This morning, I woke Man-Cub and said, "We are leaving for the Co-op in one hour. You have to get yourself dressed, get breakfast and brush your teeth and hair." And I left him alone. I got myself ready. I did not nag him. I was ready to let him be late to class if I had to. This is a Co-op, there are no detentions!
15 minutes before we had to leave, that boy was ready with shoes on and backpack packed. I didn't know whether I wanted to hug him or slap him. We were so early to school we had time to stop and get coffee first!
The rest of the afternoon passed uneventfully except that I got to play on the computer some more (guilt-free) and then take a two-hour nap (The Viking had decided to work from home)! When I came downstairs, the counters had been cleared and the dishwasher was running. Redheaded Snippet had done it. Hmmmmm...interesting...
Redheaded Snippet and I sat down and talked about colleges and how crazy this summer is going to be and, I thought, had some great quality time. We eliminated some schools off her list and figured out a rough visitation schedule.
And then it was time for dinner. I could tell everyone was getting restless; they were starting to wander in and out of the kitchen, glancing at the clock. At one point, Redheaded Snippet said to me sharply, "So what meal did you have planned that you're not going to cook for us?" I said very nicely and calmly, "I didn't plan anything. But I think I might have a salad." She flounced away.
I washed a few lettuce leaves, peeled and cut a carrot, cut a few slices of cucumber and opened a pack of pre-cooked chicken I had bought for the final soup I had never made. And I made myself a salad. The Viking moved over to the island where I was finishing the preparations, looked into the bowl (at the small amount of food I had prepared), looked at me and said, "You're really making that just for yourself?" I gulped, feeling my resolve waver (and that old, insidious guilt creeping in) and said, "Yes?" He just nodded and opened the fridge.
I thought for sure I'd ruined how pleasant things had been between us in spite of my announcement. I'd done it now. But sometimes you gotta break a few eggs, right?
But, a few moments later, The Viking came in to the living room where I was eating (in front of the tv as no one had nagged the children into clearing and setting the table) with a large bowl of salad. He asked me if I wanted any as he was finished and Redheaded Snippet had already had some. When I asked about Man-Cub, The Viking said he was still protesting having to have salad. I said, "Well, if he gets hungry enough..." as I took the bowl.
We watched some tv together very amiably, comfy even. I was relieved; it didn't seem that he was angry with me. And then Man-Cub came in doing his patented March to the Scaffold:
"Mom, seriously, what's for dinner?"
"I don't know, Sweetie. We've all had salad. There's chicken, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, bagels, peanut butter and jelly. Go see what you can find."
He couldn't BELIEVE it!
But, a few minutes later he walked into the room with a salad of his own creation: chicken, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, green peppers (The Viking showed him how to cut up and clean the green peppers) and NO dressing.
He sat down, calmy, and ate it with no further complaint. He says now that he didn't really like it, but he didn't go hungry and he got it for himself.
Of course, after everyone had eaten the dishes remained where they had been placed last, which really makes me cringe, but I resisted the urge to tell them to clean up their dishes or just start picking them up myself. Same thing with the laundry. Redheaded Snippet had done a load or two but had thrown the clean clothes onto the couch which is where I usually fold them. They're falling onto the floor and getting trampled on, but I am not picking them up or rewashing them.
I don't know how long this is going to last, but I guess I can't expect them to come around in just a day, can I?