This week I’ve been particularly unmotivated and exhausted. I’m not really sure why, because today the weather is beautiful, the sun is shining (for once), the sky is blue, I managed to round up another fugitive chicken this morning before she ran off, did the laundry, and even forced myself to clean our bedroom which is usually neglected because nobody sees it but us.
But even after doing all that I still feel I’ve accomplished nothing. I think I’m more exhausted than I was as a new parent, and I feel like I’m dragging around like a zombie, frightening the neighborhood kids. Well, if we had any neighborhood kids. Which we don’t, really, other than our own.
Boys have a wealth of energy. Nobody told me about that. I didn’t have brothers so I didn’t know first-hand. Oh, sure, everyone told me how different boys and girls are but nothing could have prepared me for the reality – just like labor and delivery.
Our son has two speeds – full throttle and stop – and full throttle lasts from about 6:30 a.m. until about 8:00 p.m.
That’s a longer work day than many.
He’s demanding, too. He has plenty of toys but tires of them quickly. He loves to watch “Cake Boss” and “Billy the Exterminator” and “Pawn Stars” but let’s face it, those shows have only so much redeeming value. He would happily ride his bike around all day long but he can’t ride in the street unless I accompany him, and his “favorite trail” is currently flooded.
Some mothers, mothers of boys in particular, understand these things. One day in the grocery store as the produce misters came on, Ethan started skipping up and down the aisles waving his hands in the mist. I sighed (my usual response to one of his antics) and gave a half-hearted “Ethaaaaan…come ON…” A lady saw this and laughed – and laughed some more – through the produce section.
It’s okay. I know she wasn’t laughing at me. She was laughing because she’d been there.
But! This morning Ethan sat down and asked me to spell a phrase out for him, which I did. I knew why he had asked but it didn’t lessen my delight when he presented me with this:
It made me feel like maybe all this dragging around from keeping up with him really was resulting in something good. It helped me feel a little better and brightened my day a whole lot. Just like when he brings me freshly-picked dandelions from the yard, most of which have already gone to seed and will soon be littering my floor with their fluff.
Maybe it’s best that moments like these are relatively few and far between. That way I appreciate them more.
* * *
Note: For those of you who believe I’m overstating the facts when I describe Ethan’s energy, this morning we had the following conversation:
“Hey Mom, c’mere, let me show you something!”
“What is it, Ethan?”
“C’mere! It’s really cool, it’s in my room!”
“Can’t you just tell me what it is?”
“No, I have to show you! C’mon Mom, please? C’mere!”
So I went. And here’s what he showed me:
Second Note: He didn’t always just have a mattress on the floor a la college-kid-in-his-first-crappy-apartment. We were forced to remove his very nice headboard/footboard/rails combo because no matter what threats and discipline we meted out, we couldn’t stop him from jumping on the bed. Eventually it broke, and Greg, at the end of his rope, just took the damned thing apart and carried it to the basement.
Third Note: For those of you who think you know better and could correct this behavior, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to let you give it a shot. You go right ahead, and while you’re laboring away, I’ll be standing in the corner snickering.
Ah, well. “Pick your battles,” they say. “Accept the things you cannot change,” they say.