with racing and throwing and sorting games and broke down all of the stuff we were gathering into categories…weapons, darts, plush, action figures, balls, vehicles, legos, and SOCKS, etc because he wouldn’t even know where to begin if someone simply said clean this hell hole up. He’d just stand there, overwhelmed, immobilized. After dealing with his sister, his executive function challenges are glaring. So we adjust, accommodate, guide, train, model. And BTW, if your kid is missing any socks, I’m pretty sure they’re in my basement. I’ll line them up on the driveway once the weather clears. Maybe I’ll have a come pick up your kids’ socks party. You can go through the socks and I’ll serve wine to-go in our stock of Disney World lidded cups.
We had just finished getting the basement into pretty good shape when Boy goes, “I forgot what we came down here for and I’m too tired to do it anyway.” And I said, “THANK YOU. WELCOME TO MY WORLD, SON.” *Drops mic, walks away*, eh, not really but you know what I mean. And then we went upstairs to cuddle up with a show for awhile.
We got a call shortly thereafter, a friend inviting Boy to go play for a couple of hours. The roads in our neighborhood were fine by then and it was close by, so Boy got the play date he hoped for and I did some writing. I tried to tie up a few essays because I’m juggling more of them than I usually do and I’m having an even harder time finishing them for some reason. Well, I know why, at least partly. I won’t stop editing. I can’t stop. I have a serious editing problem. Hi, I’m Kristi and I’m an editaholic.
I also talked to Girl for a little bit. It’s the first time she’s been sick since leaving for college, and the kid is SICK. A nasty upper respiratory virus, fever, headache, congestion, sore throat. And she has a metric shit ton of work to do before she comes home for Spring Break at the end of this week. She went to the clinic today and she doesn’t have strep or anything so she just has to ride it out. Remember the first time you were sick while you were far from home? Me neither. We probably blocked it out because it was really hard and we wanted our Moms and to sleep in our own beds. I long-distance-mothered her over the phone, and I’m so incredibly proud of the way she’s trying to take care of herself, communicating with her professors, and juggling everything in general. She’s surrounded by her friends and RA who are checking in on her, bringing her tea and food, etc. Hopefully she’ll feel a little better tomorrow.
I picked Boy up and brought him home where he was uncharacteristically chill for the rest of the afternoon, not sure why. We chatted, read together, he had a little screen time, it was nice. Oh God, I hope he’s not getting sick again.
And then my cell phone chimed and I made the mistake of opening this message:
This has to be some kind of sick, cruel joke. Right?
And then a little while ago, an old friend from high school tagged me in this post on FB:
Is this real? If school is closed again this week, you guys can come visit me in the NUTHOUSE, I’m not kidding. A Snickers bar and the current issue of Coastal Living magazine will get you in the door.