Tuesday, January 23, 2007

good morning merry sunshine

To get the children out the door I have to focus on them each by each, like Noah sending the animals up into the Ark. Middle child goes first. He's also the dawdler and the conscientious objector to, oh, everything. So my reserves usually get spent on him before my day even really gets started.

He had this story to read for homework. He had this drawing he was supposed to do after reading the story. Only he forgot all about it until, I kid you not, one minute before the bus comes.

"This is your responsibility," I say angrily, really frustrated. That could have been a fantastic assignment for him -- he's very artistic -- and he blew it.

Then the oldest, the teenager, goes out the door. This is not a difficulty for either of us, but it emerges I didn't sew up a ripped seam in his overcoat and he has to wear another one.

I didn't mend the coat, I didn't supervise the homework; come to think of it, what was I doing with my time yesterday?

(I was fussing because yesterday afternoon my car became the phoenix. It was dead, it emerged from the ashes, it died again. Minus the burst of flame at the end, fortunately.)

Then the youngest one must be roused from his slumber upstairs. When I turn on the lights (all of them) and call his name in a series of attempts that range progressively from gentle to hysterical, he just burrows deeper into the pillows and says comfortably: "Mmm. Not going. You do it."

So. It starts. Already he's learned to delegate. I don't like this.

Of course he eventually rouses himself to a sitting position, but not kindly.

"You're annoying," he says darkly.

"Finally you come to it," I answer. "Good for you."

My father-in-law is driving him to school since my car is non-functional. I lean over the child as he settles himself, stony-faced and unwilling, in his grandfather's car.

"I love you," I say sweetly, even as he clenches his jaw and suffers himself to be kissed.

"I don't love you," he mutters.
"I know you don't, you're so sweet when you're maaaad at me!" I trill back, waggling my fingers at him as I close the door firmly and walk away.

The snow is crunchy under my feet from where it melted and hardened again overnight, and my feet are bare inside my mules because I didn't have time to hunt up a thick pair of socks before I rushed out the door.

My feelings aren't hurt. All my children have done this -- disavowed me in the rush of fury. I'm used to it. That's my gift to them, in fact: I don't take it seriously.

I slip off the mules just inside the door, shake my hair out of its ponytail, fix a fresh cup of decaf coffee. It might snow some more. I almost hope it does. I'd like some more snow to look at.

I was supposed to get my pacemaker interrogated this afternoon, but I can't do that now.

There's something comfortable about this situation. Can't go anywhere; don't need to, either. I'll do what I can and the rest will just have to wait. I like the sound of that.