Ode to my middle son
This morning the dark cloud was over my middle son’s head, but just for a few minutes. He tried to get everyone on the grumpy-wagon with some sort of comment about Monday (didn’t even mention the rain) but I told him “this is the day the Lord has made, just rejoice and be glad in it and help me get the trash out.” So, he did. Somewhere along the line he got the giggles and instigated a lot of roughousing with this brothers and there was happy chaos in my house, but I can’t say I wasn’t counting the minutes until the bus came.
He decided to wear shorts and a t-shirt today because he said he had no clean pants. I told him, “Wear whatever you want, but you do have clean pants in your drawer — the dining room table does not represent your entire wardrobe!”
When I picked him and his brother up from extended day, they were sitting on couches opposite each other, mirror images of exhaustion. Apparently they had just had a “smokin’ basketball game” with one of their friends and his dad. (My youngest wanted to know if anyone was smoking anything.)
When we arrived home, I noticed he had an enormous bandage on his shin. “Honey, what happened to your leg?” He launched into a detailed discussion about scabs, scab removal and blood gushing enough that scabs can’t form, and told me in all he had been to the nurse’s office three times today.
He bargained with me to let him eat some of the cookies I had made before dinner (I wound up making 8 dozen cookies in all today, for scouts, my kids, and the “neighborhood supper.”)
We went to scouts after having a quick candle light dinner (I lit a stubby candle to dress up the fact that they were having “the usual”). My middle son asked me to turn off all the other lights.
My younger two hung out with the sibling club at scouts and when it was time for snack, ate more cookies.
I found out tonight that my middle son made the baseball division that he tried out for last week. He was very happy.
When we got home (after stopping at the supermarket for more cookie dough, which necessitated a little scolding and eye rolling and my apologizing to the clerk for coming in at 8 minutes before closing), he read Diary of a Wimpy Kid to his younger brother. It was sweet.
But then things started going downhill. In addition to our nightly argument about whose turn it is to go first in the shower, my younger two began arguing about a DS game. My middle son shoved his brother, threw the stylus and thrust the DS and game at him carelessly so that it landed on the floor. My oldest and I intervened. Oldest helped youngest find the stylus and told him, much to my middle son’s chagrin, that he could borrow his Mario Hoops game. I told my middle son he wouldn’t be playing any DS at all after that behavior and he stalked off to sulk.
My oldest went first in the shower. I quizzed him on his spelling words. Soon my middle son was waiting at the bathroom door with his spelling words. He needs work on a few of the challenge words and was down on himself. “Don’t be ridiculous, honey! You got all the regular words right!” The dark cloud was back. (I think he was just tired after a long day.) His moods run the gamut from wretched to joyful, with a detour through mischievous and a pitstop in silly. He’s generous and helpful and loving, but he can also be shy and his perfectionism makes him hesitate sometimes.
“Tomorrow is a new day!” It was nearly 10:00 by the time I chased him and his brothers up to bed. And now I am tired after a long day. Would it be a better investment of my time to work or sleep…?