Thursday, December 4, 2008

Clean Him Up

#3 is taking a class in school that explores different careers and societal roles his latest unit has been child care, the class has learned little songs, made age appropriate games and learned the ins and outs of caring for young children. As the culminating event of the project students are allowed to bring a three to five year old child to class for one hour, where they put into action all that they've learned. This is my third time bringing a younger sibling to the Jr. High School for this class so, aside from the date and a reminder the night before, I trusted myself to handle it this time as well.

My #3 is an interesting mix of fierce competitiveness, wow, that's a big word for this time in the morning, efficiency, conscientiousness, enough with the big words already, tenderness, passion, self doubt, obsessive/compulsiveness, teasing, and gratitude. I know, sounds like most 13 year old boys, so we'll bare in mind that as a teenager it's in his job description to not remember that for many years I bathed, dressed including shoes, socks and clean underwear, combed hair, dropped off and picked up multiple children with only the occasional mix-up.

Unlike our other children, who tend to spring upcoming events on us at the last minute, "See ya in a week when I'm back from choir tour in Seattle", #3 reminds us until we're ready to pop him in the mouth regularly. Yesterday, the day before bring a child to school you can guess what I heard 8billion several times, "Mom, don't forget that you have to bring #7 to school at 9:45 tomorrow morning".

"Mom, tomorrow, #7, 9:30, you can't forget."

"Now Mom, are you planning to have #7 at my school tomorrow at 9:15?" note that the time gets a bit earlier with each reminder. Did I mention that we suspect a future of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for this child.

The reminders continued into the evening along the same order until suddenly another concern about my parenting skills surfaced. "Uh, Mom, when you bring #7 to my school tomorrow you need to make sure he's cleaned up and dressed nice, " he glances at #7, "like he's dressed now!"

"So chocolate pudding face, superman undies and bare feet are out?" I ask, with only a trace of sarcasm dripping from my tongue.

"Yeah Mom, our school has a dress code ya know." He has the good sense to accompany this last with a sheepish little grin.

I feel it's only fair to mention that #7 has, from birth, some kind of aversion to clothes. If #7 is wearing underwear we consider him dressed, if he's wearing a shirt with the underwear we know he's decided to go out to play, if shoes and pants are part of the ensemble he's been captured by Mom and is going somewhere with her, if his face is clean, his hair is combed, by me not him, and he's dressed including socks and underwear, we watch the heavens for signs of the millennial reign. Yet, silly mom that I am, I'm still fairly confident that I'll be able to pull off getting him to the Junior High with out incident.

This morning, as he left for the bus, #3 mentioned one more time, just to be absolutely, positively sure I could handle it that I needed to have #7 at the doors by the tennis court, at straight up 9:45, but 9:30 would be better, and to make sure #7 was clean and dressed.

I out did myself, I showered him, combed and jelled his hair, put clean clothes on him including underwear. I saved us all from a precipitous appearance of deity, you can thank me later, by putting sandals with no socks despite the cool temperatures, not that he's lost his shoes again or anything.

At straight up 9:45 a.m. #3 greeted us outside the school, with a big hug for #7. I was proud, I had proved to #3 that I could be a responsible Mommy, I double checked on the pick-up time, 10:50 a.m., then left to run a few errands.

10:45 a.m. phone rings, "Hello".

"Mom, where are you?"

"#3, I'm in the car driving to your school." I said without the least trace of aggravation in my voice.

"OK, just checking to see if you remembered."

10:50, I'm pulling up to the school, phone rings, "Mom where are you?"

"I'm outside your school, which you would know if you were out here waiting for me instead of inside calling me!" My voice just may have increased slightly in volume.

So, I still haven't proved to my latest teenager that I'm a competent mother; but, #7 had a great time, came home, took off his sandals, pants and underwear, put on a swimsuit then showed me all the fun things he did with his really great brother at big kid school.


Snarr mama said...

I'm glad that Adam wasn't sick and instead having a great time at a "big" school! Tell him "hi" for me.

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Such a sweet story! Don't ya just LOVE brothers. That picture melts my heart.

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Mrs Lemon said...

how fun is that! Splenda's school encourages parents to come and eat lunch with the students, and she about does backflips when Mr Lemon takes Zesty. She just trots him around the playground like a puppy :)

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Hey, I am new here! What a great blog :)

Octamom said...

It's our 2 of 8 who keeps the schedule (and constant verbal reminders) rolling and it's our 5 of 8 who believes that letting the skin breathe is an important health habit. Hmmmmmm....perhaps we could develop this into a Big Family Personality Trait Theory...the Reminder, the Nudist.....


Givinya De Elba said...

Hi Boy Mom! Thanks for coming over to my blog and leaving that lovely comment :) What a gorgeous family you have! So blessed!

Gwendolyn said...

Your older son sounds EXACTLY like my oldest daughter. She doesn't trust me to do anything right anymore, and I tell her constantly that she has OCD. She reminds me a million times about EVERYTHING. LOL

in time out said...

i am laughing so hard i am crying. oh my, okay, yes you NEED the, you are not kidding that you are the boy mom. i have someone I would like to introduce to you...she only has 4...and my sister only has 5, with 2 adopted older boys, easy...hey take care, and i don't think i can get the chocolate to you soon enough..he he...

Cori Ann said...

Maybe it's just a 3rd child thing. Not that I'm exactly like your #3 but I am willing to admit that I have some of the same tendencies... :)

Irishmama said...

Don't you love it when they doubt your competencies? What happens to these kids to make them suddenly think they know more than you do?

You know I try to embarass my oldest and its not hard; Once when I had to come do a presentation at his school to kick off the fundraiser, I told him over and over again that I was gonna wear a cheerleading outfit.....he kept begging me not to and trying to TELL me what to wear and say.

Thanks for being my only blog commenter........are you on facebook?

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

That is so funny!! Sounds like 3 and 7 had a good time! Makiah already reminds me of things constantly, I can only imagine what I am in for.

How's homeschooling going?

mandi said...

So funny! I love the "if he has a shirt on he's decided to go out and play." So familiar!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

I think we do need to move into the house in your neighborhood. By the way, I can relate to #7, I hate to wear anything but my underwear too. I'll let you guess if this is Mr. or Mrs. NB.

Mummy McTavish said...

When we get out of the car at home I tell the kids to get it all off except for undies or nappies. It's just too hot for anything else. #7 would feel right at home here (except for the lack of siblings), you dont even need a shirt to play! Going out... well, we do wear clothes for that... unless it's grandma's.

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