I don’t consider myself to be easily annoyed, but…
Startled by the sound of an alarm clock…not mine, I listen as my fifteen year old son starts his day. My strategy is to stay out of the path of his maelstrom.
It starts at 0600 with the sound of his alarm. Ten minutes later the alarm stops. It starts again at 0630, and buzzes for another ten minutes. Now, you may be wondering why I don’t just knock on his door and wake him up. The answer is simple. “UGHHH!!! I KNOW MOM, I’M UP!!!” Then, oh how time flies, the clock reads 0700, the alarm sounds again and continues until 0710.
0710—Chaos ensues: Clattering, banging, slamming, running, shower water on, (surely not long enough to get wet, let alone soap up), something crashes, water off, barreling heavy footsteps rushing, grunting, gasping, papers shuffling, zipping, sighing, “UGHHH”!!
The crescendo: In a perfect world, the scene would would play out as follows: 0720—the front door slams, the hiss of school bus brakes, and then there is peace on earth…
Not today: 0722—the hiss of the brakes on the school bus comes first, followed by the front door slamming, feet running, (a second tenor warming up?—uh no) “UGHHH!!!”
I sit in my hiding place sipping my delicious cof a cuppee, and tap tap tap…”mom?”
“Oh no, did you miss the bus? You’re lucky I’m not at work.”
We board the peace train, (my little clown car), and I get to work…mom work. My job now is to make this ride to school miserable, so he won’t make a habit of this. I’m doing this for him.
Me, on duty: I start by looking disappointed.
“Ethan, when you were in four year old pre-school, before dismissing the children, your teacher would come out of the classroom to give parents a debriefing on the activities that had transpired during that day. One morning in particular, she directed the entire briefing at me. She said: ‘Some of the children STILL don’t know the difference between grey and beige, and they all should have known their colors long ago.’ I smiled, nodded, and with a quick glance at the crowd around me I noticed that in addition to the teacher’s eyes boring into me, all the parents were looking at me too, some sympathetically, and some with disdain. (jealous cows) It felt like an intervention. I was a bad mom, and they were stepping in.”
I continued: “So, once we were outside approaching our beige car, I said: ‘Ethan, what color is our car?’ You threw down your painting, threw up your arms and yelled: ‘THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD IT! I’M SO TIRED OF THIS, AND I’M NOT SAYING ANOTHER WORD! DON’T ASK ME ANOTHER THING.‘”
Hmm. I exhale and shake my head as I look over to my fifteen year old son who is actually looking back at me in anticipation of a point to my story.
I forge ahead: “That’s when it became clear to me… I could never home school you.”
His response: “I was under a lot of pressure, potty training and all that.” (Yes, I failed him in that department as well.)
We pass a minor three car accident that is off to the right, and amateur forensic theorist that I am, I give my opinion of what must have transpired based on the positions of the cars. Reeling it back in, I return to the point of my story:
“Ethan, because you have never been a candidate for home schooling, and because I have to work, you have got to get out of bed the first time the alarm goes off. You are setting yourself up for failure. The potty training, the grey and beige confusion, the missing the bus, these behaviors paint a clear grey and beige picture of a little boy who has a fear of success.”
Finally approaching the school, I pull my beige clown car up behind the line of cars driven by other terrible parents. My son opens the door to get out before he has to: “Thanks for the ride mom.”
Me: “You are welcome.”
The Daily Post, February 11, 2016, Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit~ Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/quirk-of-habit/”>Quirk of Habit</a>