Resisting a Rest

It's 8:16am and he is eating a bagel with cream at the kitchen counter while I put clean dishes away.  As I drop silverware into its designated slot, he says:
Mom? Mom? Quiet, please. My brain’s still sleeping. 

He got up at 5:41am.

Are we allowed to discuss what it’s like to have your brain enslaved to somebody else’s needs?  Because my brain wasn't really awake yet either.

His sleep schedule seems about as sturdy Nature Valley granola bars and ancient ruins.  His behavior, perhaps related, is similarly crumbly.

And as soon as I mention he may be turning a corner, that his attitude has improved and his demeanor has been more pleasant, he reverts.  He is, after all, still three.

When I say that some days I feel like I live with a Tasmanian devil I'm downplaying the situation.
Is it still hyperbole if you're not exaggerating that much?

I heard someone call it a ginger snap, the way a red head can go crazy on occasion.  And he does, but to be fair, I do too.

His are ordinary rebellions, and he has resilience to spare, so he will survive despite my impatience and irritability, despite my poor mothering choices and my flying off the handle moments.

At night he asks for extra special time, for another sip of milk, for one more book.  He spins a tornado of last minute requests, presents a litany of not-ready-for-bedtime needs, recites the entire Preschooler's Prayer of Procrastination.

Some days I feel like I have energy enough to handle Looney Tunes characters, courage enough to tightrope between sky scraping needs, patience enough to model calm.  Other days I am too weary to brush my teeth before bed.  Fortunately that's one of those things I can manage while my brain is sleeping...


at our house

Love and squalor, the usual.
And an awful lot of pajama time.
Refrigerator full, bathrooms clean-ish, boys happy, mostly.  
More than two prospects, more than total failure or vast success, something fine in the middle.


On Mondays

On Mondays Tucker has the opportunity to tell classmates about his weekend.  Last weekend he went to the Buckeye spring game with his Grandpa.  He had a playdate with some kindergarten friends and built an indoor obstacle course with his little brother.  He spent one morning at the playground, enjoyed delivery pizza on the patio, made a trip to the library for new front porch books.  What he chose to tell his class about, though, was the science experiment he read about and conducted right before bed.  He made paper flowers and folded the petals over to conceal small bugs drawn inside.  The flower petals opened when he put them in water, the thinner the paper, the faster the unfolding.  It had something to do with the wood fibers soaking up the water he said he told his friends.  And then he invited those who might like to know more to find him at recess.

There are so many things I love about Tuck.  The way the whole world is a workshop, the way he shows up early for every course, full of skeptical interrogation and sincere inquisitiveness.  The way he wears his emotions right on the surface, how his eyes, the color of rich compost, brim with empathy and how, when he smiles, it feels like the sun is coming out.  The way he is patient with his brother, his compassion often leading him to sacrifice what he really wants simply for the happiness of his sibling.  The way he remembers his sister but lives mostly present tense, the way he doesn't worry too much.  The way his smart sneaks out even though he knows it's far more important to be kind.

Throughout the week we've done more science, the big book of experiments from Aunt Molly his latest obsession.  We made tornados in a mason jar with dish soap and vinegar.  Next up is a bottle with holes at the base that will spin as it drains to demonstrate water power.

I know that great minds don't all think alike.  But I've been a little afraid to ask whether anyone actually found him at recess.
photo by Jeff Shirazi



1.  we were all there in the woods #ashcave
2.  belated birthday hike #cedar falls
3.  nut cracker
4.  the letter T
5.  flowers for grammy
6.  obligatory big red tub
7.  throwing rocks
8.  snake charmer #wildwonderful

9.  wake up and smell
10.  chili cook-off childcare
11.  egg hunt
12.  "everybody look at daddy!"  #nailedit
13.  brother goodbyes
14.  snake number two (found in the stroller)
15.  #betzboys "cheers"
16.  the help #nutgranola

17.  as seen in columbus #tigertree
18.  pennant class product via @jnferris
19.  hofbrauhaus
20.  nurses in art #cma
21.  aching with grief and misting with gratitude
22.  eight bins, several friends, one bottle
23.  spring is such a show off
24.  president of the coalition of the unwilling

25.  the most difficult thing #earhart
26.  mulch mountain
27.  donut cake
28.  he got spring's memo: grow
29.  boys and worms have a proud history of pairing up
30.  kiai!
31.  bananas float
32.  after school read aloud