It is difficult, where I live, to make the decision to stay home for the day with the children when all of their friends are out enjoying the great outdoors. But after my dream, I decided we needed a day at home.
Children are a mass of energy and when they join together on a project a musical hum fills the room, never quieting, never stopping. To have a day at home meant that I needed to be the conductor for the music, listening to their ideas for play and helping them to create a rhythmic flow.
The day began with Brevitt being caught red handed with a bag of marshmallows hanging out of his mouth that he was attempting to quickly devour for breakfast, before he got caught. I grabbed them out of his sticky hands and project #1 began, building castles and snowmen with toothpicks and marshmallows.
The hum began with each boy moving in his own direction and singing his own song. Axel cries when we call him a Scientist, adamantly stating that he does not want to be associated crazy looking scientists like Einstein. He begins his “non-scientific” experiments by putting marshmallows and chocolate chips in the microwave and then into the freezer. I wonder if all young scientists begin this way, by experimenting with that which is most accessible, hot and cold. Brevitt created a remarkable castle with complicated tiers and wings and Tucker made a snowman. If I disturbed the energy by trying to break away from it, the turbulence would threaten to bring our musical plane down.
When they began licking and unsticking themselves from their project, I began project #2, moving them in front of a large mirror with a DVD player, a costume box and flashlights. We spent a good hour taking turns dressing up and performing skits to music in the dark.
Brevitt went first, dressing up as a girl in a blond wig and a fun Prada dress that I had bought at a sale during my wild days. Ask me what compelled me to buy a short, orange, stretchy nylon Hawaiian dress with orange tassles on the sleeves and bottom and I will tell you that I used to be very fun.
Brevitt gloated at himself in the mirror, caressing his curves and complaining about his hair. My laughter quickly turned to concern as his dance moves became R-rated. I was going to have to do some serious investigating into where he learned those moves.
We all followed Brevitt’s lead putting on the Prada dress and wig. I appreciated Axel’s more innocent Guns n’ Roses style of dancing, which closely resembled his dad when practicing air guitar. Tucker surprised us with his adeptness at copying his big older brother and my concerns returned.
I made the mistake of leaving the room for a few minutes to prepare a snack and out came that high pitched 911 scream from Tucker.
Evidently, Brevitt had told Tucker to close his eyes while convincing Axel to stick a nerd candy up his own bottom. When Tucker opened his eyes he was happy to find the nerd sitting invitingly in front of him and he popped it into his mouth, a moment in time that he will never forget.
Brevitt was becoming argumentative and pouty and so we took a break from the flow. I wrestled him to the floor and began asking questions but his only answer, as he shook his head back and forth, was “I’m the Prince, and I can do whatever I want.” He gets like this every now and then, stuck in a character and totally impossible and I begin to think that he has a few screws loose. I knew if I wanted the day to continue unscathed I had to get to the bottom of his issues.
Me: “What is going on with you? You seem to be very argumentative these days.”
B-Boy: “I feel like I am always getting in trouble for trying to help people.”
Me (repressing the urge to mention that he had just gotten in trouble because he ingeniously had Tucker eat a lethal nerd): “How about I make it one of my New Year’s resolution to pay more attention before getting upset with you?”
B-Boy: “But you always make resolutions and never keep them.”
Me: “Okay, that will be my other resolution, to keep my promises.”
B-Boy: “I feel like running away because I don’t think before I do stupid things.”
At that moment I noticed that he had put the barrel of a wooden toy gun into his mouth. I got very disturbed becoming concerned that I had neglected to see how depressed he truly was. I was about to go online and search for a children’s psychologist when I noticed the skeletal pile of toothpicks that once was Tucker’s marshmallow snowman. Like a fox, Brevitt had eaten all of the marshmallow projects. Concern turned to anger when I realized that Brevitt’s meltdown was sugar induced and so I kicked him out of the house and moved Axel and Tucker on to Project #3, writing a letter to daddy to convince him that we should get a puppy in the spring.
As the day faded into night I saw how a day connecting with my children, through arts & crafts and conversation, was so sorely needed, tantrums and all. We played Rummy Q and ended the night wrapped in each others arms in the TV room watching a crazy VH1 show called Nitrous Circuit, where young men reach their athletic limits by doing stupid things.