The Bon Jovi Amplification

  I woke up too early again. Dang it. The opening guitar riff of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” by Bon Jovi will start playing on my alarm any minute now.

Oh well, better three minutes too early than three hours. That’s happened before. It isn’t pretty

My husband R was probably on the ferry by now. This week he’ll have to commute to San Francisco three times because he’s got a midterm to take on campus tomorrow.

On my birthday. 

That day was the only day available for him to take the midterm and I didn’t care. Not in the “I don’t care but really I do” kind of way, but turning 41 is not fanfare-worthy. Sure, every birthday is cake worthy but my birthday falls on a Thursday this year. Not convenient at all. 
The beginning of the week is rough on all of us. The kids have to adjust to getting to bed at a reasonable time after having been allowed to stay up “as late as they want”, meaning I don’t have to tell to go to bed at a certain time. But if I see Zombie Eyes (you know the look, trying to watch tv just because they can), I most certainly tell them to go to bed. 

On Monday I declared a strike on cleaning and organizing. Frustrated at the task of finding a matching lid to a cheap plastic bowl, I almost dropped everything I was doing to reorganize the kitchen.


No, I was not going to do it. The three are old enough to empty the dishwasher so they are old enough to put clean dishes in their proper place. Why haven’t I been enforcing that?

The kids got right to work. They know better than to wait too long when I gave them a chore. If they don’t get started, Mommy gets impatient. Mommy starts to see many, many new chores that need to be done.

Ten minutes after I announced the strike, the Middle marveled at how much space there was in the cupboards and drawers. I wanted to say, “Well, that’s what I have to do every single day!”

But I didn’t. Instead, I said, “That’s what you’re going to do every single day.”

R is taking a physics class and while he is interested in physics, taking a physics class is a different story. Such is the challenge of college! Some applications to do his assignments weren’t loading properly. The Oldest and I are under the constant stress of wanting to help and being able to help versus giving R the independence to figure out his own problems. Interestingly enough, both are extremely verbal when expressing their frustrations. 

Last night the Oldest was having problems with the printer. He is taking four academic classes, including honors science, and while he was so excited and so proud of himself for taking these classes, I’m afraid the luster is gone.

“Mommy! Can you help me with this?”

I have found, as a teacher and as a parent, to take my time doling out the help. It isn’t that I don’t want to help, I do. Most times, when a child gets to that frustrational level, they are so emotional that they are unable to think logically through their problem. When I take my time, it usually allows the child to calm himself down which is far more valuable than me swooping in to make it all better. 

By the time I got upstairs, I asked the Oldest what he needed. Turns out, he cancelled the print job and started a new one. It probably took him three minutes to take a deep breath and realize that he could come up with a solution without me. It worked.

Three minutes and I’m off to work. Thanks, Bon Jovi.

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