Monday, November 24, 2008

Held holiday hostage (hell)

Writing will be sparse if at all until after Monday Dec 2. The kids are out of school this entire week, and Connor is off on Monday, too. With kids around I can barely string together two consecutive thoughts. Oh yeah, and to add to the joy Gary is going to Asia on the 1st, to be gone til the 13th.

Coherence won't be my strongest suit.

Witness today, where I've had on the calendar for months Connor's school conference. I signed up for it so long ago that it didn't stand out that I was creating a scheduling conflict when I invited Scott's school friend over to spend the night. I was going to be down at the school for Scott's school conference with Billy anyway, and Levi was going to be in the after-care program, so I offered to bring him home with us. I made the offer in the way that one may consider going to the spouse's high school reunion, Thanksgiving dinner with dubious relatives, or a mammogram. This kid has the most irritating high-pitched voice which grates like fingernails on the black board and if anything is even more hyperactive than Scott. The kids had been begging for a while, so I agreed to it while forgetting about Connor's conference at 7 pm.

Connor has no tolerance for Levi and so I suggested to him that he find himself a place to shelter for the night. I went to Scott's conference and got a call from Connor: his friend couldn't have him for the night, but he could stay at our house. I thought about it and determined that 4 kids might be better than 3 and so agreed to that. Hung up and then remembered Connor's conference.

It's probably a 20 minute conference, but with the 10 minute or so drive to and from the school it would be closer to an hour they'd be without adult supervision.

Connor and Scott I can leave with some peace of mind for an hour or so; Connor, his buddy, Scott and Levi would be foolhardy. I'd probably come home to blood and hair. There's also the element of the friends' parents, especially Levi's, who might be doubtful about their child being left in the 'supervision' of a 10 and 11 year old. And Connor's buddy's parents who may not want their child to be saddled with that responsibility.

It's probably a 20 minute conference, but with the 10 minute or so drive to and from the school it would be closer to an hour they'd be without adult supervision.

What to do:

(What I could NOT do was ask our neighbors across the street. They've already filled in thrice in babysitting emergencies, so they were off limits. I could not face asking them again.)

1) ask my next door neighbor, who is in the middle of a house renovation, to sit with them for an hour, just as an adult Presence in the house

2) ask the school secretary if I could bring all 4 of them and let them be in the school gym while we conferenced

3) reschedule appointment

The next door neighbor was willing, but she has a dinner commitment with the people who have already watched my kids 3 times. She would need to be there at 7:30.

No, the kids can't be alone in the gym.

No, there are no other evening appointments available on another day. Gary really wants to go.

Gary's unhappy at the boys spending the night because he'll be working late into the night to get ready for his trip to Asia.

So...I arranged for Gary to go by himself tonight and scheduled myself an appointment for tomorrow mid-afternoon. I think it'll work. Turns out Connor's friend can't spend the night after all, and if necessary his mom offered to take Connor for a few hours tonight if things are dicey with all four of them.

So far so good though. It's working the way it's supposed to (shhhh!): each boy occupied with his own friend, in largely separate parts of the house.

It's just the temporary nature of this peace, though, that keeps me from settling fully into a blog post that means more to me--in the words of Gen. David Petraeus, the calm is 'fragile and reversible'.

Lawd have mercy.


Mrs. Spit said...

Oh my. Bless your heart!

Lori said...

Whew. I hope the blood and hair stays where it's supposed to.

What can I offer you while Gary is in Asia? I wonder if there is a mojito-delivery business anywhere near you?

Aunt Becky said...

I cracked up at the "blood and hair" comment. Because I completely get that.

And yeah, sometimes I wonder how we do it all.