I got my fill of dirt time this weekend. I spent a couple of hours both days getting my back yard borders weed-free. I look at all the bare spots and I think about something hardy and not attention-requiring that I could plant that would make the place look prettier, but I was never all that good about plants and planting and so I just concentrate on keeping the weeds out. The last couple of years the yard really got away from me, but this year I've gotten off on the right foot and hope to stay there.
Its a bonus weekend when you get a lot done AND have time to ride, and I did so I'm chalking this one into the "win" column.
The kids came back from their father's yesterday. The transitions affect them differently. Amazon Girl tends to be a little quiet the first part of the day. Emotionally she continues to resist living in two households with two different rules. Her dad doesn't like her to share any information about his life, and so she rides herd on her brother, shutting him down quickly if he starts to talk about what they did or who they did it with. Its hard to know how to react sometimes. It bothers me a great deal that they are being expected to police themselves inthis way. Its technically not "keeping secrets," but I think they're being asked to do something that puts them in conflict with both parents. And yet its not my place to tell my ex how to parent. I tell them that they don't have to share anything at all with me, that I love them and I care that they are happy and safe with their dad and beyond that nothing matters. I hope this is the right response.
Racecar Man is usually a little off the hook the first day back. He has never handled transitions well. His normal oppositional behavior is often worse the first two days, and this weekend was no exception. Last nights' refusals to get ready for bedtime lost him the right to have Skylanders time this morning. I had to be really careful with my facial expressions, as watching him sob hysterically while he was brushing his teeth was simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. That kid knows how to turn on the drama.
I expected him to resume the protest this morning, but as he is capable of doing, he resolved himself to the situation and decided to approach things from the angle of "what can I have" rather than "what I don't have."
I'm folding laundry while I wait for the coffee pot to finish. He uncharacteristically wakes himself and comes to find me. "Do I get to play Skylanders this morning?" he asks, and I'm glad I'm folding the laundry so that I can pretend to be very occupied with it. "No, I'm sorry, you cannot," I say, as politely as possible. I steel myself for the waterworks.
"Can I watch TV?"
"Can I watch something on Netflix?"
"I don't see why not."
"Will you help me find something to watch?"
I think most 7 year old boys would ask me to look for Sponge Bob episodes to watch, but not this kiddo. We sit down at the laptop and the first thing he wants me to search for is anything that tells how dams are built. Last night I sang "Roll on Columbia" at bedtime, and it seems he remembers us talking about the many hydroelectric dams along our big river.
We don't find anything on dams, but as I scroll through the historical documentaries, he points at the screen and his exclamations of "That one, Mommy!" and "Oooh, cool! I can't wait to see it!" make me smile. His picks? Air Force One, Submarines, the history of aviation, and the Hubble Telescope repair mission.
I find his preference for technical information to be one of the more intriguing aspects of his autism. His sister and I are alike in our love for fiction and fantasy; my son is wired differently. He watches the story about the astronauts repairing the Hubble Telescope raptly while he eats his breakfast and protests mightily when it is time for school.
Like many adults in my generation, I grew up watching the original Star Trek series. While Captain Kirk certainly was good looking, my crush was always on Spock. Perhaps that was God's way of preparing me to be easily able to identify ways of outweighing our challenges with positives.
Spock: I'm raising him. WIN.