Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm a nocturnal unitarian.

We had a lovely day today! The kid and I spent all day outside, first having a picnic brunch delivered by some friends, and then the kids played and my friend and I talked and laughed at the ridiculous shit on the internet and looked for clovers. Friend's kid got picked up by her dad, my kid moped for a bit, and tried to get us (and any visible neighbors) to come play whiffle ball with him, and eventually we went for falafel sandwiches. Kid and I went to the yarn store to get another skein made into a cake, and stopped at the grocery store for a stock-up from the freezer aisle of veggie chicken nuggets, frozen peas and toaster strudel for dessert. I have recently discovered frozen rice, and I am in LOVE! The kid had a homemade frozen dinner on the blanket in the yard, while I tried to read five chapters of developmental psych in an hour, then "helped" the neighbor clean out his gutters, which was prompted by the fact that the kid got his whiffle ball stuck up there at some point this afternoon. I got sunburnt and the kid got to put cold aloe on my shoulders and laugh while I winced - such glee!

Bedtime prompted one of my favorite conversations. We used to have this one twice a week, and it seems that in one dark period, it was every night, but this is the first time in a long time it's happened.

(bath with buttcrack and nutsack clean, lotion applied, teeth brushed, pjs on, clothes for school picked out, pee in the potty, fish fed, negotiations for post-teeth brushed snack complete, snack finished, and teeth brushed the second time. Fingernails trimmed, toenails as well, and tea tree oil applied to a tinea pedia looking rash between toes. hands washed, dragon book chapter read. cat removed from bed repeatedly. shew. no wonder bedtime is exhausting to me!)
me: bedtime music? suggestions?
kid: libana, please. (note: Libana's Night Passages is one the best bedtime music CDs of all time, and good for anyone who likes women's a capella from around the world.)
me: all right, dude. I'm going to work on this mountain of laundry while you fall asleep. Good night. (cringing because I've learned that ANY mention of an activity that might continue after kid is asleep is sufficient for kid to hurt himself to stay awake and watch activity.)
kid: i just can't go to sleep.
me: dude, you laid down 3.2 seconds ago. I didn't say Go to Sleep instantly! I said, Good night. which means, lay your head down, and let your body relax for the love of pete. We had a big day today.
5 minutes of stillness
kid: i know what 1.5 plus 2 is.
me: great, baby. night.
kid: I just hate going to sleep. I think I'm nocturnal.
me: Well, if that were true, you wouldn't have woken me up at 8am this morning, jumping on my head and telling me to get up and make you some breakfast!
kid: yeah, i'm definitely nocturnal. I don't like the night, and that's why I can't sleep. I told my dad about this last week. he said that I had to sleep and I told him it's not fair.
me: (thinking that this actually counts for study time, since we're dealing with some clear preoperational and concrete operational thought transition issues) Baby, in the past, I would have tried to convince you that you've gone to sleep every night of your life, that you can go to sleep tonight, and that if you stop trying and stressing about it, it's easier. I would have tried to explain that more sleep makes you wake up easier and gives your body the rest it needs. But if you're trying to tell me that you don't like NIGHT, I give up. I can't change the fact that there's night and day. It's simply not in my power. I love you. Good night.
kid: sighs. i want to sleep in your bed tonight.
me: (cursing the years we spent cosleeping and the times that we've shared my bed recently bc of convenience and piles of laundry on his bed.) Nope, not tonight, babe.
kid: i just can't possibly. (eyes close for 4 seconds)
me: would you like me to hold your hand?
kid: yeah. (drifts. breathing changes. brief struggle back up through sleep, rolls over and gives up. )

I think he knows when I'm making a list of the things that I'll do as soon as he's asleep. It's a weakness to be exploited, bc I'm so distracted talking myself out of the need to wash all the gladware so I can make our lunches, or do another chapter of developmental, or at least GLANCE at the material for wednesday's test, that he'll say, Can I read the Hello, Good bye Window? and I'll say sure, and before I know it, he's out of bed, picking out 85 books and talking in length about brachiosaurus and gastroliths.

I love the contradiction between being nocturnal and not liking night! Love it!

This is the same child who told me recently (and argued vigorously until I remember who I was talking to and gave up) that he was a unitarian, because he eats meat and veggies, and I'm a vegetarian, because I only eat veggies. When pressed, he said tentatively that those who chose to eat only meat would be called meatitarians. He seemed to know that this wasn't a word, but passed it off because there aren't many people who only eat meat. so. that's settled.

sat down with the kid's teacher last week, and decided that the kid is doing incredible stuff, but in relation to the curriculum, not as Advanced as I thought. Also, read the stuff in developmental textbook about gifted and they seemed use the word gifted to mean what I mean when I say "child prodigy". shrug. all the verbatim recall stuff he does is right on track, according to the text, and not nec. an indication of higher functioning. my intention with pursuing this issue at all is not for status (I hope it's not, how gross-smelling!) but from the assumption that if he's bored because he's not challenged, he'll become an asshole. Much of my parenting is motivated by this fear, to be honest. Who wants to be the parent of an asshole? Is assholery avoidable or inevitable? Where's that chapter in the text?

in other news, my friend told me to ease offa him. she did a very disturbing imitation of a mother from her kid's school who managed to link fatal injury to every single activity on the playground, and then did an even more disturbed imitation of the kid, complete with tippy-toes, and jacked up camel toe pants, and eyebrows in the hairline. okay. meditation, medication, something to lower the expectations and parental anxiety levels. got it.

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