Photo: Little boys figured out how to turn on the hose and put water in the sandbox today… can’t turn your back on them or else chaos just reigns. I was, literally, feet away with my back turned, cleaning the grill! Next thing I know, Major is screaming “Mom! [Minor] accidentally turned on the water hose!” He’d managed to get PLENTY of water in the sandbox, which is what they wanted!! Lordy. I’ve been trying to keep them away from that thing for days! Timeouts were given, sandbox was closed for a time… but after a while, it was re-opened and oh the fun that they had! Soggy, sandy fun…
One of the things that I loved most about teaching was that you woke up with a game plan, made your copies, wrote your objectives on the whiteboard, and everything was thrown out the window as soon as students stepped into your classroom. The first face of that first student set the tone for the rest of your day. That might be a strange thing to love, but I liked the challenge and knowing that I’d never be bored. I also liked that the goal of being successful at my job was a moving target. Motherhood is very similar: you wake up with your task list and then you put your hand on the knob of the nursery door and your list is either instantly confirmed or brutally denied.
Today, my little bears woke up mad. Just growling and hissing as soon as I walked in.
“Are there little bears in here?” I sang, trying to set the right tone.
Major groaned, Minor whimpered. I sighed.
“You see, Mommy, I was sleeping… and then [Minor] started saying something, so I woke up–”
“No I didn’t! You did that!”
“Actually, [Minor], you did that and I didn’t like that!”
Oh my Lordy. We are minutes into our day and already I am rolling my eyes and regretting my choices.
Recovery: “Good morning, gentlemen!” I pulled back the curtains, let in the sunshine, gestured to the window like one of those models on the Price is Right.
Minor was not impressed. “What are we doing today?” (Imagine a whiny voice)
Also, let’s be clear: It’s April Break, so I am the only source of entertainment in the whole wide world at the moment. Obviously.
“Well, we are going to the park! A bunch of our friends are going to be there around 11! It’s a really nice say, so–”
“NO! I don’t want to go to the park! I want to say here and play with my yellow cars and my yellow trucks!”
Big brother was also unhappy. “And I don’t want to play with a bunch of baby toddlers. I want to just stay home.”
Choice is freedom. It’s a wonderful thing. We all have it, though it is limited by many degrees and is quite fluid, depending on whatever context we’re in. What a privilege of youth and circumstance that my two boys wake up daily with the firm belief that they have full freedom over their days!
“Little boys, we are gonna go through the motions here and then we are gonna get dressed and go–”
“–to the park and see our friends!”
Oh Lord, when is April Break over!?
Much like moving a large boulder down a hill, the pushing and shoving to get things going is quite difficult, but once it gets rolling, it’s impossible to stop. There were false starts, though. Fights over breakfast, fights over outfits, fights over which shoe goes on which foot… It’s hard to get through routines when there is a fight between every single step of the procedure. Once I (finally) got them into the car, they settled into the day.
We got to the park at 11, I sat on a bench with two other school moms and the boys played marvelously without my intervention for two hours.
Longtime readers will have read that with their jaw dropped. That’s a freaking miracle. Usually the park is a miserable experience. They played with other kids nicely, they shared trucks in the playground, they didn’t throw sand, they didn’t ask for my help… it was like… a pleasant thing to do!
Funny story about the park though, because, clearly, weird things have to happen at the park:
I’m sitting at a table in the sandbox area, talking to two other moms about the upcoming school auction, and this little girl runs up to me and says, “Hello! I’m cold and I’m tired!” She then proceeds to clamber up onto the table bench and onto my lap!
I’m like, “uh, hello baby! Where is your mama?”
“I with [babysitter] today!”
Alrighty… So the other two moms I’m with start asking this child questions about what her babysitter looks like. Meanwhile, this child is still just in my lap, I don’t know this child from Adam! I was like, “ya’ll are my witness, I did not ask this child to be in my lap!”
Babysitter was located and the child scampered off. We laughed about it because it was hilarious, though I was a bit miffed. “Is my lap so abundant as to seem utterly inviting for little children?”
They just laughed. They told me I looked like a “safe, caring adult.” Yeah right! Big, huge, lap. Sofa lap. I’m pretty much done eating for the rest of the summer.
Believe it or not, my two boys ended up staying outside until 5 o’clock today. It wasn’t actually all that warm, with temperatures in the 50s, but you couldn’t tell the boys nothin’! They refused to come inside for any reason (which ended up being a big mess for mama later! grr). Thanks to our sandbox and the “motorcycles,” they were up the yard and down the yard, pretending to be space explorers and super heroes… It was fantastic to watch them go for a while. During teacher conferences last week, the teachers for both boys congratulated me on the fact that the boys are “friends, not just brothers.” For all of their fighting, which they do a lot of, there are many beautiful moments when they figure it out and have a fantastic time together. I feel like they are constantly fighting, but days like today remind me that there are golden moments when they make that sibling magic happen.
But who knows what tomorrow will bring? I know this: it’s still gonna be cold. 😦 Massachusetts non-spring continues!
See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts. Hopefully before the evening! Lordy…