My day did not start out well. I had a defiant toddler and a broken sink. The sink I can fix.. the toddler.. not so much.
Tomorrow is Ryder’s birthday and he doesn’t seem to be interested in growing up and having to go off to school. All he wants to do is dance to the stereo and play with his toys.
I tried interesting him in some flash cards, but he refused and went right back to his dancing. At least he went potty on his own first!
Completely the opposite, Caleb practically skipped out the door for his first day of high school. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone quite so excited to go to school in my life. He made me promise to leave the garden alone until he got home from school, too. Apparently he was serious about wanting to learn to garden so he would be “ready” when it was his turn to move out. I still think he’s going to be in for a little bit of a surprise at how hard it is to start from nothing.. but at the very least, he was excited to do it.
Since I was forbidden the garden during the day, I had to come up with something else to do. The broken sink was high on the list of priorities, so I pulled out the stuff from my “junk drawer”, looking for the right part to stop the leaking. I was in luck, and managed to find a replacement washer for the leaky faucet.
Jared seemed willing to laze around the house, but I knew I had other things to do.. I just wasn’t used to waiting to take care of the garden. Perhaps Jared would watch Ryder while I went to check for salable collectibles in the neighborhood. He agreed, albeit reluctantly, and off I went.
After digging up some fossils and a couple of mysterious capsules, I got out my old fishing pole and checked to make sure it still worked.
I had bought Caleb one just like it, and if he was serious about trying to learn to fish before his “adventure”, I wanted to be ready to spend some time with him down by the creek.
When I finally got home, I was sweaty and smelly.. and I found Jared watching TV. Apparently he had abandoned watching a toddler who felt he should be able to play on his own. He did say he’d given Ryder a bath, though, which was a big help. It would have been nice if he’d cleaned up some of Ryder’s mess before he went for the TV, though.
Curious what Ryder might be up to, I peeked into the boys room and found him playing quietly with toys by the toy box. What a good boy. Despite the defiance, he really just wanted to be left alone to find his own things to do now that he felt he was a “big boy”. I, however, just felt a bit sad that both my boys were growing up so fast.
… Which reminded me. I still needed to bake a cake for Ryder’s family party tomorrow. I thought I’d make it something silly, like one that looked like a hamburger but was a cake instead. Perhaps I’d have time when the boys went to bed tonight.
I took a quick shower to wash off the grime of my collectible hunt, then cleaned up the stuff I found and sent it off to the parties interested in buying those things. Sometimes it amazed me how much money I could make from selling things that I dug up or grew myself.. but I was glad to have a job I could do from home. This allowed me to be as close as possible with my boys as they grew up.
I went to make some grilled cheese for when Caleb got home from school – I swear, that boy is always hungry.
… And wouldn’t you know it, but the stove broke. By the time I got it fixed, I barely had enough time to make the grilled cheese.
Caleb came home complaining about having to run laps in his gym class and not having enough time to shower, so he went right in and plopped himself down into a bath. So much for the grilled cheese! I put it away, knowing he would want some later, and I collected the gardening tools.
When he got out of the shower, he saw what I was working on, and apparently forgot all about food for a change. We hurried out to get the gardening done. Everything needed watering, as usual, and a few plants showed some bug damage, so we sprayed those, as well.
While we worked, he talked non-stop about his day at high school. Which teachers he liked, which ones he was sure he would hate, and which classes he had friends in. He talked about lunch-time the most, detailing the entire meal and who he ate it with.
After we finished gardening, he convinced me to take him for some evening fishing time. I brought out the new pole I got for him, and he was ecstatic. I think his main motivation was trying to catch fish to eat.. and I couldn’t help but laugh when I warned him he wasn’t likely to find dinner out there.
I was surprised, however, at how naturally he seemed to take to fishing. Before long, I caught a lemon that was floating by…
…and he had his first fish. It was a giant Tuna! His first question, of course, was whether I could cook it up for dinner. I agreed, reluctantly, and Caleb decided one fish was enough so we jogged back home.
The day wasn’t over, however, and I was quickly sidetracked by a broken TV that Jared insisted I fix right away. While still working on that, I noticed there was a stinky diaper in the house, and took a break to change it, since nobody else seemed interested.
By the time the diaper and the TV were taken care of, Caleb had already eaten the grilled cheese he’d found in the fridge and had gone to bed.
Ryder wasn’t far behind him, and I rejoiced at finally having a moment to bake Ryder’s cake. After it baked, I set up the candles on it and hid it at the back of the fridge. (Somewhere behind Caleb’s prize tuna…)
I gratefully climbed into bed beside my snoring husband and went to sleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, I was woken by crying. Apparently Jared had forgotten to feed Ryder before tucking him in bed, and he went directly to his brother to try to get food. Caleb’s response was typical.. to head to the fridge to eat another grilled cheese, so I got up and fed Ryder. I figured since I was already up, I might as well have a snack with them, too. I doubted very seriously either would be getting back to sleep anytime soon. I was in for another long day, it seemed.
After a quick breakfast, I sat down to work on Ryder’s communication skills – something he’ll need when he starts kindergarten in a few days.
Caleb decided to work on his homework since he hadn’t had a chance to last night. I wish he’d told me he had homework to do because I would have nixed the fishing trip! I decided helping Caleb with his homework was more important than teaching Ryder to talk. We finished his homework with just minutes to go before his bus came.
We had decided to have Ryder’s birthday cake after Caleb came home from school, so I had a lot of time to kill. I had also promised to leave the garden for him to work on… so all that was left was for me to work on Ryder’s skills.
The problem was convincing Ryder that now was a good time to work on his skills. Sometimes he can be very recalcitrant when it comes to doing anything with us. He’d much rather spend the time on his own.
Eventually, I put grumpy down for his nap and spent some time cleaning the house. Then, I took a nap myself.
When I woke up, Caleb had just gotten home so we all gathered to sing happy birthday for Ryder. Ryder, of course, was in a hurry to get through the celebration so he could spend some time on his own.
After Ryder finished his cake, Caleb and I headed out to care for the garden. Ryder elected to work on homework for the first day of school tomorrow.
Before long, however, Caleb’s early morning caught up with him and he went to take a nap. I finished caring for the garden, then headed in to see what everyone else was up to and take a shower. Working in the garden is dirty stuff!
After letting Caleb sleep for a while, I woke him up so he wouldn’t get too far off schedule. He did have school the next day, after all. He managed to get in a shower and a movie before bed. I spent the next hour or so dismantling and getting the toddler stuff in the house ready for sale as well as putting together Ryder’s “big boy” bed.
By the time I had it put together, Ryder was ready to head to bed.. as was I. My nap had only gone so far.
I drifted off to sleep with concerns about Ryder’s first day of school – he still was insisting he didn’t want to go. Caleb had even talked to him about how exciting school was.. but Ryder was having none of it. I only hoped school itself would change his mind!
Author’s note: Ryder rolled “good” for his child trait. Hopefully it helps!