It is one of those days after one of those nights.
It’s early still, only 7:00am on a Friday, no less. Last night, daddy couldn’t say or do anything right.
And this morning, it is my turn to get the boys, Archibald and Mortimer (not their real names), ready for summer camp.
I’ve done this before, but today nothing goes right. The boys cooperate less than any other day ever. Mortimer goes through the motions, but his heart is really not in it. For example, I have to physically carry him to the bathroom to brush his teeth. And then, he brushes his teeth while simultaneously singing Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. And dancing to it, of course. Meanwhile, toothpaste goes flying all around the bathroom.
Archibald continues playing in his room while Morty brushes his teeth. Archie is constructing a dinosaur-big machine-spaceship (very elaborate, I might add, it looks exactly what one would look like if one actually existed). When Morty finishes and I encourage Archie that it is his turn, he runs away. He runs upstairs to grandma’s second bedroom and hides. I immediately ground him for life in as loud a voice as I can muster at 7:30 without waking the neighbors in the next county. Grandma can’t hear anyway so I know she won’t hear it.
I quickly realize the error of my announced punishment and that it would literally hurt me more than him. I do try to be as patient as possible with Archie since he was diagnosed with a learning disability and borderline autism. Nevertheless, I have to carry him, too, to the bathroom. He actually brushes in pretty good form.
Now, onto the spraying of suntan lotion and dressing. Morty has since been re-constructing Archie’s ‘spaceship’ into his own superhero-racecar-submarine. I tell him of the next activity and he stands up. But, he stays there. He doesn’t move. I have to help him start taking his clothes off after repeated threats (not of grounding, I learned my lesson), but of taking toys away. He decides to sit on my lap and give me a big hug. Ok, even the hardest guy-football player-construction worker would be brought to tears for such a tender moment. I collapse with an explosion of emotion so profound and complete, I immediately promise to give him everything in the world. Somehow, he dresses.
Archie, in the meantime, reconstructs Morty’s sub. But, in a rather uncharacteristic move, when I mention it is his turn, he stands up and does the whole thing himself, except for the spraying of suntan lotion, which would have happened easily if the can was still full. Oh no. Fortunately, in a nano-moment of clarity, daddy realizes that he had bought an extra can for precisely this kind of moment.
Now, getting on shoes and out to the car happens, again somehow, it all seems like a big blur anymore. But, when Archie gets into the car, he always has to go through the front seat to the back, he touches the control for the windows. I don’t realize that until I get into the driver’s seat and cannot lower the windows.
Somehow, in the quantum physics of life, the universe has conspired that today be one of those days. The planets have magically, mysteriously, momentarily moved out of alignment. I thought, well, all I have to do now is drive the little buggers to camp, without lowering the windows, of course.
It was an easy proposition, but Rockland County, NY is known for having traffic lights every 50 feet whether they are needed or not. Plus, somehow, the universe alerted every slow driver on the east coast to drive in Rockland this morning. The boys recited the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address three times each, in Chinese and English, before we make it to summer camp.
Do you think that was too much, teaching them Chinese, before they can read?
We get to camp and daddy realizes that the trip was so long, he will have to shave again when he gets home. But, the boys start to run in and then turn around and each grab a hand and pull me inside. Again, I collapse from emotion which was for them, their way of showing affection.
Ok, this wasn’t so bad. I could do this again, in about a year or so.