I thought I would share some of the glamour that comes from being the therapeutic parent to older adoptive children.
5:00 I wake to the whining of the puppy in the basement. I discover shit all over the inside of his crate for the fourth morning in a row. After cleaning him up and taking him outside, I settle him in bed with Jude and me for a bit.
6:30 The boys are up, and LD has a fever. He will be staying home from school. I am concerned about our homeschool agenda for the day. (Jealousy reigns supreme in our house.) For the next hour we frequently take the puppy out, hoping for a potty training miracle.
7:30 I serve chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast followed by a brief kitchen clean-up. The boys brush teeth and wash faces while I make coffee. I need coffee (and my little pill. It's not jagged, though. Sorry, Alanis.)
8:30 I share BD's schedule with him and answer questions about his day. LD settles in the basement on the couch, and I take injera out of the freezer for dinner.
8:40 Homeschool math includes solving problems in shaving cream. We start with some simple multiplication and then work on some missing number double digit addition. BD has high sensory needs, and this keeps his focus for awhile. At 8:50 LD joins us and plays on his own tray of shaving cream.
9:30 Reading starts with BD. It becomes clear he isn't ready. Dysregulation #1 begins and spirals for nearly an hour. I follow my own advice and do not engage. I stay present and amazingly calm. Eventually he can be coaxed into jumping on the mattress.
10:30 Together BD and I build a fort out of boxes and read several books together inside.
11:00 I begin to make a paper jet for/with BD. I try to take the puppy out for approximately the 47th time this morning.
11:30 The boys unsuccessfully attempt to watch "Sid the Science Kid" together downstairs while I begin lunch upstairs. Both are upstairs tattling within 10 minutes. Dysregulation #2 is starting to bubble. I separate the boys and hope we can make it through lunch, these awesome sliders and a salad.
12:00 Jude arrives home for lunch just as things really start to spiral out of control. Together we tag team to be present with a dysregulated BD and eat lunch with LD. I have a great conversation with LD about jealousy and learning to deal with our Big Feelings.
1:00 BD is finally ready for lunch while Jude and LD head downstairs. Jude does some work while LD rests on the couch for awhile. I try to discuss the earlier episodes with BD. He cringes and denies feelings of jealousy but does admit that he wants to move on from his "bad attitude." I realize that our homeschool schedule for the day has basically been thrown out the window.
1:30 Jude takes over as P.E. teacher with some big jumping on the mattress. I take the puppy out, do some deep breathing, and remember that I also have PMS. Instead of weeping, I decide to return a movie to the Redbox and make a stop through the McDonalds drive-thru for a crappy mocha.
2:00 I recognize the voice at the McD's drive-thru as that of a former student. I am slammed fully with the understanding that my life has truly become pitiful when I envy the life of this former student. "Would you like skim or whole milk with that mocha?' just seems so easy. (And now that I'm making no money and doing MORE work than I did when I worked full-time, even minimum wage sounds desirable.)
2:30 I drive around with my truly crappy mocha texting with my dear, dear friend Mandy. I realize fully I should not be texting while driving. I ask Mandy, "What would people say if they could see the glamour of our day-to-day lives?" She responds, "#jealousasshit." I decide to blog about the glamour of my day-to-day life.
2:45 Once home the boys ask me to read several books to them. I read about Florence Griffith-Joyner, an art class for the blind, a boy named Hector who starts a book club in his class, diving, and volcanoes. I spend approximately fifteen minutes convincing LD that we will not die from a volcano where we live.
3:30 I show the boys a video of Old Faithful. They aren't impressed.
3:45 The boys have a snack and don't argue. I am impressed and silently thank God for small miracles.
4:00 I style my hair and put on mascara and lip gloss while listening to my Beirut station on Pandora. No, I don't plan on leaving the house, but I am tired of cringing when I look in the mirror. Jude plays with the boys in the basement.
4:30 I Google search Flo Jo. I had forgotten that she died.
4:40 I watch Jude and LD play Connect Four while BD makes a paper jet. I make up an awesome song about our puppy who refuses to shit outside to the tune of "Benny and the Jets." I transfer said puppy's shitty blanket from the washer to the dryer. For the fourth day in a row.
5:00 I run to the store for limeade, triple sec, and a new battery for our thermometer. I WILL be making these margaritas later tonight. Jude and the boys begin a competitive game of Mario Cart. In the car I sing along to "Tomorrow" by Silverchair. For a brief moment I am sixteen and carefree.
5:15 I play Mario Cart with the family. We beat the blue team! The puppy celebrates as well by refusing to crap outside.
5:40 While Jude again tries to get the puppy to go outside, the boys hang out with me in the kitchen. Luckily I made shiro wat, misir wat, tibs, and yekik alicha on Saturday, so we just have to heat up leftovers tonight. It becomes clear that LD still isn't feeling up to par when he stops at just one helping of tibs.
6:45 We start our nighttime ritual with a chapter from My First Message. We narrowly avoid major dysregulation #3 as we finish up the reading. Next on the agenda is one of my favorite episodes of "Phineas and Ferb" featuring Love Handle. (It would be less painful, however, with a glass of wine. The boys ask approximately 325 questions during thirty minutes of TV.)
7:15 And the train derails again as BD is given a chance for a redo after using a disrespectful, dismissive hand gesture followed quickly by calling me "Stupid Mom." I begin the bedtime process with LD while Jude hangs out with BD for a few extra minutes. After teeth brushing and prayers, I sit in the boys' room until LD sleeps. He expresses concern about being able to go to school tomorrow because his brother was so "grouchy" today.
7:45 BD apologizes to me for calling me a name. We hug before he heads to bed.
8:15 Exhausted by a full day (and then some!) of therapeutic parenting and a puppy that refuses to potty train, Jude and I settle in with margaritas to work on tomorrow's schedule. Just another glamorous day in the life!