Monday, June 16, 2008

Diary: Monday, June 16, 2008

Oy vey.

Well, we never did find Timothy's GameBoy Advance SP. So he had to ride to camp today with just a couple of books. Stephen was kind and didn't take his gameboy. They took the two "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, which Timothy has read but Stephen hasn't. I told Stephen last night that he could finally read them and he smiled his big, genuine smile.

Timothy and Stephen are at Ridgehaven camp for the week. Timothy went last year and really loved it. This is Stephen's first year, and since he's our homebody I was expecting a little more drama than what occurred. But he was fine. His fierce independent streak seems to have overcome his love of home. Not for the last time, I'm sure, but the first cut is the deepest, etc.

Kristie drove them up, a three hour trip each way. Because Sam was sick (and because our usual "hey can you watch Sam for the day" friends are out of town), both he and Jonah stayed home. I "watched" them while I worked. But since it was a horrible and busy day at work (I hate the Internet), I wasn't able to do much watching. Jonah and Sam, on the other hand, watched most of the first Star Wars trilogy.

Thankfully, the boys are fully trained not to do crazy things when left to their own devices, and I have pretty good hearing for crazy things, so nothing happened. The worst was when Sam came and knocked on my door while I was on a call. I've explained to the boys that they should knock on my office door if they need me, and then to wait until I respond. If I don't respond right away, then I'm probably on the phone and they should wait.

But Sam missed that last part, and kept knocking: little triplets from little knuckles on my door, every 5 seconds for about a minute. I finally put the phone on mute while my customer was explaining something and asked Sam to "please wait." He did, for another 30 seconds and then began rapping again. We had a talk when I was done with my call.

They only knock when they want something: cookies, juice, drawing paper from in my office. Nobody knocks to say hello. Sigh.

Throughout the day, Jonah discussed with me the fact that today was his Pajama Day. In first grade, Jonah's class had a Pajama Day, where all the kids wore their pajamas all day. This concept was, to Jonah, what French philosophy is to college freshmen. The idea of Pajama Day has consumed him. Ask Jonah what he learned in first grade, and he will most likely tell you about the day he learned that you could stay in pajamas ALL DAY.

He's internalized this lesson, and has decided that one day per week this summer will be his own Pajama Day. As the summer has progressed, this celebration of Not Wearing Real Clothes has moved earlier and earlier in the week. Today was the first Monday Pajama Day, and I predict that all future observances will be on Mondays as well.

At lunch today, Jonah began to make grand plans about a Pajama Day Chart, on which he could both record glorious Pajama Days past, and also plan out future ones. As he waxed eloquent about individual Pajama Days for the brothers and also about Family Pajama Days, it dawned on me that what he was doing was negotiating for TWO Pajama Days per week. I let him build his case, and then explained again that there would be only one per week. He took this news well, considering that it was Jonah.

Sam's fever eventually calmed down, and I stopped interspersing his Motrin doses with Tylenol. I like to keep them evenly spaced: Motrin, 3 hours, Tylenol, 3 hours, Motrin, etc. But with the length and number of calls today, I got off track and eventually had to drop Tylenol altogether. Fortunately, he didn't throw up again, although he did ask me to sleep with him "all night" just in case he had another 4 AM episode. I told him that a) he wasn't sick any more, and b) since I was able to wake up in time to get him to the bathroom last night, I had proven myself more than capable of doing so again tonight.

He shrugged, as if to say, "It's your floor."

When Kris got home, we went to McDonald's for dinner. Because I miss Timothy so much, I got his favorite, the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich (a.k.a. the Chick-fil-a knock-off). Jonah and Sam played with some friends from CBS (the Bible study, not the TV network), and I went to Rite Aid to get some wart cream for the boys. Three of them have warts, and their cream costs $10. Stephen has molluscum on his face, and his medicine costs $600. No joke. Our insurance covered all but $45 of it, and I experienced my first case of medical sticker shock. That packet of goo costs more than my wife's engagement and wedding rings, even accounting for inflation.

We got home from dinner and put the kids in the bath (the play place at McD's smelled ripe, and Kris worried that the boys might catch fierce playplace diseases). Then they went to bed. It's crazy having two kids here. The younger two are the louder two, but the older boys are more active. Their absence is a felt absence, like missing an arm.

With the boys in bed, Kris and I watched Stranger Than Fiction, with Will Ferrell. It's a great movie, and watching it the second time I picked up some interesting things I had missed before. At one point, when Ana is talking about baking cookies for her study groups at Harvard Law, she says that she realizes she can change the world through baking cookies. And it hit me that this was a great example of the Christian idea of vocation. I told Kristie this, and she said I was a nerd.

Which is true.

Now they're all in bed, and tomorrow I'll go to work, run credit cards, answer phone calls and emails, and try to convince angry customers that we're doing the best we can. And hopefully I'll remember Ana's cookies and her commitment to serving her neighbor through cookies.


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