M: “Very funny. Now put it down. Besides, that’s the cheap stuff.”
L comes down this morning feeling pretty good about himself. He got a thumb’s up from the doc, he’s conquered all of his homework. He’s on fire.
L: “It’s Thursday. Let’s go over the spelling one more time.”
M: “Uh, it’s Wednesday.”
L: “NO WAY! I did all of that extra homework and studying and it’s only WEDNESDAY!? Geez.”
M: “Yup, and you still need to brush your teeth.”
Oh, the joy of a well-child appointment (as opposed to a sick child appointment)
Went yesterday to have the lad measured, weighed, tapped and prodded. As we were sitting in the waiting room, the nurse came in and instructed L to remove his clothes down to his undies.
L: “Well, this is going to be embarrassing. What if the doctor comes in and sees me nearly naked and has to turn away and gather herself? What if she’s not expecting this? This feels very awkward to me. I think the nurse might have confused us with another patient.”
M: “L, your doctor is a pediatrician. She expects to see you in your undies. She would be surprised if you weren’t nearly buck naked.”
L: “Okaaaay. But if we have this wrong….”
Doc comes in and is amazed at how tall L has become. She is the single greatest pediatrician in the world. She knows that L comprehends everything and speaks to him as she would speak to me.
Doc: “L, what’s your favorite subject in school?”
L: “Math. Definitely math.”
D: “Why math?”
L: “Because I have systems and strategies and math makes complete sense. For instance, if you’re adding two three digit numbers, you already know that…”
D: “Yes, you definitely understand math. That’s great. I wish more people loved math.”
L then tells her about his day, his week, his life, his dog, his friends. At the end of the appointment, he says, “well, did I do okay? Am I healthy?”
D: “Yes, you’re very, very healthy. You’re amazing.”
One thing I know: When the front door is shut and locked, we are a wildly inappropriate family.
We have a habit of trying to pants each other at every available opportunity. Our version rarely involves any success. It really is the journey. In other words, if one is wearing sweats or some other elasticized waistband garb, better grab on and tug. This leads to shrieks, laughter, and planting oneself firmly on the ground.
I sometimes wonder if the neighbors can hear us laughing, chasing, and ending up in a heap. Then I think, well, if everyone were to stop being so serious and just try a bit of pantsing, maybe everyone really would get along.
When in doubt, pants. (The verb, not the noun.)
Ah, number lines. L approaches them in an assembly-like manner. Assess question, color in least number of squares, write digits in sequence.
M: “I notice that when you’re doing these exercises, you always color in the least number of squares necessary.”
L: “Yes, that’s my strategy.”
M: “Seems to work well. Looks like it’s a good strategy.”
L: “I’m a good strategy.”
Can’t argue with that.
To continue, dad calls to say he’s on his way. L picks up.
L: “Dad, I need you to be very sensitive to mom. If you start to see her eyes start to water, it’s because she had a difficult day. And you really love your wife, so let’s try to be very sensitive to her.”
D: “Yes, I do love my wife.”
Rotten day, yesterday. Worst day of my career. I’ve never seen a more ridiculous set of adults in my life. I’ll leave it there. Left work early. Picked up the lad from school.
The goal: Do not cry. Do not cry. Do not cry.
L: “Mom, what’s wrong? Why are you sad?”
M: “Some people at work weren’t very nice to me. You know when you’re really good at something and no one can see it? That’s what it felt like. Felt like I was embedded in a world of aliens.”
L: “I’m so sorry, mom. I don’t want you to be sad. I love you. You’re the most amazing person I know. And I think you’re really good at what you do.”
M: “Thanks, sweetie. That means everything to me.”
L: “I’ll be very sensitive to you. Let’s go do my homework. Then we’ll sit together under a blanket and you can put your head on my shoulder and hopefully you’ll feel better.”
M: “I’m sure I will.”
M: “It’s time to sign up for chess club.”
L: “Oh, man, seriously? Please… Not this time.”
M: “But you’re so good at it. I wish I could play like you. Why not?”
L: “If you were to eat the same thing every single day of your life, it would get boring, right? It wouldn’t be zesty anymore, right? That’s what chess feels like to me right now. It’s the same thing over and over. Can I please take a break?”
Well said. He did win his last tournament. Maybe someday…
Finally, a much-needed hair cut. Being a nut, I shun the usual Super Duper Easy Cuts and go for something a bit different. I love his hair. It’s beautiful. Not as blonde or as curly as it once was, but abundant, lovely hair.
Let’s keep it long. Just a touch off the sides. Maybe…?
Haircutter: “L, who’s in charge of your hair? You or your mom?”
L: “Hmmm… That’s a good question. She made me. I guess you’d better ask her.”