Friday, October 08, 2004

Six Year Old Kids

I woke to the sound of pouring rain this morning, which is the perfect time to snuggle deeper under the covers and sleep more. Only, my husband was already gone (he left for an all-day conference north of Seattle) and I had to be a grown-up and face the day. And the children.

When I'm done showering lately, the mornings are still dark. I remembered this morning how I used to wake up with the sun slanting through the drapes, sometimes even shining in my eyes. That seems like a hokey made-for-television movie now. How could it be possible to wake up to gentle morning sunlight? It's all about fog and rain and clouds and gray skies now.

Today was a no-school day for my youngest son. I'm not sure why. They have half-days and days off all the time for no apparent reason. My schooled-at-home sons did not appreciate the fact that I intended to make them do lessons today as usual. "That's not fair!" they cried. But, oh, it was fair, because their curriculum didn't arrive until two weeks after YoungestSon started school. They've had their days of leisure.

I did have some mercy on them, however, and we only tackled three subjects. I can't bear to describe how agonizing that was for me. Let's just say that TwinBoyB's strategy for hurrying through his work--both history and composition--involves skipping most of the work. He attempted to answer history questions without reading the material. For a sequential learner like me, this is nonsensical! It's unthinkable! It's crazy!

When we were waiting to adopt, I worried. I worried that I'd adopt an ugly baby. I worried that my baby would be affected by a birth defect. I worried that my baby would be physically deformed.

I never worried about stuff that came true.
I never worried about bladders which don't work right.
I never worried about stepping into wet, murky things on the floor.
I never worried about children screaming "I hate you!" to me.
I never worried about having non-sequential learners who do not appreciate the beauty in order and in reading directions and in printing with beautiful handwriting.

Anyway.

While I was directing the children through their lessons, the doorbell rang. The neighbor boys arrived to play. It must have been 9:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. They announced they could stay until noon. I said, "Oh, but the twins are doing school today. They can't play." They said, "That's okay. We'll play with your other son." I said, "You have to be very quiet. You have to play upstairs. You have to be good."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Well, the lessons dragged on. Babygirl wanted attention. DaycareKid wanted snacks. Controversy arose over a GameCube game and I yelled at the neighbor kids, "This is his game, his house, his rules! If you don't like it, you can go home!"

Can you believe that? The child wailed, "But my GameCube is broken!"

I said, "Well, that's a bummer for you." He stayed until noon, and then said reassuringly, "I'll see if I can come back after lunch."

I said, "No. The babies will be napping."

He actually argued with me and whined at me and frankly, if you aren't my kid and I'm not being paid to listen to you whine, please just shut up.

I didn't say that, but oh my.

Finally, school-at-home ended. I fed everyone lunch. I put DaycareKid to bed. I tricked Babygirl into napping. I ate lunch! Then, everything reversed and Babygirl woke up, DaycareKid woke up, and we all got ready to leave the second DaycareMom arrived at 4:30 p.m.

I whipped together a birthday present for YoungestBoy to take to his party. I packed a bag of extra clothing for newly potty-trained Babygirl. We dropped the twins off at their friends' house and headed for the birthday party at the Germ Party Place.

On the way, I said to YoungestBoy, "So tell me, how do you want to dress for Halloween?"

He explained how he wants flame pants and flame shoes and a black cape with white stripes and red spiky hair. And a weapon, a large sword, preferably made of metal. He said all the boys at the costume party would be dressed in stuff like that. I said, "I bet some of them will be other things, like pirates or Mario [from Nintendo] or cowboys."

He practically snorted with contempt and said, "Mom, we are talking about six year olds here. None of them would dress as a pirate. That's for, like, four year olds. Everyone will be dressed like zombies or vampires and stuff like that."

Well, excuse me! How archaic of me! I am so out of touch with the young generation, I guess.

But I have Babygirl and I am pretty sure she'll be a princess when she is old enough to decide. I bet we'll collaborate on beautiful costumes, the two of us.

Tonight, after we dropped YoungestBoy off at the birthday place (Germs at no extra charge!), Babygirl and I went to Toys R Us to buy some play kitchen stuff. She has a "new" Little Tikes kitchen and was in dire need of accessories. I found a play iron for her and some dishes and she picked out a dolly. She wanted to hold all the dollies and I managed to thrust a small $4.99 dolly into her hands, which satisfied her. I hurried out of there before it cost me more than twenty bucks.

In the car, she sat holding dolly, gazing at it lovingly and saying, "I like dolly." She was so pleased with this plastic baby. We checked in on YoungestBoy and went a few doors down to get frozen yogurt while he finished partying. Babygirl put Dolly in a chair and fed Dolly frozen yogurt. Having a girl is so completely different from having boys.

We returned to the Party Germ Place in time to watch YoungestBoy use up his last tokens. He had such a blast. We sneaked a few tokens so Babygirl could play a few games, too. We didn't get home until almost 8:00 p.m.

That was one long day. And it's still raining, though the deluge has lightened to a drizzle.

My friend had a new baby girl yesterday morning. My husband went to the hospital to visit. Last night, I jokingly said, "So, did it make you want to have another baby?" and he said, "It did. She was so cute with all this red hair, and so small."

But as we all know, babies grow up to be kids who shout and overflow toilets and tell you what a rotten parent you are. We are in no danger of romanticizing newborns around here. Even if their tiny little downy heads smell like heaven during springtime.

2 Comments:

Blogger QQ said...

My kids had off on Friday too. I have no idea why either.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I hate it when neighborhood kids argue with me! Luckily that hasn't happened for awhile.

Riley *loves* the play kitchen that she inherited from her older sisters. I should get her some new accessories for it for Christmas...

Have fun designing those flame pants!

7:01 AM  

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