A few summers ago I was very excited about having the summer off to be a stay at home mom. I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation. My son, then 7 years old, had completely different expectations. Let's face it, I have a 'spirited' child. No day was going to be peaceful and relaxing. Instead, it was more like this.....
10 am- issue orders for room clean up routine. Produce list of required expectations.
10:01-ignore pleas for help. Make coffee and sip while reading a magazine, listening for sounds of movement in child’s bedroom to signal that operation room clean up has begun.
10:20-put laundry in the washer. Extract rocks, gum wrappers, something that looks suspiciously like chewed gum, and a handful of sand from the pockets of son’s shorts.
11:00 am-check on room cleaning. Son is sitting in middle of room playing with Lego. Give motivational speech. Son seems unimpressed and even less motivated. Threaten with insubordination if orders for room cleaning are not followed.
12:00pm-Scrub kitchen floors and cupboards when I notice that son’s attempt at self sufficiency don’t include cleaning up milk that didn’t make it into the cereal bowl. Issue warning that I will be leaving in ½ hour to go berry picking. Search in vain for car keys. Decide to walk to blackberry patch directly across the street instead.
12:30-Discover son in his room, surrounded by toys and listening to music. Ignore pleas and cries in protest as I leave him with his father to finish operation “clean room” Pick berries in total quiet bliss.
1:30-return home, make coffee, and proceed to lounge on chair in front yard to watch ensuing display of local skate boarding and mountain biking talent.
1:32pm-administer first aid as son flies off a bike jump and upon landing, promptly falls off bike. Discover ice was used earlier in the making of refreshments. Hand son bag of frozen veggies, which instead of applying to large bruise, he eats. (oh well, frozen or not it’s still vegetables)
1:40-clean up spilled coffee.
1:50-teach course-“Friendship 101”. Neighbor child doesn’t want to share a new toy. Son wasn’t careful enough with friend’s cat the day before. Son feels the world will end, and that friend is no longer wanting to play with him “forever”. Mediate a truce between them using “I feel” messages. Am rewarded with sloppy kisses.
1:57-make a new cup of coffee2:15-investigate allegations of toy destruction. Son accuses neighbor child of purposely breaking much coveted toy. Interview witnesses. Rule that toy breaking is accidental and call it “natural consequences” of not playing with toy properly.
2:40-new cup of coffee is now cold.
3:00-Investigate new allegations of play involving matches and caps in a neighbor’s backyard a few days before. Interview accused (my son) and witnesses. Accused pleads guilty. Teach course in fire safety while resisting urge to thump child on the head and yell “what on earth were you thinking!?” Discuss the importance of making good choices. Resolve to discuss consequences with husband upon his return
3:30-water fight ensues among neighborhood children. Son makes inappropriate comment and gets hosed thoroughly, which causes him to scream. Establish a no firing zone and send son for a cooling off period.
4:00-make a new cup of coffee
4:10-empty laundry into dryer…so that’s where my car keys were! Slip in puddles on floor from son’s wet clothes. Mop floor.
4:20-Discuss fire incident with husband. Son is sentenced to a week’s probation and all caps are confiscated. During the process, coffee is forgotten and becomes cold. Again.
5:00-In the process of making dinner, step in remains of tuna from son’s attempt at making his lunch. Wash kitchen floor, feet included, again.
6:00 pm-Report fire playing incident to friend’s mother and discover that she not only didn't care, but encouraged fire experimentation in her yard. Repress urge to thump her over the head. Discover son didn’t finish cleaning his room from earlier, and put him in lockdown for the evening to complete the job.
9:00 pm-Enjoy quiet adult time and a pepsi float with husband
2 am-remember that Pepsi contains caffeine.
4 am-finally fall asleep. Can I go back to work now?