Saturday, July 25, 2009

Two Down and One To Go

Looking at the calendar, I've realized there is only about a month of summer left. Baseball season for the boy is winding down, the end of summer rec is looming and the back to school sales have begun to peek their heads around the corner.
Having two kids, I both dread and look forward to the last weeks of summer. I hate those last few weeks when all the activities have ended, they're both bored out of their minds and decide that pissing each other off is the last entertainment option open to them. This is when my house starts getting really really clean. As a kid I hated it when my mom would say "If you're bored, you can clean your room." As a mom, I totally get where she was coming from. August is the cruelest month, you've had about enough summer but you're not fully prepared for what looms after...winter is close, very close. Up here in the hinterlands, we have about three weeks of what could be defined as fall. We skip all that crunchy leaves and crisp days crap and leap headlong into blizzards and brain numbing cold.
Charlie's latest method of annoying the crap out of his brother is to emit a drawn out, extremely high pitched squeak at random moments. It closely resembles the sound of chalk screeching on a blackboard and while I admire the ability to produce such a sound, it is really nerve wracking. This sound is usually followed by a completely over the top reaction from his older brother, which, of course was the mission objective. Andrew has a slightly more subtle way of inducing histronics from Charlie. He specializes in the muttered insult followed by an act of complete and total innocence upon being busted. Wide eyed, jaw dropped and mild gruntlike sounds of protest accompany the protestations of "I didn't SAY anything!" I find myself making statements like "No one in this house is to talk to anyone else in this house ever again!" and meaning them with every fiber of my being. No one said parenting was a rational act. My kids also specialize in minding each others' business. If they were as perfect as they try to make each other behave, there would be no need for...well, parents. My response to thier constant policing of each other is to remind the offender that until they pay for the other one's college education, they have no say. Neither was in any way responsible for the other's creation so they need to stay out of it. My favorite (and admittedly childish) response is the let the child being policed do the very thing that the other was trying to make them stop doing. Andrew telling Charlie he can't go outside because it's raining leads me to not only let Charlie go outside in the rain, but to join him in puddle jumping and splashing under the downspouts. So there. This obviously doesn't extend to life threatening activities, just the little petty nonsense they tell one another off about on a regular basis. Eventually they'll figure it out and knock it off...right?
There are times when I'd LOVE to relinquish my parenting duties to someone else, but you can rest assured it's not going to be to the 15 and 10 year old...I'm frustrated, not clinically insane.