Thursday, November 10, 2011

They'll thank me one day

The headache was probably the result of all the caffeine I had this morning, but that wasn't really my fault. They just kept bringing it to me. First the man at the drive-through donut place I bribed the kids with on the way to church mom group, then the delightful helpers at Chick-fil-A who won't let you get up out of your seat even though it's a fast food restaurant.

Or it could have been the fact that I ate both donuts and Chick-fil-A in the same four-hour period. Whatever the cause, the throbbing of the right side of my head combined with all the hysterical whining (daylight freaking savings stupid time) to make our afternoon plans to write letters and draw pictures for our sponsored child not go exactly according to plan.

I sat them down at the table with stickers, paper, markers and crayons and held up our globe.

This is where we live, in Texas, you see?  It's pink.  Right here.  No that's Belize, we're up here.  OK, everyone see Texas?  Good.  We're in Texas.

Matthew (not his real name) lives in Kenya.  Kenya is over here on the continent of Africa.  To get to Kenya, we would have to fly in an airplane alllllll the way over here, over the whole ocean, across the whole...Wes, do you need to go potty?  No?  OK, well it's not polite to touch that unless you're in the bathroom... OK, so Kenya is very far away.  It would take us several days to get there from here.


And we're going to write some letters and draw some pictures to send to Matthew, so we can get to know him and learn more about his family and what Kenya is like.


Charlie asks if there are more Buzz Lightyear stickers.  I tell him no.  He pouts.

OK, so who would like a piece of paper?  OK, here you go...

No, buddy, these are all the Buzz stickers we have.  I know you're sad about that.  Sometimes it makes it an extra special gift when you give someone something you really love.

More pouting.  This time with heavy nose breathing for added emphasis.


I suggest they draw a picture of our family or something.  Wes makes three wild circles on a piece of construction paper, says he's done, hops down off the bench, and asks me for more juice.

I told you no more juice.  You may have water if you are thirsty.

I resist the urge to point out that Matthew would be thrilled to walk five feet to the refrigerator door, push a button, and have clean, fluoridated water dispensed instantly into his glass and instead settle for Wes slithering to the ground facedown and screaming.  Ironic.

I had decided earlier Wes didn't need to nap today.  It went not very well.  As you might expect (time change!).

Meanwhile, dear, sweet, thoughtful Charlie was creating a three-dimensional space ship out of construction paper and tape.  I tried to tell him gently that whatever we send has to fit in a small envelope and suggested he color a picture instead.  He ignored me and got a diaper box out of the garage, put everything inside, and taped it up securely.

I couldn't break his heart, so I tried to get him to let me "mail it on my way to school tomorrow".  He would rather we all go to the post office on Saturday to mail it together.  If one of you gets a strange diaper box with a paper spaceship inside in the mail, consider this is your explanation.

He included a note he wrote himself as I told him one painstaking letter at a time: "Dear Matthew, We want to help you go to school."  He kills me with the sweetness.  Absolutely kills me.

And by this time Wes was having a full-blown manic-depressive episode on the kitchen floor (yes, we were still upset about the juice).  Charlie was done with his letter and box, so it was quite obviously time to turn the TV back on and stop trying so hard to broaden everyone's horizons.

Epilogue: I made them soup for dinner (from a can), no one ate, everyone screamed about something, Wes got a time-out for spitting soup down his shirt, I yelled a lot, Ryan came home, tantrum, tantrum, tantrum, minor head injury, tantrum, and everyone was in bed by 6:45.  Ryan and I made some tortilla soup together and ate it in front of the TV.  Family time = precious.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Daylight savings time can kiss my ass. That is all. --abby

Sarah said...

Tortilla soup sounds so good, and 6:45 bedtimes are the best! J and C were down by 7:15, but Garry lingered. My fault-- he's just so chatty and engaging when it's only him. DST sucks.

Brooke said...

Oh, mercy. I'm completely overwhelmed by the spaceship in the diaper box. Bless his heart. And I can empathize with Wes. I had a couple student conferences today that left me wanted to spit soup down my shirt and throw a fit on the floor.

Elsha said...

We have regular meltdowns around here about not getting more chocolate milk. I am a tyrant apparently.

Also, "tantrum, tantrum, tantrum, minor head injury, tantrum" is pretty much the best summary ever. We've all been there!

jen said...

love it! Sara had a tantrum this morning over me telling her she could have a marshmallow and hershey kiss AFTER we took daddy to work today meaning it would be 8:30 am vs. 7:45 am. World War 13.5 million started. Kids in bed at 6:45 sounds awesome. I was aiming for that last night...I got sara read to by 6:50 then Scott took over. It took him over 30 minutes to help her get on PJ's, brush teeth, wash her face, and go potty. Seriously?! ugh.

andreaunplugged said...

Forget about sex education, you should just offer up your house for observation to middle and high school kids to see what having kids is like. BEST BIRTH CONTROL EVER!!!

WhitMc said...

You kill me. And I want to hug Charlie. I am also going to stalk my mailbox in the hopes that a diaper box is arriving with a 3-D spaceship inside.

Hillary said...

I'm impressed you're even trying to teach them that other people matter. I occasionally make some half-hearted lecturing attempt in that direction, but then next thing I know we're talking about Ironman or dinosaurs in California and my point is gone.

BeeBeeZfa said...

That is hilarious. I can just imagine your sheer exasperation. As a side note, my father is from Kenya and it is an incredible part of the world. Very poor (as you know) but the children are the sweetest thing and will quickly find a way into your heart. Good on you for doing your part. They need it.

Phoenix Rising said...

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Which is probably how you felt....

Phoenix Rising said...

Also, I kind of want to be your family's sponser child because I would totally dig the drawings & 3D crafts from the kids.

Christy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CP said...

These little glimpses into your day totally make MY day. I love your positive attitude!

sarah said...

OMG, I hope I get a construction paper space ship in a diaper box in my mail tomorrow! LOL

Becca, you are such a fantastic writer--every single time I read this blog, I am happy for the rest of the day.