This is how the kids spent the 8 hours of General Conference. They listened better than we did actually. At one point Buddy even gave us a lecture about how we "probably don't even feel good* because you have your eyes closed and aren't even listening." (*referencing how good we feel when we feel the spirit during conference.)
We had a marvelous Spring Break. I think I mention in every other post that I can't stand the school year rat race (or the waking up early part of school). I LIVE for breaks from school. And to think I've got approximately 20 more years of this rat race. Now that's depressing! So back to the pleasant thoughts...
This year Buddy spent 4 days of spring break with my mom. He'd come home every day for a few hours so she could work, but otherwise was spoiled by her all day. They went for donuts several times for breakfast, went to the Lorax in 3D, looked at nature, worked in the yard, watched movies at home, went out for lunch every day, worked on scouts, made treats, and she bought him a bioncle he has been coveting for a few months. He was in heaven and even told me several times when he'd come home each day that he wished I was as nice as grandma. (I informed him that if he treated her like he treats me, she wouldn't be as nice. I know from firsthand experience. And I also informed him that when I'm a grandma I fully intend to be as nice as she is!)
While Buddy was away, Sambo and I went to a bouncehouse and played lots and lots of games together. He loves to do "homework" and crafts so we worked on those for hours, plus read lots of books. When Buddy came back home we went to indoor jungle gyms three times, plus the science museum and out to dinner with friends. Then we enjoyed our favorite weekend of the year, listening to General Conference**. Plus the leprechaun reprised for April Fool's day -- because for some reason drawing goatees on kids while they sleep never gets old. It was a week from my dreams. I was happy and well rested, the kids were entertained, and I got to spend time with my boys without the rush of getting here or there.
And... the leprechaun is back.
So needless to say, I was dreading today. (School was off yesterday too.) Plus track started tonight and Buddy has been dreading it's start since it ended last summer. It was this exact time last year that things totally unraveled for Buddy at school. I'm not sure if it's possible to will yourself a fever. But three times in the past two weeks Buddy has gotten mysterious headaches and fevers on days he hasn't wanted to do something stressful. As soon as I give in and let him stay home from school, the fever amazingly goes away and he's fine the rest of the day. So G and I braced ourselves last night for a hard day and week.
Imagine my surprise when I saw Buddy's teacher at the school today and she stopped me to tell me the following story, which Buddy then also shared with me when I picked him up from school. He told me he wrote a story about his spring break. According to him all the kids wrote half a page but he wrote four. He was so excited about what he wrote, he decided to read it to the class, which he has NEVER done. He told me, “I made the choice. I am going to work on this talent instead of worrying about it. It wasn’t that bad and my teacher said I had a long story so I must have had fun over spring break! AND... At the end of the day she told me I had a great day. I've had a lot of good days, but she doesn't always tell me that, so that's how I know I had a really good one today.”
Over break Buddy and I had talked about talents and facing fears, etc. Let me rephrase that. We've talked about this ad nauseum for years. But I approached it a little differently over the break and something clicked. Tonight he calmly went to track and had a great time, which never really happened last year. Tonight he was the most pleasant he's been in a long time. He was so proud of himself. And G and I were able to talk about a bunch of other important things with him before bed. He had some wonderful insights about the types of things he'd like to teach his kids and the things we've taught him that have really mattered to him including: having a healthy body, being nice to his brother, doing service, and telling the truth.
I'm stunned and so incredibly happy. I have to write this all out so I can come back and read it next time I'm exhausted by parenting. Some of this hard work is paying off! Thank goodness for blogs to record it and share it. Because some things are just so exciting you have to shout them from the rooftops.
And then there's Sambo. He was a perfect angel all of spring break. I never had to discipline him one single time. For some odd reason, he's perfect for me and terrible for everyone else. Sigh. Today was a really busy day and I had to drag him from one thing to the next and he wasn't nearly as good as he was last week -- when I was playing games with him and teaching him to read. Go figure. Anyway, after I learned that he hadn't been very good at preschool, I tried to ask him about it, and in true Sambo fashion he didn't listen to a word I said. Instead, he immediately defended himself saying, "At least I did my service!"
Very little I try to tell these kids sinks in. But if I had to choose one thing for them to do well at, I guess service would be it. But being nice to their teachers would be a close second. (We will continue to work on that.)
**My General Conference weekend would have been much more enjoyable if someone had told me you can buy clear thread and sew patches onto a scout shirt with a sewing machine. I never in my wildest imagination would have thought of that idea. And if I had thought about it, I could have saved myself 8 hours of hand-sewing and some seriously sore fingers. Oh well, at least I did my service. Thank you very much.