It’s finally become winter here. It was so warm for so long, but just in the past few days the temps are in the 30s & 40s at night & evening & sometimes when we are driving off to go to school. It’s nice. It’s not so nice when you are running late & have a child who cannot find his jacket. A jacket that has a clearly marked & repeatedly announced home. Perhaps it’s the constant reminders that cause him to tune out–next time I’ll send a “We’re Moving” card & see if that does the trick. Either way, he seems to think that his things are itinerant, gypsy-like. I do not. Right there is where the clash begins.
To remedy the homework, water bottle, backpack & jacket issues, I’ve created homes for these things, along with a ritual. In theory, this is how it works: we come home from school & the water bottles, snack bags & lunch bags (if we use them that day) go to the kitchen for cleaning; the backpacks go on a hook; and the homework comes to the kitchen table to be worked on, after hand washing & snackage. Yes, it sounds regimented but the boys & I are easily side-tracked–once I lose them they don’t want to come back. I get back on track because I don’t want to be cracking the proverbial whip all evening nor herding cats. I also don’t want to be doing homework right before bedtime. Not. At. All. Relaxing. I can think of a dozen “better” things to do than that, like clean toilets. At least that would show some immediate results due to my efforts. Running around half-crazed trying to get little boys to do homework, not so much.
This morning, is also the morning that said little boy wore short sleeves & no socks–at least he wore jeans, which is more than I can say for the other one. At any rate, off we went to school. I felt bad because here I am with an undershirt, a long sleeved shirt, a wool sweater, scarf, vest & boots up to my knees, walking with a little, chilly boy in short sleeves, jeans & converse with no socks. At least they weren’t the jeans that make him looked washed ashore, these reached the tops of his shoes. The other one had a hoodie on with shorts:( who also kvetched the whole way in that the other one always made us late…
It’s still only 53 degrees out & it’s nearing pick up time. My hope is that the jacket will be found & put back in its home, not a half-way house. I also hope that Little Man didn’t suffer all day but also didn’t thaw out enough to get amnesia, forgetting the whole episode ever happened. He seems to think that everything is “home” just where he happens to drop, leave or forget them. These half-way homes will no longer do for me, although it’s sometimes difficult to blame a child who has been raised by a woman who either thinks in stacks & piles or needs an absolutely clear space, depending on the stage of her thought process & work progress. He’s hosed. I try to be consistent & that’s the best I can do. Sometimes, my thoughts are scattered as are my tables, counter & desk. But, in all fairness he knows that putting specific items in their real homes is essential & necessary, especially when it means getting to school on time (even more so when he can’t seem to get out of bed very well now that it’s dark).
I’ll work on my counter, tables & desk & I hope he does the same. I don’t know how much longer I can live in a half-way house.