Friday, March 18, 2005

Long Blessed Week.

My goodness, it’s been a busy week!

Since Jasmin’s been training in Columbus this week, I’ve had her nearly-nine-year-old son pretty much full-time. He was missing his momma pretty bad, so I was trying to keep him as busy/distracted as possible all week. So after school, we spent the remaining daylight outside playing basketball. I’m old and out of shape and unaccustomed to so much physical effort.

I’m also not accustomed to rolling out of bed at 6:15 to drive to town to get The Boy on the bus. I’m used to being up that early; that’s usually when my brother drops my niece off. But I’m not used to actually driving. And like, talking to people who aren’t four months old; such people tend to be much more demanding conversationally.

In any case, I loaded the child up on Thursday and took him down to Columbus to see his mom. For whatever reason, he chose that day to test me as much as humanly possible. Jasmin and family live in the ghetto, and he usually isn’t allowed to play outside. But a kid down the street set up a basketball hoop in the vacant parking lot across the street on Wednesday, and The Boy wanted to go and play.

Not today, I told The Boy. Today we have to hurry and get everything done so we can leave and see the mother you’ve been missing so horribly all week long. But he just wants to play for a few minutes! No, The Boy, if I let you out of my sight, you’ll never get back in, so start your homework. But he only wants five minutes! He never gets to play basketball or do anything fun! He hasn’t played in weeks! Nevermind, dear The Boy, that I’ve taken you out to shoot for hours the last two days in a row, much to my poor old body’s detriment. No, I hadn’t, I was informed by The Boy, he never got to play basketball.

So after being threatened with having even his memory of television/games/the outdoors entirely removed, the hard way, he finally started to sort of read his book. I was running around trying to locate all of the crap Jasmin wanted me to bring down with me to Columbus. He was trying to sneak out of the house.

It really wasn’t the night for me to ground him. I really wanted him to have fun with his mom, and I really didn’t want to break his mother’s heart by telling them both that we were just staying home and he was going to sit in his room all night. So I conjured up wells of patience I didn’t know I had as I screamed: “Don’t you go out that door! Don’t you dare step off that porch! YOU GET BACK ON THAT PORCH! OR ELSE! THAT’S IT! YOU’RE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE!” and didn’t actually beat him severely about the head and shoulders or cancel the trip. Or more pleasingly to my immediate temper, both.

It took more than half an hour longer to leave than it should have because The Boy happens also to hold the title for World’s Pokiest Child. I held the door open for three whole minutes (I know because I counted: one Mississippi, two Mississippi…) for him to walk the perhaps ten yards between the porch and the car. We’d driven about a mile before we discovered that he’d forgotten his swim trunks, and had to go back.

I ran upstairs and was looking for his swim trunks. Since he’s not my child, and I never took him swimming last summer, I really had no idea where his swim trunks would be kept. He had been supposed to be following me upstairs. After I’d searched his entire room, I went back downstairs, where I found The Boy engaged in the oh-so-helpful activity of opening and shutting the screen door, for no apparent reason. I screamed: “GET UP HERE, NOW!, OR WE’RE LEAVING WITHOUT YOUR SWIM TRUNKS, AND YOU’LL NOT PLAY YOUR GAMEBOY THE WHOLE TRIP! AND WE WON’T STOP AND GET ANYTHING TO EAT!...” Three days later, he actually made it up the stairs and found his swim trunks.

Then he looked at the time, screamed at me that we needed to hurry up so we could see his mom. And then my head exploded.

We then spent another fifteen minutes at McDonald’s where the unusually inept staff, even for a fast food restaurant, kept us waiting while they got more ones, while they figured out who was supposed to be getting our order, while they fixed the fact that they messed up our order, and then again when they messed it up a second time.

Anyway, traffic was unusually light, for once, and we made it down in pretty good time. We were almost forty-five minutes later than I’d planned, but hell, I didn’t get lost or anything, and found the hotel straight off. So it was okay. We had a good time at the hotel.

The Boy found some friends at the pool. He was diving for quarters with a kid named Max when Max’s four year-old little brother pooped in the pool. It was pretty funny because his poo was just sort of floating in the pool, and they had to get the skimmer thing to get it out. The little guy, Xander, was pretty embarrassed, but traumas pass pretty quickly when you’re four, and he was back in the pool ten minutes after his dad got him cleaned up a little.

We left late from the hotel, and then there was a huge, mismarked detour on I-270 and I ended up picking Brittany up from school forty minutes after I was supposed to be there. The Boy was pretty impressed by the Deaf School. He’d never seen so many deaf kids before, and was surprised that a St. Patrick’s Day Party at the deaf school would have such loud music. I explained that some of the kids were only hard of hearing, and even the ones who weren’t could feel the vibrations from the bass, and that’s why the music was so loud.

I got him home at about 10:20, got him in bed, and then had to leave for Shelby to take Britty home. I actually almost ran out of gas, like an idiot, because I was tired and not paying attention. I rolled into the station on fumes. I got home myself a little after 11. After debriefing my parents and getting the next day’s plans all worked out, I actually fell asleep about 12:30.

I was up at 6:00 this morning, to get The Boy on the bus. I cleaned for a while after he left, since Jasmin was coming home tonight and I wanted things to look nice so she could relax. But exhaustion made my good intentions rather short lived.

I came home, went to sleep about 9:30 and got back up at 12:30. I hit the shower, rolled in the car, got The Boy off the bus and then started today’s traumas. Will post a new blog for that. This is already like three pages long.