We survive the first 45 minutes of her being ill, but then she follows me around like a rash.
She reminds me that she is bored at 3 minute intervals. This is my ‘play with me, play with me, watch me, watch me,’ child, not that I’m assigning a role of predestination for any of my children.
Perish the thought!
Although brothers generally fall into the category of ‘pest,’ when they are at school, somehow their company is so much more appealing.
“But I’m real bored Mom.” “I know dear, but I’m very busy. Why don’t you go and rest in your room.” “But it’s not like you’re doin nothin.” “Anything, dear, anything! As I said before, I have a great deal to do and the sooner I get it all done, the sooner I may have some free time. Why don’t you go and rest in your room and think of three things that you’d like to do when I’m finished.” She sighs and deflates against the wall, “whatya doin then that’s more important than me an bein sick?” The tone of sarcasm isn’t lost on me, but I decide to ignore it. It would appear to be an abuse of power to out sarcasm a sarcastic 10 year old. “Well right now I’m putting all the boys’ clothes back into the cupboard. I do it every day. It take about 20 minutes depending upon whether they accidentally tipped out the pyjamas too.” “It sure is a big mess.” “Hmmm.”
I fold, refold, stack shelves and re-hang T-shirts under her watchful eyes.
“If I did that you’d be real mad at me, right?” “Well it would depend upon why you’d messed up your closet?” “It’s not fair, they get to trash their closet every day and you just clean it all up!” “Is that what you think?” “It’s always the same, you treat em different.” “You’re right, I do. Partly because you’re older and partly because there are some things that they find a lot more difficult than you do. Sometimes they need more help.” “It stinks.” “Now I have a question for you!” “Really! What?” “When you were really little, we had a closet just like this one. Half of it was toys and half of it was clothes. Every day I would try and put you to bed for your nap. Instead of taking a nap like every other toddler in the entire universe, you’d climb the closet shelves and chuck everything out. Then you’d strip your bed. Every day. Now why do you suppose you did that?” “Geez, I have no idea! What did you do?” “Every day after your non existent nap, I’d come up here and you’d be sitting in your devastated room with a mischevious grin on your face. I would be so cross with you. Daddy and I decided that we’d just leave mess and put you to bed at night without the bed clothes.” “I don’t remember that either.” “Well you wouldn’t, because some time during the evening, once Daddy was home, I’d zip up here and straighten it all out. It took ages but I just couldn’t put you to bed like that, it seemed too unkind.” “Wow. How long did I do that for then?” “Eternity.” “What happened to stop it?” “I gave up trying to get you to nap.” “Why did I do that? It seems kinda weird.” “Well, I think it’s because you didn’t have enough words to explain that you didn’t want to nap and probably more importantly, that you didn’t need a nap. You always were an energizer bunny.”
She slithers down the wall onto her hunkers, stares at the self portrait picture of her big sister. "Did she do weird stuff when she was little too?" "Oh yes indeed. There's not a child on the planet that doesn't do "weird stuff" sometimes. The trick is to figure out the why? Once you know the 'why' it won't be weird any more."