It’s not politically correct to say that my children are weird. I’m aware of this.
And usually, I say they’re UNIQUE or VERY INDIVIDUAL or even, say, that they march to the beat of their own drum MACHINE (for a single drummer wouldn’t be nearly enough, particularly in Chickadee’s case).
But sometimes, there is no word other than WEIRD that will suffice. I love them, you understand. But they are NOT NORMAL. This may mean that they will go on to receive international recognition as scholars, inventors, artists, or axe murderers.
Or maybe they’ll just grow up to be fairly unremarkable adults who blog a lot about absolutely nothing. Hard to tell, really.
Oooohhhh it was good to send the children back to school today. Monkey hadn’t been since last Monday, and Chickadee’s last day was last Tuesday. It was TIME for them to go away. I mean, go back to school.
But of course they moved verrrry slowly this morning. Me, I was all peppy and happy and shiny and OH YAY IT’S A SCHOOL DAY DON’T LET THE DOOR HITCHA ON THE BUTT! They slumped at the table and stared deeply into their toast. Eventually I dragged them to the car and we were on our way. Monkey pepped up at the sight of his classmates, and Chickadee bounded off to hop on the bus (fueled by a gaggle of giggling girls).
Now, the smart thing would’ve been to clean while the kids were at school today. But I? Am not smart. I mean, am busy. Very busy. And so there was no cleaning today, only working, and writing, and emailing, and perhaps an unfortunate incident where I answered a call on my cordless and then went to switch to my speakerphone and in all likelihood deafened the caller with feedback when changing over. Whoops. Sorry! Really, I’m a professional! Let me just turn on my tape recorder and brush the pop-tart crumbs away, here!
When I went to fetch the kids, Monkey was crazy-haired. He had some bizarre sort of fauxhawk going on. “I’m guessing you had a nap today,” I told him. His face fell.
“How do you always KNOW?” he complained. Apparently his infrequent naps are state secrets. But his hair has not been informed. Tragic.
I managed to get him into his coat and hat and boots (and OHBOY I’m so glad winter is upon us!) and was completely confused to discover his cubby FULL TO THE BRIM with a sheaf of papers. I just cleaned his cubby out last week. He’s only been back one day. “Did you do ANYTHING except color today?” I blurted out.
“I did lots of things,” he answered. “But I know how you love my pictures.” Sometimes, when I don’t have anything nice to say, I don’t say anything. So I remained silent. THE PAPERS. The papers are KILLING ME. But I dutifully put them all in his backpack and we went outside to wait for the bus.
It was cold, and rainy, today. Chickadee often gets off the bus without her coat on, because she complains that it’s hot on the bus. I stood there and hoped she’d be wearing her coat in this miserable weather… but it turns out that my worry was misplaced. Yes. I was standing there thinking “I hope she’s wearing a coat” when REALLY if I’d had ANY SENSE AT ALL I would’ve been thinking “Gosh I hope she doesn’t have bicycle reflector stickers all over her face.”
I so–very much–wish I was kidding.
So she hopped off the bus, my brilliant child, wearing her jacket, pleased as punch with herself, and covered in orange reflector stickers. And this would be weird, sure, but not overly problematic, I suppose, except that the stickers are THICK and actually rather SHARP. And when she finally removed all five (FIVE!!) stickers, later on, she was sporting an interesting mosaic of shallow cuts on her face. I want to call them paper cuts, but I guess they’re plastic cuts.
Oh, AND: She has sensitive skin, and the adhesive doesn’t appear to have agreed with her. She also broke out in a rash. Very lovely.
Anyway. We arrived home and Monkey pulled his papers out of his backpack and began leaving a trail throughout the house while Chickadee was removing these stickers and leaving them on every available surface and I just reached my limit. Tomorrow is trash day. I gave the kids some crafts to work on at the kitchen table and then I grabbed a trash bag and snuck into the mudroom, where I proceeded to gather up the DRIFTS of papers I found in there.
I compiled a stack of Chickadee’s books which I found either on the mudroom floor or on the bench. I had to make 2 trips to take them back to the family room.
I hung up coats and picked up laundry and I don’t want to brag or anything, but there’s actually a FLOOR in there. It’s AMAZING!
I moved on to the piles of paper in the kitchen and had made a fairly good dent by the time I had to stop and make the kids dinner. I filled two garbage bags. Every time the kids started to wander in my direction I would toss out a diversion. “Oh, are there crayons on the floor under the table?” Or, “Hey, can you go put this away for me?” Or, “I am most certainly NOT throwing away your prized tons of scribbled paperwork, this is merely a dismembered body which I need to dispose of!”
There was a real sense of accomplishment, as I took the bags of garbage out. Right up until I discovered the large heaps of NEW papers and scraps the children had just created and left on the kitchen table. *whimper*
While moving things around, the children reallized we’d received a small but heavy box in the mail today. They inquired about it, and by “inquired about it” I mean that they pestered me–endlessly–to tell them what it was. Finally I relented and allowed as how I was pretty certain that it was an (early) birthday present for Monkey which needed to be put away. This satisfied them for a nanosecond, after which they fell to speculating about the contents.
Hoping to tease Monkey a little bit, I said, “I bet it’s a box of ROCKS!”
“Oh!” he replied, “then I could put them with my rock collection!” It’s hard to tease a child about gifts when he collects garbage. He was genuinely enthused and I feel sort of bad now that it’s a box of Magnetix. I’m thinking of making it up to him by giving him some kindling for Christmas. Woo!
I shepherded my little flock through dinner and showers and pajamas, and they were just WOUND tonight. We tried to read a chapter in our book but they just kept laughing themselves silly over all sorts of random things. I was starting to get annoyed, really, when I noticed that Monkey had scooted around on the bed so much that his pajama bottoms were halfway down to his knees and he hadn’t even noticed. (Monkey suffers from the heartbreak of… nobuttitis. This is a common issue with pants for him.)
I tried to keep reading, but I just couldn’t do it. Finally I put the book down. “Excuse me, sir,” I said. “WHAT is going on with your PANTS?” There was a moment, while he looked down, and Chickadee leaned across me, craning to see, when all was silent. The calm before the storm, if you will. The braying laughter that broke out afterwards was deafening. And it really wasn’t that funny. Except that it was. Because it… just… was.
I guess cleaning up a few tons of papers each year is a small price to pay for a ringside seat.