Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last weekend we had a woodstove installed. This week it finally got weathery enough to use it and we've had a few idyllic, or idyllic-ish, evenings by the fire. Supposedly this is a EPA-rated non-emitting woodstove (well, it IS EPA rated), but for a nonemitting entity it sure puts a lot of smoke out the chimney. I'm not sure if the average code-enforcing neighborhood nag would really know the difference between our nonemitting emissions and regular old emitting emissions, is what I'm saying. Hmph. We'll need to investigate this further.

We also managed to acquire the new version of Life (the game) and many spirited games have ensued--it's the kids' current favorite game and coincidentally the source of 90% of their sibling strife ("No, *I* want to be the Doctor!" "I don't WANT to take out $400,000 in loans!" "I don't WANT to lose my job!") (Welcome to the real world, buddy, I always murmur under my breath, and then I am VERY GLAD that there doesn't seem to be a "Get taken for a ride by unscrupulous/ incompetent contractors, pay $20,000" card. This game cuts a little too close to home as it is.)

In related hooligan news, Si and his friend and cousin set up a hot cocoa and coffee stand at the end of the driveway on Saturday, the crummy cold day of the neighborhood garage sale. It would have been marketing genius if a) they hadn't spilled, thrown and/or drunk most of the wares within the first 40 minutes; and b) sampling the wares hadn't caused Silas to turn into an obstreperous jerk ["Hey! Buy some coffee! Hey! We don't want your smiles, we want your MONEY!"] In retrospect we (the adults) probably should have wrapped it in a little sooner than we did. He verged on a neighborhood menace. This week we'll be having a manners intensive.

Whenever he behaves like this--which isn't really all that often--I am always filled with a sense of grim defeat, as though I've failed him somehow, or worse, ruined him. This sense is often significantly leavened by sheer irritation, although the defeat and the irritation both tend to the same end, which is lengthy (and useless) lecturing. It frustrates me to no end that the best response to this very age-approriate and unsurprising behavior is patience, calm repetition of the rules of mannerly conduct, and long-term practice. GAH! I just want a solution NOW and I WILL berate it out of you! This must work!

And then I wonder where he gets his obstreperous behavior FROM. Jeesh.

1 comment:

Erin said...

OH THAT LAST PARAGRAPH. I fall into the same standby rut of frustration too. Always with Calum, and he's only FIVE. I have daily anxiety over the future of his argumentative attitude. I MUST SQUASH IT! And despite the fact that this strategy always backfires, I keep going back to it. It's not pretty.