When Good Ideas Go Bad
Part of me thinks I am a crappy mother for not maintaining a consistent schedule, and part of me thinks that staying up late is half the fun of summer and I should just let them enjoy it. They have plenty of years ahead of them in which they will be slaves to the electronic drill sergeant that stands watch at every adult bedside.
Lately, they have outlasted even me and I have to retire to my bed to read or write while they do whatever it is they do in the dank dark recesses of Pubescent One's room.
But often, they come sheepishly to my bedside; sometimes singly, sometimes together, asking if they can get in, just for a while.
It used to be that nighttime was my time. I relished the quiet after everyone was asleep. It was the only time of day I felt truly relaxed and free of my obligations. It was the only time I felt that I had permission to be off-duty, in every sense of the word.
But during the summer, I parent from sunup (well not really...I don't really do sunup) to whenever they fall into an exhausted tangle amid the bedsheets. It's wearing me out.
So my first impulse is usually to refuse. But I don't. I let them wheedle and cajole me into allowing them to squeeze into my bed, where we lay side by side like sardines in a can.
Sometimes they bicker and when that happens, they are sent packing without preamble. My bed is a no bickering zone.
But sometimes we talk and tell jokes. Sometimes I read while they just enjoy the comfort of me and I enjoy the still neediness of them. Sometimes, they tell me stories that they've made up in their head. Sometiems I tell them what's in mine.
In these moments, I think, they are able to see me as someone other than their Mom. I am still there in the sense that they need me to be...solid and strong, and in their eyes, invinceable, impervious, immortal. But without the pressure of our daily worries, my Mother mask slips a little, and they see the woman behind it.
Last night, though I was exhausted from a day spent hauling equipment, coolers, camp chairs and various other paraphanalia about 4,000 miles from our van to the field, I let them pile in.
They asked me to show them the clip of "Can't Touch This". Have you seen the Hallmark commerical with the very typical white suburban Dad who receives a musical card and then dreams of cavorting in harem pants, sporting stripes in his sparse hair and bustin a pretty impressive move? It cracks Husband up every time, so of course, we had to get him that card for Father's Day.
They wanted to see the origanl version, so I got my laptop and we watched it together. As I have said before, YouTube is a rabbit hole that once ventured down, is difficult to extract one's self from, and last night was no exception.
We watched one funny clip after another. Each time I suggested it was time to actually get some sleep, they protested with pleas for just one more.
They showed me this clip:
And this one:
SIGH. Boys and farts. It just never gets old.
I found this one much funnier:
They failed to see the humor.
So I showed them this:
After that, we had to watch every. Single. Stuart clip. We laughed until our sides ached. And then at last they were ready to succumb to the most evil of childhood villains....and slept.
Heartwarming, isn't it? I know. But today?
They are driving me batshit crazy with Stewart references.
As I poured some Cheerios for Dimuntive One, he adopted a falsetto and warbled "Let me do it!"
His brother howled with laughter, which of course, escalated things. And from there, it was just a lost cause.
When I tried to look in the collar of Pubescent One's shirt to assess his sunburn, he crouched comically, arms akimbo and whined "NOOOOOoooooooo." Diminutive One nearly peed himself laughing.
Every four minutes or so, one of them hollers "Look what I can do!" and then twitches spasmodically for a moment or two.
It was funny for a while. Both of them are born mimics and I laughed once or twice despite myself, which was a COLOSSAL tactical error on my part. I should have feigned indifference, because it might have fizzled out by now had I posessed the foresight that a mother of thirteen years should when it comes to this kind of stuff.
I finally sent them upstairs to play video games because I just couldn't take one more leg fart.
So, the moral of the story is...
Shit, I don't know. Maybe think twice about all but handing your kids the laces to a nice white jacket that ties in the back?