chapter one - story time for simians
every wednesday morning, my youngest son and i have a date at the library for preschool story time. the "oh so energetic she must not have any kids of her own yet" girl who leads the program lugs a huge stack of themed books in (seriously. how many kids books are there with elephants as the protagonist, and why in the hell am i not a children's book author? well, aside from the random swearing, but that's what an editor is for) and intersperses each story with an active little ditty that has us all waving our fingers and shaking our asses. which is fun when i'm in my kitchen or living room and the ipod has given me, oh, let's say "buffalo stance," but not so much when it's about monkeys jumping on a bed. i'd have me some monkey ass if, in reality, i came home and found that crap happening in my house. damn monkeys jumping around, falling off and getting hurt. no matter how many damn times i told them not to be jumping on the bed.
but i digress. and note that, in human form, this kind of behavior is already happening at my house. usually when i can't hear or see the simians because i'm in the kitchen in my buffalo stance (wearing padded bras, sipping beer through straws).
so we're several weeks into this story time date. i have to usually psyche myself up for it because, for one, it involves a weekly craft project. truth be told, despite rumors of candy grams and such, i'm not a crafty person. i do not own a glue stick. googly eyes scare me. you'd be lucky to find construction paper here.
but mostly, i have to pep talk it in the mirror because of one little boy who attends.
let me preface this little rant by saying no, my progeny are not perfect. there's no such thing. if there were, i'd have graduated from writing children's books to family and childcare guides and have my own talk show by now. however, when my children act up in public in a manner so utterly unacceptable, i'm aware of my role as a mother to sneak in and reinforce better options. short of that, we'll leave.
but this boy who causes me to dread date morning with my own son may not be getting similar guidance. well. ok. he's not. that fact is quite obvious as his mother sits oblivious to the fact that her son is tearing through the room and truly jumping over the other kids seated quietly on their carpet squares while OSESMNHAKOHOY girl reads them books. Sometime within his triathlon, he'll begin screaming out responses to the books. or derogatory comments to the librarian (a trait i find rich at the age of 5). all usually right about the time his hurdle jumping connects with some poor girl's head and that girl's mother shoots the death ray look at this little spider monkey's mom.
at which maybe she'll respond. if "now, honey..." whispered very quietly and without a lot of motivation is a response. more often than not, she's reading the newspaper.
last week, this boy set his sights on my son. fabulous. because my son is pulled into the orbit of happy people pretty easily, i kept him contained as soon as the potential for disaster looked like it could come up. and he listened to me. because honestly, for the most part, he knows that's what he's supposed to do and he knows how he's to behave when we're at the library.
he also knows he's not supposed to get within millimeters of another kid's face and start blowing raspberries and spitting directly toward their mouth or nose. which is what this other kid proceeded to do. to my son. when my son was simply sitting there, wanting to listen to the sixth story about elephants.
"now honey..." came the quiet whisper from his mother when (finally!), after the second serious spit bath prompted me to scoot my soon a bit further and say something all sing-songy like "we shouldn't share our germs with our friends!" to the other little boy.
of course, it didn't work. after the library visit, i couldn't wait to get my son home and disinfect his face and change his clothes. and of course, this weekend, he developed a nice, raspy cold. perfect.
so i took him to the library this past wednesday with my own goal in mind. a goal other than learning what trucks would say if they could talk (eight talking truck books?!). no. i was going to allow my son to unleash his glory on this other little boy because paybacks should be paved in kleenex and children's tylenol. but of course, the other little boy wasn't there.
it was the first time i've ever missed him. but i'll get over it soon because next wednesday will be here before you know it and the evil will return. i've no doubt.
now honey, it's time to go help my son hack up a lung.