Sometimes, when everyone is trying to talk to me at once or I'm on the phone or I'm just frazzled trying to cook dinner...oh hell all the time, but especially in the van when he's two rows behind me and hard to hear or I'm yelling "What?!" through the locked door while Grant and I have "adult time"...it makes me NUTS how Isaac overtalks
. He runs everything he has to say through a filter that multiplies it by 5. For instance, when someone else might say, "Can I have a popsicle?" Isaac will say, "Hey Mom, I was wondering, and I know I already had a treat this morning, but I just LOVE the flavor you have when I saw it in the freezer and I PROMISE I will eat my dinner so do you think that just MAYBE please please please I could have a popsicle, and I promise I'll throw away the wrapper and not leave the stick on the table?"
I am not exaggerating. I'm not even doing what is phonetically exaggerating but spelled correctly, however that works. Most of what Isaac says to me tends to be asking for something. It's especially exasperating because, 1. he tends to just not hear my "yes" and ask again in a minute, in ways that make NO SENSE, 2. I am not some hardass he has to manipulate by any stretch of the imagination. He really could just ask and get the same damn results. And 3., I have talked to him about it several times.
Typical conversation starts with me doing homework or editing at the main computer:
Isaac: "I wanted to ask you a question, and I know you're doing something, and I know it isn't dark yet and we can't usually use computers before it gets dark, but -"
Jake, who is eavesdropping and sees where this is going and wants to get the drop on Isaac: "MOM CAN I USE THE LAPTOP?!"
Isaac: "Mom no don't listen to Jake, that isn't fair at all, I was just getting ready to ask you a question and Jakey heard me and so he's trying to cheat, but I was already going to tell you that I was wondering - "
Elise, who heard Jake: "NO MOM LET ME USE THE LAPTOP!!"
Isaac (getting frantic, near tears): "Elise is doing the same thing Jake is doing, they're mean and we're a family and they're supposed to be nice, I just wanted to ask you a question and they're ruining everything, can you please send them out of the room so I can ask you without anyone else interrupting?"
Me: "Isaac, I know you want to use the laptop. You can. Next time just ask without the big leadup."
Jake: "Can I be after him?"
Jake: "Yay! I get to use the laptop!"
Isaac: "Wait, what? He can use the laptop? I wanted to use the laptop! I know it isn't dark yet and we usually have to wait until it's dark but - "
Elise: "Me being after Jake?"
Isaac: "NO! No, it's not jake, it's me, Mom tell them to leave I can't even ask you anything -"
Me: "Isaac I said YOU CAN USE THE LAPTOP. YOU CAN USE THE LAPTOP. The answer is YES! Ok?"
Isaac: "...oh. Alright! Thank you mommy, I'll set a timer so Jake knows when it's his turn and then Elise can set a timer for Jake, I'm just gonna get on pbskids.org or starfall and I'll see you in a little while!"
Isaac has so much anxiety, and I feel bad because it's gotten to where, at times, it is hilarious...like the other day when he was sobbing and going crazy because someone else got to the rocket Grant helped the kids' launch before him to bring it back, and Jake casually said "Somebody's making a fussy wussy again". *sigh* I don't know how to not laugh about that. It doesn't help him any that everybody else in the house is unusually chill, I guess.
Isaac is really the only one who seems to feel as though he's in competition with the other kids or like he is threatened by being one of several. I really don't think we favor anyone in daily life but...I don't know, I guess when I think of it Isaac has such a low threshold for EVERYTHING and really, sibling issues are just one tiny part of the complex web that is "life's frustrations".
On to pics and daily life:
This little dog followed us to and from the trolley both trips one day last week. Elise also played with him in our front yard for about half an hour, before his owner came home and called him (with plenty of scolding for escaping again).
Necessary supplies for trolley riding.
She and I waited for TWO AND A HALF HOURS outside of advisement at the college. I downloaded three different pbskids games for her to play during much of the time. I am really feeling like "How did I live before an iPhone?" increasingly often.
What I see when I try to take an afternoon nap.
Grant had the day off Thursday and was able to come with us to the kids' symphony camp's end-of-camp show. Jake ended up grouped in with some older kids and actually playing songs on his tiny violin, and Aaron had a flute solo. Annie and Isaac did great, too, they knew their parts very well and you can really see everyone learned a lot...Grant took more videos and things that will be forthcoming.
Not long after bringing them home, I drove Grant to the airport - he's been in California for work and is getting back late tomorrow. He's been taking and uploading pics here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/itswalkertime
In the meantime, I have other lovers.
This was Elise and my lunch Friday while the kids were at their last day of camp - eaten salted, on crackers.
We have thunderstorms rolling in every afternoon now.
I let my kids jump on the trampoline in thunderstorms, which is something I remember doing with much fondness. It's kind of hilarious because I've taught them to count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder to know how close it is, and to come in if the lightning gets too close. So I'll walk out there under the deck roof to peak at them and see everyone stop jumping and laughing when there's a flash, and counting on their fingers until the thunder, and then basically being like "GAME ON!"
The parking lot of the library where we go for TLC is SO BEAUTIFUL.
I mean, as parking lots go, you know?
Little kids waving to Daddy. There's been a lot of texting going on.
Laura brought Brian and Elizabeth and they all hung out with Karen and I, and Georgia (Karen's little daughter/Elise's best friend). The big kids always vanish to the connected community center to socialize as though their parents aren't in the next building over the whole time.
Outside of Whole Foods eating Rice Dream pies.
I spent a long time on phone calls yesterday morning - to get everything in order for my older four kids' homeschool evaluations (and letters of intent, for the little boys), and Elise's doctor paperwork and VPK hoohaw, for preschool in the mornings. We're just about ready to go and everyone will be (re/)starting next Monday, the 22nd.
I'm taking everyone up to St Louis for church in the morning. Church is actually way easier WITHOUT Grant, because he is just way more stressed by having them all in Mass, and more distracted by trying to parent in church, than I am. I've suggested he sit on the other side of the sanctuary from us several times :p
This is a little 20 second clip of the latest thing Aaron's come up with lately, on the piano:
I'm trying to figure out what to do with Ananda re: music and art...her GMYS (Greater Miami Youth Symphony) teacher from camp is suggesting we take her up to the Miami Dade Kendall campus on Sunday afternoons, where they have a specific cello and bass teacher, for cello, rather than bringing her to the local Friday afternoon lessons her brothers will be continuing at - since they don't really have a teacher that is a cellist, so they can only get her so far. As it is, I will be at the Kendall campus on Saturday mornings for class (it's about half an hour away); I don't know how much of our weekends I want to commit, here...weekends are seeming more precious lately what with Grant's work weeks leaving him little time at home. But I think that would be really good for Annie, and it's FREE (aside from gas, I guess).
Her art therapist just moved to a neighborhood that's half an hour away, rather than >15, like it has been (we go to her). So that will be more of a drive, though it is flexible scheduling. I could presumably set it up so that her cello and art therapy are both on Sundays to save on gas and hassle but then that is gonna eat up all of Sunday afternoon every week.
I was also perusing the Dance Empire fall schedule, since I still get the registration emails, and it kind of sucks that we really can't put them in anything even if we can afford it...they aren't offering anything for the ages/levels that A and A are on, on days we could actually do it. Year before last, they rearranged their whole schedule for Aaron's availability...but I'm not really willing to have dance take over our entire lives again (they did that because they knew he'd give them an edge competing; it's not worth it to them if we aren't going to do a lot of travelling with them and have them there for a lot of special rehearsals). I alternately think it is just fine that we aren't doing that anymore...and literally gut-wrenching :/ Parenting is hard, man! I feel such guilt when I think of how Tawanna especially taught Aaron for free, paid his way to competitions, etc as an investment, and how she was SO HAPPY and hugging and thanking me at the end of the Broadway show...but it's like...the little kids and I were spending OUR LIVES in the car and twiddling our thumbs at the park between driving, and it got so unmanageable so fast (we paid $600 just for recital costumes that year, and hundreds more for tickets and dvds of shows, and let's just not discuss New York). Both of them miss it a lot. But they also have instruments and scouting and social lives they didn't then, now. Ananda gets zero excercise, though. But she really doesn't have a dance body type. Argh.
Soooo yeah, over and out.