Day: July 7, 2004

Kid Packing

I’m hitting the road again tomorrow. Howard can’t spare the time from work or Schlock and so I’m driving 4 kids 5 hours to Boise without adult assistance. I’m fairly certain there will be moments during the journey where I question the sanity of the endeavor. I’m also fairly certain that we’ll survive the experience.

The kids are all in favor of this trip. They get to go and see cousins. Link in particular has been excited. He’s spent all evening packing up his stuff. He approached packing with his typical 6-year-old creativity. His original plan dispensed with suitcases entirely. He had all his clothes and pajamas laid out. He intended to put them on in layers. Pajamas, clothes, pajamas, clothes. . . Then when it was time for bed he could just strip off the clothes and be already in pajamas. Morning time? Strip off another layer. Ta da!

He was so pleased with his brilliant plan that I kind of hated to burst the bubble. I pointed out that all the layers of clothes would make him really hot and that we could just put the extra clothes in a suitcase. His response was simply “Oh” but the expression and tone of voice conveyed that this solution hadn’t even occured to him.

Link then filled his school backpack with clothing. He then filled his other backpack with clothing. Since he still had shoes that wouldn’t fit he hauled out his great big duffel bag suitcase and put the shoes into that. Two small, stuffed backpacks and a huge, mostly empty duffel. He was ready. At my sugguestion, all of the clothes got moved into the duffel, one backpack was put away and the other was filled with toys for during the drive. Finally a packing solution that we’re both happy with.

Gleek packed by pulling out her duffel and emptying the entire contents of her dresser into it. (Patches clothes too.) All done!

Kiki carefully selected clothes based on some obscure criteria (whether the matched or not had nothing to do with selection). The clothes were placed in neat little bundles in her duffel along with her blanket, her alarm clock, half the books we own, and probably the kitchen sink for all I know. She’s going to have to haul that thing by herself.

In theory they’ll eventually be able to pack for themselves without providing me with amusment. For now I get to have funny with my packing stress.

Drug Benefits

I really understand the temptation to drug children for convenience sake.  Last night was one of those nights.  3 out of 4 kids awake between the hours of midnight and 2 am.  Two of the kids with worrisome illnesses which had me mentally prepping for emergency room visits.  By morning all was well, or at least recognizably settled into colds rather than more serious illnesses.  Gleek’s cough was still croupy though so I gave her some cough syrup to try to decongest her.

An hour later she’d reached that wide-eyed loopy state that makes drugged people so amusing.  I had to go get blood drawn for a test on me, Gleek had to come along for the trip.  She sat quietly in the chair next to me blankly staring at walls.  The person taking my insurance information turned to Gleek and said “Wow, you’re such a lady!”  I was really really tempted to answer “Yeah, it’s cause I drugged her.”  Usually the commentary I get about Gleeks behavior are along the lines of “Wow, she’s really active.” Or “You certainly have your hands full!” Or wordless gasps of dismay as Gleek engages in acrobatics that should surely end in injury or death but somehow never do.  “Docile” is not usually in Gleeks behavioral repetoire.

Yet, docile is the best word to describe Gleek during that lab visit. It was the most pleasant Errands-while-herding-Gleek I’ve ever had.  She walked holding my hand, when I stopped, she did too.  When I sat, she quietly sat next to me.  Hence the temptation.  Fortunately I understand that parenting isn’t about convenience.  The point of parenting is to nurture the development of the children.  Drugged children simply exist, they don’t develop and they don’t glow with joy.  Gleek is very very good at joy which is one of the reasons why I can put up with all the mad and contrary.

After the blood draw we returned to the car and Gleek crashed into a nap.  She awoke back to normal and all in all, I’m glad for that.