Last night I had a feeling…when the kids came back from their Dad’s, which was really a weekend with their Grandma, sugary candy bags half eaten spilling out of their hands. I knew this was not going to go well, like hitting a brick wall with a tiny car at 60 mph. Myself recovering from a four-hour drive and a great weekend at a cabin with girlfriends coming to a rapid close. Back to reality with a BAM!
Ah, but today is a new day! It just happens to be Monday. Suffering from an energy-induced, heavy-headed hangover, I could barely imagine the drive to school with the boys, let alone the energy needed for the prep time activities: shower, teeth brushing, breakfast, backpack menagerie and, of course, the whirlwind of rushing out the door to hurry, hurry up, then…the 30-minute drive into school.
Ah yes, coffee would be needed. Much coffee. Thankful for the extra sleep with the change in the clocks from the daylight savings time over the weekend. I felt a bit of luck on my side as I threw back some Tylenol in anticipation of the need for a clear head.
Nathan awoke gently and immediately asked for his Choo Choos, which was an easy request to fill given that they were already set up on the living room floor from his Daddy time over the weekend. He is only 2, but he is such a laid back kid. I’m thankful for his disposition, but I cannot take the credit for that part of his genetics. Another thing to appreciate reminding me of his Daddy. What a great guy, off to work with a pre-teen every morning to get her to the bus in time, and then his transition into his work, the daily grind through the red tape of local government.
Back in Stay-at-home Mom World, I had the gift of 30 more minutes with just Nathan — until the creak of the child gate abruptly ended that daydream. Josh appeared crouched down at the top stair, hanging off the gate with his head downward, whining about not wanting to go to school. Most days I would brush by his comments with redirecting questions about what he wanted for breakfast to move gently into the morning routine. Today that did not happen.
Anxiety medication was changed last week, and we knew there would be a “transition time.” Apparently it had arrived. Not unexpected, but it always feels like a setback. With an “in like a lion” mentality, the overly worrisome aura of a third-grade boy with an anxiety disorder was staring me down. I guided him into the kitchen with a gentle touch and sideways hug (because he also has Sensory Processing Disorder).
Having addressed the psychological naming of the intensity and roller-coaster-like personality of what is my oldest son Josh’s reality, you begin to see how an ordinary, mundane day would be a welcome relief — far away from the stress-filled surge of every agonizing decision or delivery of such — each and every day. Especially on school days followed by a weekend, and that would be Monday. Which is today.
“Can I have cake for breakfast?” Josh asked. Without hesitation and with great abandon of traditional norms, I firmly replied. ” Yes. Red velvet.” I just happened to have some left over from the girls’ weekend.
Now Robby, my second grader, appeared in the kitchen with his smiling eyes and gentle loving way. I offered him Red Velvet for breakfast and he replied, “No, I will have cereal before I have cake.” Ah, the voice of reason, an old soul in the tiny body of a 7 year old. I’m so appreciative of his special energy, his presence.
It became clear that this was not a day for school. The calendar said Monday, everyone had a full night of sleep, but no one — including me — was ready to go into the week…not just yet. Robby asked for some medicine, Tylenol, for his eyes and forehead that was hurting and because he was seeing things kind of blurry.
And our fate was sealed. Home on Monday with three boys.
The empowerment of being the Mom at times can be so freeing. I called the school and told the secretary, who knows my voice so very well, that my boys will be home today and that she should be thankful I am not sending Josh in to have the teacher manage him, given his difficult reaction to the medication change.
To which she replied, “Oh Yes! We really do appreciate that.” I already knew that mental health is just as important, if not more so, than physical health, but today it was nice to have someone from the” other side,” someone from the “system” of homework and expectations of parenting, affirm my basic view of what was best for my children. Today, it was the best decision for all of us.
The day is young, the Red Velvet is soon to wear off and I will need to pull out another trick from my bag to move us swiftly through the mid-morning to lunch.