The Long Week Ends

I dropped Cute W, M, & J at the airport this morning. They are going to visit Grandma & Grandpa in Kansas City. This is the third time I’ve had a summer vacation-from-the-family. Airplane tickets are expensive, and who are we kidding? For Grandma & Grandpa, it’s really all about the grandkids, anyway. Usually I have vague ideas ahead of time that I’ll do something huge like write a novel or host a Girls Night Out slumber party, and then I just end up catching up on laundry and vacuuming. We’ll see how it goes.

In any case, I was pretty much ready to drop-kick J onto an airplane by this morning. Seriously.

That child has reached a pretty deadly phase, and we’re just going to have to brace ourselves and try to get through it.

In addition to our kayaking excursion, I have read for countless hours (and by countless, I mean that I couldn’t count them, even though we are supposed to be tracking our reading over the summer). I kept losing track. In fact, another thing that was driving me crazy is that I’m a one-book-at-a-time reader and she kept abandoning books and starting a different one and I hate jumping in and out of multiple plots. But I did it. For her. Because I am a delightful and accommodating mother. Also, we played two marathon games of Alhambra,

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which is not as fun with only two people, especially when neither person enjoys losing.

After our recent visit to our “local” Little Free Library, J requested a visit to another Niskayuna Little Free Library that she’d heard about, and her wonderful mother agreed that it was worth a trip:

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I think I managed to mildly impress her with a trip to the WNYT tv station when Deb and I appeared on Live at Noon on Thursday. Deb even offered to give her a part so that she could be on tv, too, but she declined. On the way home, we took a quick swing by The Parent Teacher Store in Latham (I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking for learning toys for young kids) to reunite J with an old friend:

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And adding this photo makes me realize that I haven’t posted at all about J’s anxiety issues. Probably because I was too fretful about them to share. Well, I’ll get back to that, but the point is that I’d bought her a little stress ball guy, whom she loved to death. As in, she pummeled him so much that eventually he became a small pile of sand and plastic. While at the store, I also bought some modeling clay. Which is something for me, because I’m really not an impulse buyer. But I’d begun seizing on anything that would distract J from standing next to me and sighing dramatically. I am not nearly fascinating enough for her. I am a disappointment.

So! We are So. Done. with each other. At least for the week.

Meanwhile, it was an M-free week while she was at Lake Placid Soccer Centre overnight camp. She was so funny before we left. She said, “How are you going to survive with the Heart And Soul Of This Family gone? You guys are really going to miss me.” And for the next several days we were calling her Heart-And-Soul. As in, “Are you all packed, Heart-And-Soul?” etc.

This was another occasion for her to point out that things really would be more convenient if she had a phone. She’s been doing a great job with this lately. For example, there will be some plan afoot, for example, she and friends are playing pick-up soccer and then walking to the pizza place and then. . . well, they’re not sure what’s next.  So I’ll say, “Well, check in later, please.” And she’ll respond, “Sure, just call me!” Because, get it? I can’t call her because she doesn’t have a phone!! You have to admire her, because she has managed to be both pleasant and tenacious at the same time. Anyway, we decided that in order for her to be able to text me, I should put Kik on my phone. Which was a comedy of errors, especially the part when Kik asked if I’d like to check whom among my contacts was already on Kik. No thank you, I clicked. Are you sure? You really, really should do this, said Kik. So I clicked and immediately regretted it when I realized that multiple 7th-grade boys had been alerted to my presence on Kik. You know: in case we wanted to start a conversation. I was so appalled and embarrassed that M found it hilarious, and thus she forgot to be appalled and embarrassed on her own behalf, because she has a mother who would do such a thing.

Even with Kik installed, we barely heard from the child. Which is about what we expected, although of course the other mothers were giving me updates from their children. At one point I nagged that a phone was clearly unnecessary since M doesn’t text. Predictably, I got a “I just don’t text U” with a smiley emoticon that was supposed to ease the sheer ouchiness of that statement. At that moment J stood next to me, observed that I was texting the child I clearly preferred over her, and placed all of her disappointment and pain in the form of a massive exhale.

I flashed a tolerant smile and asked, “How are you doing on packing?”

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