Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Honeymoon

All teachers know that the first 10 to 15 days of school are the honeymoon phase. Kids tend to hold it together pretty well for teachers and their peers in this period. It's a period of somewhat blissful harmony. To really know what the year will look like, ask a teacher three weeks in.

I have a feeling the same is true at home. My house is tidier than it's been in years. Notice I didn't say clean. For now, I'm settling for just not seeing kid junk on every surface of my house, including the floor. The kids are keeping their rooms clean. The kitchen isn't constantly sticky and the dishes and laundry aren't backed up.

The kids aren't fighting quite as much, either. Luckily, there aren't enough waking hours at home in the day for full blown Fight Club Mode. But there are still explosions; some I can prevent or fix right away and others that leave me standing there asking "What the hell just happened?".

One day I forgot to start the audio book on the way home and had a three way brawl in the backseat within four minutes of picking them up. They are now within striking distance of each other so there is no longer the hope of physical separation. Pushed play and then ... silence. Whew. That was close. I almost lost a day's worth of serenity that I had soaked up poolside. 

Another sticky point in their day comes when all three tromp into the kitchen with lunch boxes to empty. With two boys who never stop moving, collisions happen. After one collision mid-kitchen, a full out brawl broke out. All I could do was step out of the way and pray that no one's head hit a sharp corner.

Once those bumps are sorted out, the kids head upstairs for one hour of screen time on their tablets. And silence once again. I fix dinner and wait for the inevitable squawks from the boys when their time is up. They still subscribe to the "let's see how long we can whine before mom gives in" school.  Since I've had time to breath in their seven-hour absence, they'll be waiting a long time.

There are signs that the honeymoon phase is giving way to the new normal, though. There's some homework trickling in. It's just minor record-keeping of the reading my son does anyway. However,  I may need to put blinders on my ADHD third grader to keep him on task for one simple question per day about his reading.  

Owen had his first sick day. The next morning when it was time to get dressed for school he was surprised that he had to go. It seems that one day at home in his jammies with mama spoiled the boy.

And today I fear that the dam has burst. It was a first Wednesday of the month and that means early release for them. I picked them up at 1:30 and took them the pool where they fought the entire time. I yanked them out, took them home and tossed them in their rooms with electronics.

Now it is quiet. Just the way I like it.

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