Sunday, February 15, 2009

Like Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic

"My second favorite household chore is ironing.  My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."  
Erma Bombeck

If you ever want to see just how strong your will to live is, I would recommend staying inside a house all day with two children who are 6 and 8 years old.  

I woke up with a sore throat and a head cold this morning.  So, we scrapped our plans for the day, and we stayed home.  The dear daughter filled her time by calling friends, rearranging the stuff in her room, reading, playing on the computer and then calling more friends.  My son isn't feeling very well either.  His cold has turned into a cough.  He amused himself with Star Wars Legos, Playmobil pirates, toy weapons and some board games.  Needless to say, the floors of the house are littered with toys.  It is useless to pick them up before bedtime because they are constantly being played with.  But I don't really care about the floors because I've learned a few things about my kids on our day "in".  

My son and I were watching the Charlie Brown Valentine special - the one where Charlie Brown doesn't get any Valentines.  My son said, "Mom, our bus driver didn't get any Valentines, so I gave him one of mine - one with a red heart-shaped sucker."  I didn't know what to say.  I knew he was the very last one to get off the bus on Friday.  I pictured him giving his bus driver this Valentine.  Their new bus driver is a large man - about 6' 7" tall and built like a brick wall.  He is a volunteer fireman as well as a bus driver.  He shaves his head and has a goatee.  Not someone you would mess with or ever think of giving a Valentine to.  But it was very important to my son that the bus driver not be left out.  I am so proud of that kid.  

This is not out-of-character for my son, but he is normally on the "naughty side", so I never really see that he is very tenderhearted.  This is the boy who sat in Sunday School and listened to the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and then turned to me and whispered, "You mean Lazarus was a zombie?!"  This is the boy who plays with several other little boys in the dance studio where their sisters take dance lessons each week.  Last week we arrived a few minutes late, and his friends were waiting for him, relieved that he was finally there.  I told one of the younger boys that I was happy that he liked playing with my son.  The boy looked at me, smiled and said, "He's an evil genius!"  And then they all ran off together.  

My daughter and I have hit a rough patch in our relationship.  She is studying math facts (they are no longer referred to as math "problems" because the word "problems" give the whole thing a negative connotation.)  She always puts up a fuss about studying them.  She is quizzed on Tuesdays and Fridays, and she has to retake any tests that she doesn't pass until she passes them.  She is such a smart girl, but she really needs to concentrate and apply herself now that she is in third grade.  Lately, she just wants to flit around and goof off most of the time.  She gets a major attitude when I make her sit down and study.  Then she starts getting frustrated over nothing.  Then she starts crying.  My husband has blamed me for this behavior in the past.  Evidently, he feels I pass a "can't-do" attitude onto her.  Whatever.  

Today, she was in her room for a very long time and was very quiet.  When I went to investigate what she was doing, I found her sitting and drawing.  She had a book with a mouse and a flower on the cover.  She was copying it freehand, and doing a beautiful job.  She is an amazing artist.  I need to get that girl some art lessons.  

Our day inside has consisted of good times and bad moments.  Happiness and sadness.  My realization that I will probably not have a completely tidy house until the kids are a bit older.  My fascination that my kids are very talented and caring people.  And my discovery that the years are flying by so quickly - I need to enjoy the time I have with them while they are little.  The good times, the bad moments and every second in between.  

"There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt."  Erma Bombeck 

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