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Thursday, October 20, 2011

See-Saw Days

Today and yesterday have been see-saw days for sure. (Sometimes it feels as though that's what motherhood is: ups and downs and ups and downs, and you can't get off because the person on the other side of the see-saw needs your weight!) Yesterday, BJ stayed home from school with a cold. Actually, he came home early on Tuesday from school -- S had been working in the classroom that morning, and he nearly brought home BJ with him at lunchtime when the volunteer shift was over, because BJ was feeling less than 100%, but the kid said he wanted to try to stay through the day; I had a hunch that wouldn't work out, though, and sure enough when I arrived at school (about 30 minutes early) I turned on my cell phone "just in case" and a few seconds later I got a call from the school secretary saying BJ was in the office and not feeling well and wanted to come home early, proving my mom-hunch correct. Hated to see the kid not feeling well, but satisfying to know that my instincts were on target.

BB had a cold as well, so all Wednesday was a tired mom plus two sick kids, not the best equation. Things seemed to have resolved OK by bedtime, when they were reading and looking at books quietly together in BB's bunk, but all of a sudden there was a negative multiplier, resulting in two tired kids going to fisticuffs in bed! BB got a bruised temple when BJ whacked her with his bedtime cup and BB scratched his face. Sigh. Tears, scoldings, apologies, consequences -- loss of screen time for both kids. (Two days worth for BJ, because he wouldn't take responsibility for his actions: "She made me do it!!!" Double sigh.)

Thursday BJ was feeling well enough to go back to school, and so was BB, thank goodness. Sick days at home are bad enough. Sick days at home when absolutely no screen time is allowed -- I shudder at the thought! By design, the kids don't get much time in front of screens (admittedly, there's been more since I received the iPad for my birthday) but when you're not feeling well sometimes a screen can be exactly what the doctor ordered. Yes, before it was shown the kids were well enough for school, I had some moments of doubt about our parental wisdom in the choice of our consequences. But not hitting and taking responsibility for your actions are what we expect of mature kids, and in this household only mature kids are allowed screen time, especially the use of my coveted iPad, so it's a logical consequence. (It just can have consequences for Mom and Dad as well!)

After the long Wednesday, I was really welcoming a change of pace. Up swings the see-saw! S and I had a nice morning together: we've been trying to get more exercise lately and have taken to swimming laps in the pool. We had some sweetheart time together since he was able to stay home through lunchtime before heading in to the office. Then I spent the afternoon sewing until it was time to pick up the kids from school. I completed two more wristlet bags (pics of this new project coming soon!) -- quite satisfactory!

We had a very nice walk home -- walking to and from school with BJ is often one of my favorite times of day. Alas, as soon as we got home and BJ remembered that he wasn't going to be allowed to play Angry Birds, he had a total meltdown. He was still sobbing about it when we had to leave to pick up BB from preschool, which made things rather challenging. (Ouch! The see-saw swoops suddenly down to the ground.) BB was in a great mood, thankfully, and once we got home she even helped BJ cheer up a bit. Who wouldn't feel a little happier when confronted by the Purple Haired Ladybug Fairy?

Thanks to her fairydust (or something) BJ got himself on an even enough keel to go to his Thursday night science class. BB wanted to wear the entire getup when it was time for us to leave, but we compromised: normal clothes, plus ladybug wings, plus wig and yellow flower headband, agreeing to take off the wings when in the carseat. Needless to say, we were the source of many smiles while running errands during BJ's classtime!

Dinnertime and bathtime went well, with both kids in great moods -- BJ came home from his science class eager to continue some of the experiments (they'd been exploring density, seeing what floats and what sinks, making tinfoil boats and discovering how many paperclips they would hold -- his reportedly held 115 paperclips!) and BB was along for the ride, so I allowed them to bring a lot of non-bathtime toys into the bathtub. (Cue elaborate game involving numerous fairy figurines, plastic skillet boats and other floating objects.) Unfortunately, BB lost it when it was time to stop the game. She refused to let her fairies air-dry overnight and insisted on drying each off herself. OK, I said, but that's going to take a long time. You won't have time for a bedtime book. (I could all but hear the crash as the see-saw swung down again.) Tears, defiance, even sticking out her tongue (we know it's serious when that happens) and more tears. We'd settled things a bit by the time S got home from work (he's back to working late on Thursday nights, sabbatical how I miss thee) but it was definitely Not The Way I Wanted The Day To End.

I'm ready to get off the see-saw now! Who wants a ride on the merry-go-round?

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