Many times today, I wished that children were born shaped like towels: soft, cushy, flat, and able to be satisfyingly wwwwwrrrrruuuunnnnngggg out.
Make no mistake, I love my son. I'd move heaven and earth for him. I get a kick out of the classes of young 'uns I've been teaching lately, even though I really need to tailor some of my lessons for the kindergarten-1st grade-aged kids. I've been sort of thrown into the frying pan as far as these younger ones and their art education. But I'm getting help from a certain amount of trial and error, from education literature, and from expert advisers such as my grandmother, my aunt's ex-husband's mother (take five - think about it- relax) and my mother-in-law. Yeah, it's long-distance advice, but I'm taking what I can get at this point.
I had to wonder today if daylight savings time had wrought some sort of havoc on the behavior of the kids in the class. It certainly wasn't the onset of the Saints' game today, because nobody presented me with a note pleading their case for early dismissal (although my teaching assistant didn't tell me until approximately 15 minutes before he had to leave that he needed to buck out of school a half-hour early. He's forgiven today because he's been a good assistant in my teaching schemes to date.). Maybe it was my sorry excuse for a lesson plan - should have had more pizazz, more Xeroxes for the kids, more of a review of the Ten Commandments before beginning a game based on them, a DVD player that would actually play the DVD, etc., etc. BUT the kids who were troublemakers to begin with bordered on psychotic today. The know-it-alls couldn't wait to show how much they knew, and not in a good way. One kid became a snarky realist, and I chided him for being SUCH the wet blanket (boy did I want to wring him out today) Good kids had meltdowns, and weird kids were certifiable. Had to send the two troublemakers to the ducation director's office today, even.
What did they put in the city's water today? Could it have been the effects of the hole opened up in my street by the Sewerage & Water Board dudes? I have to wonder.
I came home expecting things to be a little better, only to find my son chasing me around and saying "Kneedeep, kneedeep" over and over again like a Sesame Street Muppet frog (okay, so I claim partial responsibility for encouraging this with some "kneedeeps" of my own), and then shoving things under the door and trying to break it down while I was in the bathroom. At a local park, where I made the attempt at having him let off some steam and energy, he tossed a mini soccer ball from the height of a kiddie play equipment fire engine at me and got me in the face. I transferred the wild man over to another park where there were waaay more kids playing, and then I met the most darling eleven-month-old.
God help me. Just when I think there is no possible way I will be letting my body and soul contribute to placing a new human being on this earth, I get thrown a curveball that twists me around and imbeds me in the ground a little. And the curve was this little cutie.
At first I thought she was a boy. I can never really tell these things to begin with, but she did have short hair and overalls on. And the clothes she wore were not overly girly. But she walked right over to the kiddie bike my son had commandeered temporarily (It's in the toddler creed somewhere that a toy that is not one's own is WAY more interesting), dinged the bell on it and gave me a gap-toothed smile, and I was charmed. Her grandma was nearby, and I dinged the bell again so the woman could get a digital camera shot of that winning punim. The little one sort of ambled through the playground (she was an early walker) and stared in infant wonder at the older kids around her. It was a whole new world, hers for the taking in. And her attitude pulled me in.
Could it be, after a major demonstration of all the ways in which children can be infuriating, obnoxious, annoying, and downright horrific (quote from "The War At Home": "Hey, I have three kids. Every day is a punishment.") , things that I can feel in my bones, the hints and whispers of what can still befall me and my husband as our son ages and changes...could it be that I am actually entertaining the idea of having another kid?
I had the potential kid names conversation with my husband over dinner this evening.
That's a sign of leaning towards the consideration of having another child.
Oh, boy. Pray for me, y'all.
For someone who, at one point, vowed she would remain childless all her life, and was determined to work at occupations that did not involve anyone under the age of eighteen, I am now akin to Miss Hannigan in Annie. I am surrounded, and it doesn't entirely feel good. Then again, this has not been one of my better weekends.
At the last minute, I was able to get a sitter last night so that Dan and I could attend a performance of John Corigliano's Clarinet Concerto at the Convention Center auditorium. Yeah, the same infamous convention center that was the site of so much pain and suffering over a year ago. Last night it was the site of a fantastic performance of the concerto. And it reminded me of the days when Dan and I could, on a whim, head out to a New Orleans Friends of Music chamber music concert, or to a Louisiana Philharmonic performance such as this. I miss those days.
I also miss heading to things like a night performance of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Voodoo Music Festival, which happened this weekend. A fellow religious school instructor said that that was what was tough about being a mom when things like the Chili Peppers show were going on - it was tough to find a sitter so that you could go yourself, because most of the potential sitters were most likely in attendance at the show you wanted to go to. Sigh.
And then I listen to things like "Crescent City" on the radio and wish to God I could hop on down to Le Chat Noir theater in the Quarter and laugh my head off at the antics of the Live Nude Radio Players, get a load of Astral Project's music, and take in Ronnie Virgets as emcee and interviewer in person. I highly recommend linking to WWNO online and setting some time aside on Sunday nights to get a window into N'awlins cultcha.
Yeah, I know. I need to find regular reliable babysitters. I need to schedule my time better. I need way more time with just myself and my husband.
The problem is, I find this so difficult to do with just one child. What the heck will happen if I have another?