Monday, May 2, 2011

Making the Children Scream

Parenthetically (so I had better use some parentheses...) I worked hard today on altering my attitude, as I wrote over the weekend.  Gonna try it for a few weeks.  All will be well.

I really do think I may move out to an apartment sooner than later.  Simon and I have discussed the fact that renting is a waste of money. Better to buy of course.  But I need time:  to find out how much money I have available when Si makes me a buyout offer; to decide what I want; to obtain a mortgage.  The kids and I could make do with two bedrooms for now...

Sara was recalling the old place today.  I'm surprised at what she remembers.
"Hey, Mom.  I had a walk-in closet at the cabin, didn't I?"
"But Nate had a bigger one."
"Yeah, his was a lot bigger."
"Well, if we moved back there, I would want Nate's room, with the bigger closet."
"That 'room' was an open loft.  You wouldn't have a place to be alone."
"I'd have a big closet, though."
"But no privacy."
"If I wanted privacy, I could go in the closet!"

I get the hint.  Sara's checklist grows.  Cat.  Door painted with blackboard paint.  Big closet.

Simon is traveling for most of this week.  Doing the single mom routine is really not that bad.   I'm not lonely - au contraire!  I am too busy to think about being lonely.  Today was go, go, go.  I shouldn't use the past tense.  Sara arrived at my elbow just now.  "My shoulders hurt!" 
"Hmmm..  Did you do something to them today?" 
"No.  Except for climbing trees." 
"Well, that could do it.  Want an Ibuprofen?" 
"No... Maybe if you rubbed them for a few minutes..."  She no sooner got her rub and went back to bed than Nate came out.  He grabbed a cup and started pouring himself some water.  "Nate." 
"It's 11 PM.  If you drink water now, you're going to pee in the bed." 
"Oh, yeah."

I elicited screams twice today.  Not a bad day's work. 

First, a shriek of dismay when I said it was high time to plant lettuce.  I won't be here much longer, but I'll be coming by all the time, I suspect.  I can take care of the veggie garden well enough.  The kids love to kick their soccer balls against the east wall of the house,and have chalked the outline of a goal on it. But the lettuce and the cilantro need to go in the bed not far from the goal-wall, 'cause they will fry on the south side of the house.  This KILLS Nathan.  He can't believe that he has to give up his wall for the sake of salad. Sometimes he tries to get away with it.  Then I confront him and say,"Nathan Charles..."  "What!  I didn't DO anything!"  I invite him to accompany me to the garden, where I show him the perfectly circluar patches of mooshed lettuce.  "Let's see..., what is circular and about the size of a soccer ball? 

Yeah, it is finally getting spring-like, and I was out weeding one of the gardens while the kids played with their friends Nicki and Bryce out back.  Alarmed noises.  Bryce came running up.  "Kate!  Kate! There's a rat on the back porch!  A DEAD rat!"  "Well, pick it up and throw it away."  Shocked sounds from all the children.  "NO WAY!"  I dug into my bucket of garden stuff and came up with a dustpan.  "Here, Sara.  You can poke him in to the dustpan with a stick or something."  She looked amused but scared.  "No way am I getting close to that rat!  I could get Plague."  Oh, all right.  I allowed the kids to lead me to the resting place of the rat.  Right in the center of the back door mat.  Looks like a random cat has joined my long list of admirers.  Why can't they all leave rats on my porch!?  Now, I missed my opportunity to eat the slug, but judging by the way the kids were dancing around in grossed-out-ness, I needed to do something.  I picked it up by the tail, causing eyes to go wide.  If only it were this easy to impress adults.
I held it up.  "Now what should I do with it?"  Bryce got that look in his eye that kids get when they are about to suggest something outrageous that they only half-hope will happen.  "Throw it!"  "Hmmm..., " I said, letting it swing a bit.  "Where?  At you?"  All the kids braced themselves to run, but they couldn't quite do it.  They were horrified, yet enchanted by the idea of the rat being thrown at them.  "OK..."  My swings got larger.  "One...two...THREE!  Psych!"  I didn't do it.  What if someone had seen this suburban mother, still in skirt and stockings, flinging a rat at a group of children?  That is how people get arrested.  And get Plague.


  1. I'm not sure if I could have picked that rat up? Dead or not dead. Kind of glad you didn't fling it though, as amusing as it would also be...!