The first week of Summer Break is drawing to a close and surprisingly my sanity is still in tact. I miss my 'alone time' already and so do the many projects that are collecting dust. I am finding that Summer Break is the archenemy of MY productivity but I can't complain about how much the kids have accomplished this week. Everyday they have worked diligently on their Summer Smart folders, have tidied their room and kept their zones clean ... mostly. What I can complain, rant, rage and go mental over is the amount of bickering they do!
I'm not sure if its like this in your house but here it has been a constant flow of nattering. They can't spend more than five minutes together without yapping at each other. Seriously, I thought I was going to lose my mind at many points over this week. The only thing that has saved my sanity and their young lives is their wit. All three of these critters have quick minds and impeccable comedic timing.
At different points this week they have each saved each other's lives with a well timed bit of humour. We are used to Crafty's little golden nuggets of wit and Mischief's well told jokes and stories but Dude has, unexpectedly, been the headliner this week.
The other night at dinner the kids were being really rowdy and had horrible table manners. I started lecturing them about how I'd see better manners at the zoo than what was going on at our dinner table. It had been a long day and my nerves were shot. I was pretty annoyed and probably overreacted to the situation. The kids ate in chagrined silence for a few minutes when Dude, seeing the need to break the tension, whipped off his shirt and declared, "I'm a porcupine!" Then he turned around, made a metal on metal sound and stuck out his shoulder blades. I took one look at him and broke out laughing ... and so did the other kids.
Earlier in the week we had a family meeting about our Random Acts of Service Challenge and our plans for the summer. We did some planning and brainstorming for fundraisers and talked to the kids about budgeting for our summer vacation. We gave them a pretty stern talk about 'the gimmes' and how when we put out money for one thing it means we have to take it from somewhere else. We told them that they need to curb their impulsive-buying whines and be thankful for what they have. There were a couple of sour faces in the room but I was surprised when Dude flopped back on the couch and grumbled, "But I wanted it!"
"Wanted what?" I asked.
"The Bunny!" he whined and flopped some more.
"What bunny? We are NOT getting another pet so you can just forg-" I started.
"The bunny, the bunny, oh I want the bunny," he said. Then he stood up and started to do a little wiggle dance and sing 'The Bunny Song' from Veggie Tales. He had us all in hysterics in seconds!
Whenever he breaks out in a Scottish accent or his Golum impression to coerce a laugh or break the tension I marvel at how far this kid has come. I see miracles everyday and I am always amazed. A kid that isn't 'supposed' to pick up on social cues, understand conversational subtleties or empathize is doing it. He is constantly learning, asking questions and figuring things out. He still has his challenges but he never gives up and that whole list of 'won'ts' we were given by the psychologist four years ago is slowly being transformed into 'yes I cans.'
It has taken time and maturity and a lot of consistent effort but Dude is sorting things out and life is not only becoming easier for all of us but more exciting and more 'normal.' Dude is such a gift to us, and I cannot wait to see what he teaches us next!
At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. ~Jean Houston