I see, said the blind mom

All (long) weekend long, I listened to folks on Twitter and Facebook bemoaning the school vacation and lack of structure and general driving-batshit-ness of having the kids home for this break. And lo, I creased my brow with wonder and consternation, because I was quite ENJOYING having my offspring home and not having to drag anyone out of bed and getting to work quietly in the mornings without packing lunches or breaking up squabbles.

Plus, I was kind of enjoying my children. I know, it’s crazy, right? They’re older now and not quite so needy and OH HA HA HA, THOSE OF YOU WHO GET SICK OF YOUR KIDS! NOT ME!

Hubris: It’s what’s for dinner on the last day of vacation.

We had a nice break. We really did. Right up until yesterday, when everyone lost their damn mind and started acting like rabid wolverines. I don’t know what it was, but yesterday I would’ve cheerfully sold you both children in exchange for a pocketful of the rotten tomatoes we found Licorice eating in the yard.

[Licorice says: Nom nom nom, gushy rancid tomatoes! Delicious! LET ME KISS YOU AND SHARE! Where are you going??]

Basically, I think, two things happened.

First: Monkey really enjoys a bit of downtime. While school is VASTLY improved for him, this year, and he’s more often allowed to stay with an activity as long as he’d like, it’s still not the same as hunkering down with a pile of Manga and reading for five hours straight whenever he feels like it. This is good for him, and it allows him to unwind in a way that the normal grind of his day-to-day schedule maybe does not. But the down side of that situation is that two or three or maybe even four days of relaxation and self-direction is about all he can take before he begins to LOSE HIS MIND.

So on the last day, I began to suspect that Monkey was kind of missing his friends. I figured that out because 1) I’m real smart-like and 2) he would not stop talking. I know people say “my kid never stops talking” and it’s a bit of hyperbole, sometimes, but HAND TO GOD I’m not sure Monkey stopped talking at all on Sunday. The child began soliloquizing when he got up in the morning and continued to yammer right up until bedtime. And while this can make your eardrums bleed under the best of circumstances, the fact of the matter is that—while wonderful and fascinating, sure—there is only so much Monkey is going to come up with in such a steady stream that is going to be even remotely interesting.

Example: “So remember a few months ago when I made that LEGO guy who had the things and then the ship that broke into three mini ships and that other weapon that I built out of the thing I made last time? WELL! I completely remade it with these other pieces that I borrowed from the combine and now it does this instead, where it breaks here and reforms there and ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? Pay attention. Okay, you take this and put it here and then the other thing goes over there. And then! What if there was a guy with lasers who just thought he was a regular ship? But he wasn’t? Because when he shoots at him the shields go up and then BAM there’s an opposite exploder force and he gets zapped and absorbed over by this thing. Which reminds me of this thing I built in Minecraft that I should show you. It’s got a ton of explosions where things get completely blasted but I’m thinking that I could put in even MORE bombs and maybe people limbs would go flying off in every direction and— Mom? Why are you banging your head on the desk?”

The second thing that happened is that—because there was a 5-day weekend instead of a 2-day weekend—Chickadee had oodles of time to finish all of her school work, and in fact due to a Recent Incident I am holding her cell phone and iPod hostage until a couple of projects are completed, and so of course she got right on all of that… Sunday afternoon. Of course. Because we suggested fifty-seven times over the break that she maybe start working but GOD we are so BOSSY and DUMB and PARENTAL that she had to keep putting off that work so as to adequately SHOW US that we’re not the boss of her. We have been TOLD! And SHOWN! And then we were the ones suffering on Sunday as she commenced with the predictable freak-out/meltdown/scream-at-everyone cycle. (Gosh, who could’ve seen THAT coming? If only there was some way… nahhhhh.) Bonus: How dare we ask her to do things like empty the dishwasher when she had SO MUCH WORK to do? Are we MONSTERS? (Answer: Yes, of course we are.)

Of course, combine non-stop-chatter boy with overloaded-freak-out girl and you have a whole new level of fireworks, too.

“And then THAT guy shoots his GUTS all over the—”
“No, I AM ALLOWED TO TALK. It’s not MY fault you didn’t do your work when you were supposed to!”
“No, YOU go somewhere else!”
“I’m working on the computer! I HAVE to be here! You go away!”

Otto, to me: You know, we could probably sneak out the back door and it would be hours before they even noticed we were gone.

And that’s why this was a VERY CHEERFUL MORNING, when everyone left the house today. Amen.


  1. MusingsfromMe/Jill

    I’m not a fan of our middle and high school’s policy of assigning homework over the weekend and over Xmas Break etc. Not fun. One of mine had a freakout about a poster project that was due. I may have freaked out a little too. Mayhem!

  2. liz


  3. Beth A.

    Yesterday was the end of a week long vacation for my 1st grader, as well. He doesn’t go to Hippie School, but apparently they rearranged some days off to give them an entire week off to truly celebrate the majesty of turkeys. Or something.

    Now, 2 days before his break started, we had a death in the family. So not only was his routine (HIS HOLY ROUTINE) switched up…it was switched up in a GRAND WAY.

    I started to realized that he was, perhaps, ready to return to school when he would not stop talking yesterday. I think if we had stuck Monkey and D in a room together, they could have both run on with their monologues and been perfectly happy that someone was there with them.

    Last night we informed D that if he DIDN”T STOP THE INCESSANT TALKING, we were selling them to gypsies. Or something. :)

    He was thrilled to get out of the van at school today. YAY FOR THE RETURN OF ROUTINE!

  4. Arnebya

    Ours had a four day weekend and packets of work. I wound up with SIX kids rather than my three because I love incessant talking/fighting/iCarly/running/screaming/food disappearing. Because I am not the mom who didn’t check their bags or ask about homework until late Saturday (or who likes tequila while she cooks, reads, or exists) wait, no, that IS me; nevermind. The sixth grader’s work was done late Sunday after much do it now do it now just sit down and do it now (and a last minute Staples run for colored, fine point Sharpies). I glanced at the third grader’s math this morning and realized no one had checked it and quite a few were incorrect. The note will come home and I’ll fight the desire to sign it Jose Cuervo was my lover for four days straight.

  5. Lucinda

    My kids had 10 days off over the holiday (parent conferences combined with Thanksgiving break which I actually really love). I too am one of those parents who loves having my kids home and I’m constantly amazed by people who just bitch the whole time their kids are home. Seriously. Why did you have kids? That said, yes, eventually they start to go stir-crazy and just start picking on each other, constantly. Then it’s nice to send them back for a few days so they can get a break from each other. Sorry yesterday was so rough. I’ve been there, done that.

  6. Jenn

    My daughter was driving me crazy with her running monologue on Wednesday, the first day of our 5 day weekend. It made me so look forward to the rest of the break, but she settled in and we had I wonderful time. I’m like you, I like having her home and she likes being home. But we’re both glad to be getting back to the routine today.

  7. StephLove

    In the six days before T-giving we had 3 out of 4 family members come down with a stomach bug and then we discovered all 4 of us had lice! The kids missed 1.5 and 2 days of school apiece (with only partial overlap) and then we packed up and drove to the in-laws’ for T-giving where there was all kinds of family drama going on (which I can’t blog about or I’d be disowned for sure) so I was all kinds of happy when the school nurses at both schools inspected my kids’ head this morning and declared them fit for school.

  8. Katherine

    We had 9 days off and they were mostly very enjoyable – except for the nagging I had to do to get the 12 yo to go ahead and do the social studies fair project! He ended up spending most of Sunday working on it. We visited inlaws and BIL did a wonderful job of keeping kids occupied playing board games. I got to play a few too, but didn’t have to play all of them. The new thing this year was how quiet the car was – no requests to play the alphabet game. Just kids reading or playing on iPods (and the 15 yo actually did biology work without being nagged in the car Sat! Amazing!)

  9. Carmen

    Mir, I think you live in my house. Monkey and my Gabe are twins separated by geography and Mackenzie could give Chickie a run in the drama dept.

    This is why booze was invented. I’m convinced.

  10. Laurie

    I enjoyed our 4, 6, and 8yr olds as well on Thursday and Friday… but last night I was watching the clock for showers and bedtime because they were absolutely nutso!

    And I love Minecraft :)

  11. Kira

    Right now I am sitting in my silent, empty home (there is one Sophia here with me, but she is asleep). And it feels spacious and lovely, because it is not currently hosting one child per every 1.5 square feet, and I can walk without stepping on toys and it is BLISSFUL.
    It was nice having them all here, but this? This is heaven.

  12. Chuck

    I think it’s a habit students who know they can do it all at the last minute can get into. I even did it some in college before finally wising up and realizing how much better my papers could be if they were written over the course of the weeks they were assigned rather than on the Sunday before they were due. Glad the house is finally quiet today!

  13. kylad859

    If it makes you feel better, I made my (not really sick) not feeling well child go to school this morning so that I could go to Yoga. And yes, the school called at 12 and I went and picked her up. After Yoga. You’re welcome.

  14. Larita

    Thanks for the laugh!

  15. Andrea

    Don’t you just LOVE those long-winded Lego explanations?! N-O-T
    My favorite is the “Which looks better? This? Or This?” to which I sarcastically liken to an eye exam. (And This=Lego guy with weapon and Or This=slightly altered where’s waldo Lego guy with weapon. Argh)

    We enjoyed our quiet break together too.

  16. mamafog

    I’ll admit I dreaded the break, but we had a good time. She was so ready to go to school today….

  17. Allison

    I am not going to lie, our little 5th grade aspie does this same thing with the telling of the VERY detailed stories about games or movies. This made me laugh so hard – he spent most of Thanksgiving talking our guests ears off about pokemon, sonic the hedgehog and other games. Although I did not do this on actual Thanksgiving day there have been other times I had had to rescue company from him by telling him he has to find something else to talk about. Gotta love it.

  18. Daisy

    Oh, those non-stop soliloquies! When my young Aspie is starting into one of those, it means a melt-down is imminent. Even now, at 19, I work on de-escalating him when he starts talktalktalktalk talking a blue streak.
    He’s blind, too, by the way. Ahem.

  19. Edd Fear

    Nice to know someone else experienced this. Our boys–or, for the vacation, the Pod People–were great while at home. Scarily so.

    Until Sunday, late afternoon. And this morning. And after school. And at dinner.

    The boys are back in town.

    Welcome back to normal life, Mir!

  20. {sue}

    Oh, we are leading parallel lives. Except the genders are reversed. God bless schoolteachers!

  21. Jean

    Childless older woman here. So of course I can’t resist commenting, since I have zero qualifications.

    I’m wondering if the –shall we say, agitation–on Sunday is in part the result of some feeling of pressure from the return of school demands and/ or the anticipated change of state from vacation to school. I mean, obviously it is, in the case of the deferred homework–but I’m wondering if that might be going on in the background for Monkey too. It may be a change that’s looked forward to, seeing friends again and all, but it’s still a change.

  22. carrien (she laughs at the days)

    My son did that to me all Saturday too. He is going to start a bakery and coffee shop in our front yard. I heard about it in great detail for hours and hours and hours while I stared blankly in an, “I worked all night” exhausted stupor and nodded occasionally.

    At least on school day I can tell him to go do his math.

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