Monday, the holiday, was a bad day, or at least a bad morning. It was a long week, and then Kathleen was gone all day Saturday at some Girl Scouts conference somewhere. Sunday I was up in Hagerstown all day explaining to tenants that yes, we will require rent the same as the last owner, and doing various things. Monday morning I was up with the kids, and then Kathleen had to go the doctor that morning. I could here her whispering to Anna to be nice to me as she left. But let me back up a little.
Sam is at kind of a schizophrenic age. He is such a sweat little guy, but when he isn't getting his way he turns on his "shrieking defense". So he gets up Monday morning. I put on his favorite TV show. He wants chocolate milk. No problem. I start to give it to
"NO, I want to mixes it!" He points at the spoon and shrieks. He sounds like a car horn. It's not yet seven in the morning. I let him stir the milk, which spills in a puddle near the fridge. I hand him the chocolate milk.
"NO! I want to put the lid on Daddy! I can't like it like that!"
"You want to put the lid on?"
"Yes!" The shrieking continues. I take the lid off and suddenly here birds chirping. He puts the lid on and turns it one 16th of a turn. I tell him there is a bunny under the table, and, while he is distracted, screw on the lid more tightly. I hand him the chocolate mile.
"NO, I want wagagasabu." He is screaming again.
"Wagagasabu?" I ask him.
He stops shrieking. "Yes" He nods. I know this is going to end badly. I start shaking the milk like a cocktail, saying "wa-ga-ga-sa-bu" but this doesn't help. He won't stop shrieking so I send him into the washroom for a time-out, and put the milk in the fridge. This repeats two or three times during the morning. Eventually he gives up on the wagagasabu, or at least figures out I don't know what the hell he is talking about.
Later, PJ comes down. PJ is the least needy child, and as long as you fulfill his three basic human needs, food, video games, and maybe shelter, he pretty much leaves you alone. I could leave PJ alone for a week with a nothing but big pile of power bars and a super Nintendo, and come back seven or eight days later, and he still wouldn't want to go out of the house, or even take a bath.
So PJ is playing his games on the computer, away, quiet. This is a good thing.
Anna comes down still later. Anna understands neither “away” nor “quiet”. Anna is noisy and she is right under your nose, all the time. Its like her personal mission. Anna spends the morning trying to get her way while seeming helpful.
"When I'm having a bad day I like to do crafts. Do you want to make
some necklaces with me?"
And later. "Dad, could you make me some cheesy eggs? When I'm
having a bad day I like to cook."
And still later, "Dad, can you get my paints? I like to paint when I
am having a bad day."
"You are having a bad day?"
Pause. "Well, not really, but I like to paint."