20 March, 2013

How're you going?

Overall, things are going okay during David's absence. Especially if you ask me now at 1.30pm, when none of them are here! Ask me at 8pm tonight and you will probably get a different answer.

Our younger two boys' beds.
I've been getting a good deal of work done during the day (editing, emailing, newsletter writing etc.). Today I even have an unusually domestic morning. (That is—vacuumed the whole house, washed up breakfast dishes (not usually my job), two loads of washing, cleaned toilets, changed all the towels, and did grocery shopping!)

But the evenings are tiring. These guys are hard work, even at the best of times, but worse this week because they're missing their dad. Not as physically hard when they were much younger, but more emotionally difficult.

I've had to order one son inside the house after he vowed to never come back in. Why? His brother had offended him by locking him outside for 10 seconds!

Our youngest had trouble going to sleep the night before last. He was worried about a number of things, including whether he'd see his dad on Saturday before he went off to his first ever camp away. His response to not going to sleep? Coming downstairs every 10 minutes to inform me he wasn't yet asleep.

There were fisticuffs in the lounge room last night after dinner. The two younger ones had been "happily" engaging in a bit of friendly after-dinner wrestling (not uncommon these days) and one boy felt he'd been unfairly treated, lashed out with the immediate response of being smashed in the face. Hmmm. End of wrestling.

But not the end of the feud. These two fought verbally all the way through their joint Bible-time. Tricky to manage? Yes. Eventually I separated them and brought one into my bedroom to cool off while we folded washing together.

Not long after I was done with them my eldest said, "Are you coming to do Bible time with me?" I said, "No, I'm having a shower first to calm down and then I'll come in."

In an effort to help them, David's been trying to Skype us when he's free in the evening. This hasn't been a great success. The WiFi where he is is unreliable and frustrating. The boys here don't always manage a conversation well at that time of night (anytime between 6.30 and 8).

On our minds has been our eldest son's class trip to Kyoto trip. He left early this this morning. Thankfully he had a comprehensive "to take" list and managed that almost entirely on his own. He even made his own lunch last night (with consultation).

So, this morning I dragged myself out of bed at 5.15 to say goodbye. He's gone till tomorrow night. He won't see his brothers at home again until Friday night. Friday morning they have a late start, so he'll probably still be asleep when they go to school. It is a hectic 40 hour trip and they don't get much sleep. I know, because David went on this trip four years in a row last term when he taught the 8th graders.

After farewelling him I went back to bed, but struggled to get back to sleep. So we ended up getting up a little later than usual, thankfully it's a Wednesday and school doesn't start until 9.30.

Mornings are generally better around here than evenings. Generally speaking we're almost all morning people (excepting perhaps our youngest, but his age cloaks it a little).

One success this morning was that while eating my breakfast, I coached my middle son through assembling his own lunch (including some left-over home-made pizza). He was impressed with himself. I'm happy because this guy needs to be approached laterally in order for him to help out in ways that aren't, in his mind, "his responsibility". If something stinks of "an extra job", he's out of there. Yet, if you can get him involved he's usually very satisfied with whatever he's managed to achieve.

One of the great personal-coping successes of the week has been scheduling coffee with a friend. She hardly believed me when I said that our 1 1/2 hr conversation had filled my tank for the rest of the week. Even though my kids are older, I still don't get the kind of conversation with them that I need to fill up that social part of me.

What made it an even more exciting conversation is that we were planning my 40th birthday party. My husband is a wonderful man, but his talents don't extend to organising social events like birthday parties. So, I've decided to take matters into my own hands. I've asked this friend to cater, and some other friends to do decorations and a few games. This is the first time since I was 21 that I've had more than just family at a birthday party. About time, don't you think?

Tonight I have to get the boys to karate on my own. That means driving a slowly for about half an hour through awful traffic at 5.30 (it is faster to ride, but my husband wasn't confident I'd find the place on my bike, it is in a neighbourhood that I'm not familiar with). Hopefully it should go alright. I'll be collapsing tonight, though. I hope that no one struggles to go to sleep because I think I'll be headed to bed earlier than usual.

PS Just after I posted this I looked out my glass sliding door and saw half my washing and the pole it was attached to, in the garden. And I didn't think it was very windy today...darn. Thankfully most of it doesn't need a rewash, but one of my big hangers has broken in the crash and will need to be replaced before I do any more washing.

1 comment:

Tim and Susan said...

つかれさま---!!!Hope daddy is home safe and your family is all back together again. I don't like single mom days either...