Monday, February 20, 2006

Childhood patience is not what it once was.

I know I was better than my kids at waiting for things. I was, huh Mom. (You need not answer to the negative. just say yes. let's maintain my perfect image here, thank you.)

Yesterday the kids found the one and only adult sized puzzle I have in this house. it's 1000 pieces and measures 18x26. Actually it wasn't a matter of them finding it so much as Joshua remembering it was there and going and looking for it. "can we do it mom? can we? please?"

This being a puzzle that will take us at least a week to put together, I said "later," because I'm all about procrastination, a trait which does not go down well with my children. Basically for the next two hours I heard about two hundred variations of the phrase: is it later yet? I finally used my brain and said "tomorrow."

So this morning, a school holiday morning, Joshua was knocking at our bedroom door at seven o'clock. "can we do the puzzle now, Mom?" Doing the puzzle means cleaning off the side table in the living room and opening it up to a square from it's console size. Since I was half awake on a morning when I had planned on (fantasized about) sleeping in, the answer was no. or more like "huh? ummbrgertemmmmm, nnooo. mmmmrggergmmm. not yet . . . leemmmt mmeem shleep."

Not to be deterred, Joshua went and woke up his sister. Of course, waking up Sarah means waking up the rest of the house. So Libby is screaming in her bed and I hear this baby cry in Doppler effect as she's carried to our room.
"Libby woke up." (thanks for the news report.)
"nuh uh. Joshua was trying to wake me up and he woke Libby up too." (classic tattling)
"so." (classic 7 year old response)
"I got her out of bed. Here." (joy.)
"mmmmhherrremmmm, shthansh." and I get to cuddle with a wiggly teddy bear for about ten minutes.

all the while I'm hearing the oldest two in the livingroom. screeches and bangs as they take it upon themselves to clean off the console table. I laid there feeling very grateful I was smart enough not to put anything breakable on that table. Then came the crashing. the banging. they had decided to open it up to the square all by themselves. sigh. me being me, I let them. Pretty soon we hear "that's not how it goes." "uh huh" "nuh uh" "uh huh" "it needs a plank" (the table also will take leaves so you can seat eight. it's a nice table.) so they both come and give a detailed report of their problem. I kick steve out of bed to take care of it. He gets it fixed and sets them on the brilliant task of getting breakfast ready. cereal. they can handle that.

Joshua is the field marshal. "you help or you don't eat!" "you're not the boss!" joy. we straighten it out by calling the kids to our room, still too lazy to get out of bed. then it begins again. "you clean off the table." "no, you." "you times a million." "you times a million + 1." "you times infiinty!" You know what's coming next. "you times infinity plus one!" Where do they learn these things? is it this behavior that is passed on from child to child on the playgrounds? is it something wired into their brains?

Eight in the morning and they have already had three fights. Not a good start to the day. For the sake of my sanity, I let them start the puzzle by nine.

they did stop fighting (mostly) which is good because they have tomorrow off too. I really don't have enough hooks in this house to string them all up by their toenails.


Mom said...

How about if I just don't comment here?

Gretchen said...

ohhh your mornings sound JUST LIKE MINE!!! ;) and what IS that infinity thing all about!? UGH!

karen said...

Bwaaa haaa haa! I'm so with you on the sleeping-in-trumps-any-fears-of-house-injury thing. I'd sacrifice a table for some zzzz's! I can't imagine, though, procrastinating on a puzzle. They're FUN! :)

Becky said...

LOL - you know, they sell hooks at Home Depot. ;)

Hope you survived the extra day off. I'm personally glad mine had school today!

Kristi said...

Amy- you are such a great storyteller. I love reading your blog. So what I wanna know is did they ever start on the puzzle?