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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vacation Comes to a Screeching Halt

It is saying something about the week that this guy is my least needy.

He broke his clavicle in a backyard soccer match versus Biggest Brother. Bless. He is one sturdy guy and has been a significant sport through a tough week. Big Brother powered right into school the next morning, perhaps too eager to show off his sling. The school nurse called later, suggesting he'd had enough and should go home. But no he protested, it was chili dog day for lunch!  Would you know the nurse managed to get him a chili dog to go? We've landed in another sweet place. See also: another glowing reflection on my cooking. My child is encouraged to go home from school and he insists on staying. For the food.

We need hearty nourishment to endure this week. Working mighty hard to settle in. Nope. You've not stumbled upon an old post. We're still plugging away. Mostly in the mornings when I'm peeling a tiny girl in a Peter Pan collar off me while a morose drummer slumps his shoulders and plods into The Big School.

We're fighting a good fight and winning some battles. Having an ice cream (Sweet CeCe's) date with friends after school, planning and attending birthday parties and a Thanksgiving coffee, exploring new parks and used bookstores, playing our instruments and treating ourselves when we can.

We're grateful for the legions of support we've found. Tops being Big Sister's First Grade Teacher who should be nominated for sainthood for helping me as much as Big Sister. Also for teaching her. Maybe not entirely fair of me, but my favorite pediatricians and teachers have been in the trenches longer than I have and come to their profession with parental experience, too. I need compatriots with combat experience and am grateful for finding them. Also very grateful to be in a faithful school where people aren't just pulling for you, but praying, too. Would you know that at Mass the first hymn was the "when you move, I'll go with you" one again? Of course it was.

Big Brother stayed off school yesterday and went to Mass with me. All the children go to weekly Mass. Snuggled up with me in his sling and comfy clothes, waving to his school friends with his good arm. His collarbone's broken but not his spirit, cuddliness or sense of humor. Bon mots from him this week include: "If THIS hurts, I cannot imagine what a broken heart is like!" (By which I know he meant a heart attack, but somehow I'm going work that quote into a rehearsal dinner speech. Remind me.)

His siblings rallied to his side when he was laid flat in the backyard. Baby Sister packed an armload of books for her siblings to read at the doctor's. Biggest Brother packed a car picnic in lieu of dinner, tended to his buddy like a seasoned EMT and got a "CHiPs" episode started on the dvd. Big Sister cheered for her Freckle Teammate all the way.

And ever since, Baby Sister -- bless her -- has been extraordinarily cheerful. That's especially helpful in the mornings. She is so proud of her tiny uniform and shines like a new penny. But she does deserve a special something for her trick last night. Instead of tidying up her room, she decided it would be best to lock the door behind her and come down for dinner. None the wiser, we had a chatty evening, studied for tests, read stories and got ready for bed a bit late. Long before we discovered that her room was locked with a mess inside. Also her school uniform and saddle oxfords.

Well. That's one strategy. Just sort of forget the mess and move on. But that's not the one we're going for here. We're digging into the messy bits and working together. For all their effort, I'm planning to bill the kids to get my greys colored. Or visit a significant spa. Where they serve booze. But I cannot really complain. (That's not exactly true or the above paragraphs wouldn't exist.) If it is possible to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome within your own home, I think I've got it. I am devoted to my captors.

Also battling a toilet that leaked all over the floor and an infestation of wasps. The phone and internet were out for a week. (Still, come visit. Those will just be a funny story soon - it's actually funny already!) We're a little broken and a bit down, but definitely not out! And I'm not kidding, we really are laughing through the tears. You have to.

These are the days it is critical to keep a secret stash of Goo Goo Clusters in the cupboard. Probably next to the Miss Clairol.

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