Surviving

I’ve been feeling very quiet lately.  And there hasn’t been much time to write.  Ethan was out of town last week, we had all the chores to do ourselves for a couple of days.  But home school planning is mostly complete, there’s one garden bed built for fall, and we all survived – except Mirin got rolled up in the truck window by Clothilde.  He was okay, mostly just angry.  Perhaps a good lesson not to hang his body out of the window while the truck is on.

We have wasps living in the gate to the orchard.  Rose and I both were stung by them, just walking by the gate after it was open.  They stung us in the same places – ankle, and leg.  The strange thing was that it made our legs cramp up.  I think it was mud-daubber wasps, and they paralyze spiders so I wonder if their sting has neurotoxic chemicals in it.  I’m glad I wasn’t a spider.

I’ve been trying to keep my kids busy this summer.  Last summer I ignored them and hoped they would play creatively.  I think they would have if my parents didn’t live next door.  Instead they went and bothered my mom and had big tantrums and fought with each other.  They were very bored, and their way of doing something about it was to stir up all kinds of trouble at my mom’s house.  It was a hard summer.  This year we are going out to the libraries (it’s too hot and awful at the parks).  It seems to have helped, mostly, although we had a big scene in the parking lot last week……it was extra embarrassing because a dad with two young boys had just parked in front of us and gotten out of the car.  They stopped to watch the unfolding drama.

1.  “Hold onto Clothilde while I unlock the car,” I say, unlocking the car.  I am ignored, and as soon as the doors are unlocked, the big kids pile into the car.

2.  I heave the books into the car and run after Clothilde.  I manage to catch her by one arm just in time as she makes a mad, desperate dash towards danger.  Mirin hits the automatic lock button while I am gone.

3.  I tap on the window and ask Mirin to hit the Unlock button.  He ignores me.  Rose unlocks the back door for me.  Gratefully, I reach for the handle.  Mirin hits the lock button before I manage, and I am locked out again.

4.  Clothilde starts jumping and dangling from where I am holding her arm, trying to slither away again.  I tap on the glass and ask that the doors are unlocked.  Rose reaches over and unlocks the door again.  Mirin locks it with a smirk on his face.

5.  “Fine, make everything really hard!” I say, and fumble with my keys in one hand.  I find the right one and unlock the front door.  I reach for the back door handle….Mirin hits “lock” again.  He looks immensely pleased with himself.

6.  Rose comes to my rescue, and unlocks the door and holds it unlocked.  Mirin hits lock as I try to open the door, pinching her finger.  I fumble with my keys again.

7.  Rose hauls off and whacks Mirin in the face.  There is horrible screaming that can be clearly heard outside of the car with all the doors and windows closed.

8.  I finally find the right key, and unlock the doors.  Mirin sobbing dramatically.  I say, “Rosie, no hitting!” and bundle Clothidle into her seat.  Dad with two boys hurridly guides them away.  He gives me a sympathetic smile and wave of parental solidarity over one shoulder.

9.  Mirin howls as I drive through the parking lot.  I try to be diplomatically sympathetic, but that obviously isn’t sympathetic enough.  It quickly becomes Kid Thunderdome in the back seat, and I just try to ignore them and drive safely.

10.  We arrive at home with everyone screaming.  Ethan is home from his trip!  Children pile of of car, complaining about everyone else.

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