This week has just been filled to the brim. There were PE classes that needed teaching, because my 4th graders were hanging on the edges of their sanity, wanting to learn to spike a ball in volleyball, after I had already taught them the bump and the set. The spike was to be our crowning glory… the Christmas Morning of all their weeks spent bumping a ball back and forth and over a net. So, I stepped up and said, “This is the spike. Please watch as I demonstrate it.” Of course, the demonstration was from a forty-something, mother-of-two who never gets enough sleep. I think they were expecting a performance more along the lines of what Misty May and Kerri Walsh pulled off in the sand during previous Olympics. Also, I had to come home and apply the antiseptic-smelling sports cream to ALL THE MUSCLES after Spike Day, because of that part where I said “forty-something, mother-of-two who never gets enough sleep.” I had to get my cheater reading glasses out to read the directions on the back of the sports cream tube first, but aging is a topic we’ll discuss another day.
We were talking about my busy week. The PE classes, and the preschool open houses with chili dinners, and the Bible studies. The grocery-fetching, which did happen, and the laundry-doing, which didn’t happen, and youth group at the church, and two coffee dates with friends, and dinners to make, because boys are ALWAYS, ALWAYS hungry. And then remember how I handed over dollar bills last week, which could have gone toward eggs and milk, but which I chose to give to the housekeeper that we can barely afford? Well, that financial decision has panned out to be the golden egg of all decisions, because our house currently looks like a band of renegade monkeys, who run drugs across state lines in old Trans Ams, lives here. Oh, we haven’t fallen back into a state where mildew is growing in our toilets, but our kitchen counters are currently invisible beneath the heaps of dirty dishes, the piles of mail, the seventeen thousand Lego bricks and the forty-seven hundred pounds of paperwork that comes home from schools.
Also, you should know that my patience for this blog post tonight is currently running at an all-time high, because my beloved Big Mac just closed my window unexpectedly and left me with NOTHING.
As in, I just lost everything that I just spent the past thirty minutes trying to dream up and get typed out. Naturally, my expression right now is a whole lot like this:
Do you know what very busy, forty-something, mothers-of-two who don’t get enough sleep really enjoy adding to their already full, giant kitchen wall calendars, when there’s no more room to write anything in the daily boxes?
That would be School Picture Day.
Yesterday was Thing 2’s picture day at his preschool. So, I did what any neurotic, OCD mama would do: I slaved over the hot iron to press a long-sleeved, button-up shirt for him on Tuesday night, after I had already taught spiking all day and been to Bible study all night. It was literally THE CUTEST shirt, and yes! THAT was going to be his Picture Day outfit.
On Wednesday morning, when he was fresh out of the shower and streaking through the house, I told him that we needed to get dressed in THE NICE CLOTHES, because it was Picture Day. Yay! Picture Day! WE ARE GOING TO DRESS UP!
I tried to make the event sound like a party, complete with streamers and helium balloons and party horns and cupcakes with real cream cheese frosting, because Thing 2 hates, loathes and despises the dressing up clothes. We have come to an agreement at our house that he MUST wear jeans and dressier shirts over his favorite Denver Broncos jersey and sweatpants on Sundays, when we go to church. The rest of the week is when he wears the sweats and the gym shorts and every other outfit that makes him look as well-dressed as Nacho Libre.
On Wednesday morning, when I announced that we were going to wear something nice to school, Thing 2 immediately zipped into his bedroom and yelled, “Yes! I know what I can wear! I can wear a really nice sweatshirt!” And then he pulled a sweatshirt out of his closet that is so ratty, it has been demoted to THIS IS WHAT YOU WEAR WHEN YOU MAKE THE MUD PIES AND PAINT THE HOUSE.
I showed him the already-ironed shirt with all the buttons.
In a typical passionate, four-year-old response, Thing 2 threw himself onto his bedroom floor and yelled, “I don’t want to wear that! IT’S NOT A CHURCH DAY!!!”
There are battles that all parents need to dig their heels in on and fight, but arguing with Thing 2 over what he’s going to wear each morning is a war that even William Wallace wouldn’t have taken on.
Yes. You can take his life, but you’ll never take his freedom to dress like he’s headed to his daily workout at the gym.
In the end, Thing 2 and I compromised. I let go of my hopes and dreams of him wearing the long-sleeved, button-down shirt that I had labored to iron, and he gave up his desire to wear the ratty sweatshirt. Instead, he wore an Under Armour polo, with a real collar.
And then the head-to-head combat of Jeans Vs. Sweatpants began, which I won. Sometimes, school pictures end up being less of a portrait-style face shot, and more of a body shot in Small Town, USA. I decided that a dressier polo shirt wasn’t going to be featured in a school picture with a pair of all-cotton sweats from the sale rack at Walmart, that are currently sporting a hole the size of a nickle in the left knee.
Jeans it was.
This morning, after Thing 2 had hopped out of the shower, he ran straight to his bedroom and yelled, “It’s not a church day and I wore jeans yesterday! I’M NOT WEARING JEANS TODAY, TOO!!!”
And, just like that, he had spoken.
The little varmint picked his very own outfit out, and I made sure I announced to every teacher at his preschool this morning that YES! HE CHOSE HIS OWN CLOTHES THIS MORNING, AFTER THE TRAUMA OF JEANS AND A COLLAR YESTERDAY!
Y’all have a good weekend.