Monday, February 4, 2008

Luke, Meet Meltdown. Meltdown, Meet Luke.

Luke, Meet Meltdown. Meltdown, Meet Luke.
Current mood: bitchy
Category: Life

My son is fairly even-tempered, though prone to calm and pacifism (thanks to Dad) and prone to outrageous explosions of irrational and catastrophic outpourings of emotion (thanks to me). Today was the latter, amplified in a huge way.

The weekend was non-stop. Luke had missed three days of school last week due to illness, attended school on Thursday, and then Friday was a snow day. Should I have sat him down and made him do makeup homework on his snow day? Probably. But I let him play, for the most part. Friday night, he went to Dad's, and more play time. Saturday he went sledding with his dad and another dad/son combo, then came home fairly close to bed time. Sunday, both Craig and I had numerous, hours-long obligations at St. Paul from morning till night, requiring us to have Luke in tow and long story longer, not a whole lot of homeworking was accomplished. So add to that tonight's batch of homework, and the child has about 20 sheets to complete, tests to study for, an Academic Fair topic to decide on, etc. Second grade, ya'll.

With the clusterfuck of activity surrounding us this weekend, I didn't notice that Luke had a Cub Scout meeting after school, until Chuck, the leader, reminded me. So when I picked Luke up at 3, I had to break the news that he wasn't going home, but rather staying at school till 4:30. Luke's not real good with surprise, unplanned, ill-thought-out random changes of plan. Particularly not when he's overtired, overwhelmed and as too much shit on his plate. He'd awakened at 4:30 am last night after a bad dream, came into my bed, and proceeded to snore for the next 3 hours (trust me, I was awake to hear it). He cried when he woke up at 7:30 am and was acutely still exhausted. So it was no surprise that he started to cry when he heard he had a Scout meeting.

I employed the help of Wes and Chuck to cheer him up...a gaggle of mind-altering attempts to snap Luke out of his mood, which only apparently worked once I had left. Scouts went fine, but on the way home, Luke and I started to talk about how he needed to buckle down and get this makeup homework done. He claims that his teacher has given him 24 hours in which to finish it, or else he will be punished by missing recess until it's all done, which is, essentially, punishing him for being sick, or punishing him because his parents didn't crack the homework whip over the weekend. Either of which activates my inner anarchist, and gnawing desire to tell his teacher to fuck the fuck off, and the poor kid will hand the homework in when he's good and ready. "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?" (No, I didn't voice that to Luke, for once. I kept my damn mouth shut.)

In the meantime, I'm conflicted because I want my son to assume responsiblity for his school work, for his life....little lessons that will make him a good man. Preferably a smart, good man! And I truly feel I can guide without doing the work for him, or coddling him into a false sense that either Craig or I will make ALL the bad disappear when he's faced with conflict. That's not reality.

Once home from Scouts, he spent a few minutes talking on the web cam to my brother and my nephew, and then got to work and completed 3 pages of the makeup work, all the time ballyhooing that he was "aggravated" and "going crazy" and the tears were a'flowing, and his pencil kept breaking, and the world was a colossal pit of despair and agony, ya know, the usual.

Gracefully, Craig arrived a little early to pick up Luke for the evening, so I took him aside and explained the Horrors Of Our Son's Day, et al, and prepped him for what's sure to be a difficult night of Daddyhood. Then again, with any luck, Luke's mood will swiftly improve now that he's in the presence of his favorite buddy instead of his tyrant mother. I'll find out tomorrow.

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