Okay, it’s been more than a week, so obviously I haven’t been that great at blocking my time to write lately. Though, to be fair, I spent all day yesterday with the world’s worst headache and the perfect mold of my bottom on the couch to prove it. I could barely look at written words, let alone be the one writing them!
Mason is sick – we kept him home last Friday because he had a slight fever and a leaky nose. He was fine Saturday and Sunday, runny nose again Monday, fine Tuesday and Wednesday, and then there was this morning. The kid’s nose looks like it’s trying to run the Boston Marathon and with all the coughing and sneezing going on he sounds like a bad Allegra commercial. No fever (hopefully it stays that way), but he’s just about as miserable as he can get. Currently he’s curled up in bed watching The Backyardigans between bouts of sneezing, coughing, whining, and attempting to fall asleep. So, after a phone call to cancel an appointment to do dinner tasting for the wedding, a phone call to let his teacher know he was going to be absent from school, and another phone call to let the bus know they don’t have to drive all the way out here, he is officially taking the day off.
The book contest I entered last year starts back up again in less than a month, and I decided to take another go at it. Probably futile, but what the hell, right? Of course that means going through and doing a crap pile of editing, which I honestly don’t believe is anybody’s idea of fun (maybe I can blame yesterday’s headache on that). I guess you never know though, maybe I’ll make it further this year than I did last year. Truthfully I was shocked I made it past the first round last year, so I might as well throw it out there and see what happens.
Kaleb decided on a 5am treck to our bedroom this morning, which included singing to himself, and driving me, Daddy and Milo all a bit nuts. Of course, making me crazy seems to be a special kind of talent for him lately. He’s been super lovey lately – which I adore – except when it entails him gluing himself so tightly to my rear end I can no longer tell where he stops and I begin. I was all about the snuggling yesterday afternoon, since we spent the majority of the time curled up on the couch watching a How It’s Made marathon. Until you throw in the fact that my very cute 6 year old is physically incapable of sitting still or staying quiet for more than 30 seconds at a time. Have I ever mentioned that my child doesn’t posses an inside voice? As far as I’ve been able to tell, Kaleb has three noise settings – whisper, loud, and ear-shattering, migraine murdering, glass rattling LOUD. Of course, this third level is the most frequently used, and quite often a source of trouble for the Monster Man.
He spent the weekend trying to scheme up ways to earn 124 points – and he was specific. This was the number he NEEDED to have. He needed 100 points for new Legos, 20 points for a new Build & Grow kit from Lowes, and 4 points so he could watch TV at bedtime. Of course, every time he brought this up I had to remind him that he already had four new Lego sets in the cabinet that hadn’t been built yet (birthday and Christmas presents), and we weren’t buying new ones until the ones he already had were built. So, of course he spent the rest of the weekend cashing in points to built the sets he already had so he could set about working toward his goal.
I’m still really pleased with the points system, not only is it helping keep him a bit more on the “more cooperation, less trouble making” side of the law in the house, it’s helping him understand the concept of money and spending (something his mother obviously never really learned well). I’m waiting to hear from the school to schedule another IEP meeting, which, if all goes well, will require some reworking of the points system. At the last meeting we had, it was decided that we would wait until January to see if he was ready to lose the harness on the bus. His bus driver commented not that long ago that he felt Kaleb was ready to be done with it – which I’m taking as a very good sign. Hopefully we can get rid of the thing and be done with it – which means we’ll have to edit the points board, since a good number of the points he earns every day are from wearing the harness to and from school without complaint, getting a 100% on his daily bus log, and actually riding the bus home in the afternoon (there was a good month there where he was refusing to get on and I had to go pick him up every afternoon).
So, I suppose in preparation for this I should start figuring out some replacements. I’m not sure what though – what kind of chores can I give my stubborn six year old to do around the house? He makes his bed almost every day (1 point), puts his laundry away when it’s folded (2 points) keeps his dirty clothes in the basket (1 point)… there’s also cleaning his room (1 point), cleaning the living room (2 points – since usually more than half of it is Mason’s mess), flushing the toilet (1 point – you wouldn’t believe how big an issue this has become), brushing his teeth (1 point) with toothpaste (2 points – though thanks to Dr. Barnes, it’s not nearly as much of a fight as it was a couple months ago)…
I mean, I can think up a hundred things to have him do, but rarely are they consistent, need-to-do on a daily basis type of stuff. I don’t really want him unloading the dishwasher – for one thing, sharp knives, glass and ceramic dish and bakeware… those aren’t a good mix for my pay-no-attention-to-what-I’m-doing kid. Plus, he can’t reach 90% of the cabinets that contain the items he actually could put away. We’ve tried the laundry thing before, but aside from the fact that I hate doing laundry, and it’s torture to have to stand there for an additional 40 minutes while he has constant meltdowns because his shirt isn’t folding perfectly – that’s something I tend to do while they’re in school. So, thoughts on that? Helpful hints or ideas? He’s not big enough to push the beast of a vacuum around the house (and come on, I’m not Martha freaking Stewart, my vacuum under almost no circumstances runs more than once a week, at best). Dusting… see previous statement. I’m not homemaker of the year. I’m barely homemaker of the minute on a good day!
I finally finished putting up the new decor in Mason’s room (and yes, we are talking almost a year of me trying to accomplish this, if you must know). Got all the letters down, new posters, shadowboxes, and decals up. Then came time to touch up the paint in the places it came off with the letters (note to self, maybe using hot glue to attach them to the walls wasn’t the best idea in the world). Annnnnd I totally screwed the pooch. Instead of using the light blue paint from Mason’s room, I somehow (I am entirely blaming this one on Daddy, cause he is the one who gave me the paint) managed to use the blue from Kaleb’s room – which is significantly darker. Doesn’t look like it when it’s wet… sure as heck looked like it dried. So, now I’m going to have to find the right paint, and paint over the patches of dark blue all over the kids room. And yes, I painted them all with the wrong paint. How was I supposed to know paint gets darker when it dries, not lighter? Is that some sort of universal painter knowledge or something? Honestly, the last time I painted a wall I came within seconds of trailing paint throughout the entire house in the shape of my footprints (I have pictures to prove it).
I set up Mason’s drum set this weekend too. I’m already regretting it. I had to confiscate the drumsticks two days ago because world war three broke out over who got to play the drums (ahem, they are Mason’s drums – Kaleb got a keyboard for Christmas). Santa should have brought me a nice set of noise-cancelling headphones. And a bigger bottle of aspirin. It’s extremely entertaining to watch though, if your ears can handle the racket. Kaleb knocking out “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on the keyboard, and Mason beating the hell out of the drums – they make quite the sight! Until they decide to try and out-noise each other. That’s my cue to go hide in a dark corner somewhere.
Oh, and Kaleb has become completely obsessed with time. Everything from demanding an exact minute dinner will be ready (When it’s done! That’s when! Which will be next Thursday if you don’t stop getting under my feet!), to counting down minutes (Mom, it’s 4:58. Only two more minutes until 5:00 and it will be evening. Mom, it’s 4:59, only one more minute until it’s evening. Mom, it’s 5:00, it’s evening now. Does that mean dinner is ready?), to letting everyone know exactly how many minutes are in how many hours. Of course, the last one has got me amazed at certain points. We were sitting at the dinner table talking the other night about the time I took him to Tampa to go see Laurie Berkner (yes. I drove all the way to Tampa to watch a 45 minute kid’s concert and it was entirely, 100% worth it). I said something to the effect of spending 6 1/2 hours in the car to take him there and back. He asked how many minutes are in 6 1/2 hours. I told him to figure it out – I asked him how many minutes are in 6 hours (expecting this to take a minute, thinking I might be able to get a mouthful of food in), and he immediately says 360. Ummmm okay… so add thirty minutes. He immediately starts beaming and says “390! There are three hundred and ninety minutes in six and a half hours!” I looked over at Daddy and silently asked if that was right – he took a minute to do the math and agreed that it was.
My six year old is better at math than I am.
Middle school is going to suck.