Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fatigued Soccer

Somehow Atticus sprinted and dribbled and kicked his way through nearly one entire soccer season with his mother taking nary a picture, despite him both loving the game and being really quite good at it.

Finally, though, I managed to get my act together.

As ever, click to embiggen.

It was a good game, and according to Derek he played well.  (I always think he plays well, even when he has apparently done something less than great.  This is because I am still baffled that any child of mine could have so much as a modicum of athletic talent.  This boy has dodged all the genetic bullets my DNA could throw at him, which let me assure you, are legion.)

He, like, runs toward the ball, over and over, and chases after it for close to one hour straight.  This is amazing.  Let's also take a moment to appreciate the kid above on the right who may be having some kind of existential crisis.  "But why do we chase the ball?"  I feel you, buddy.

As well as he played though, and as happy as I was to have finally remembered the camera, it was kind of a tough game to watch.  Atticus is normally more or less tireless during these games of his, but on this Saturday, he was sluggish and slow compared to his normal self.  He would kick the ball, or pass it, or whatever, but then instead of sprinting after it as usual he'd just stand there, or walk.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him until Derek said, "Well, he didn't get any sleep last night, remember?"

Oh.  Right.  Night terrors.

We've experienced the effects of our son's night terrors for years now, but it was still pretty upsetting for me to see it so clearly, how exhaustion was keeping him from doing his best.  I realize it's just a kids' soccer game, with minimal repercussions, but watching all those other kids bounce around out there, it was evident how different Atticus's reality is from theirs.  And that sucks.
How to tell if Atticus had a rough night:  look for the bags under his eyes (illustrated above) and the thousand-yard stare.  Same goes for his parents, with the addition of slow download speeds for his mom.  Please allow an extra ten seconds' worth of blank staring when asking her a question. 

The day after this game, though, I was talking to another parent about her little girl, who has Type I diabetes, and who has had to re-orient her family's life around this diagnosis.  It was a good reminder that all families have invisible struggles, from night terrors to diabetes to children who give their mothers that birthed them a hard time about listening to Christmas music in October.  THERE IS NEVER A BAD TIME TO LISTEN TO CELTIC CHRISTMAS, OKAY, UNGRATEFUL PROGENY?

Know who he reminds me of, though, in this red jersey of his?
Especially when he's looking all tall and stuff?

His dad.
He's the tall one in the middle there.  Comparing the two, I'd say the genes are strong in this one.

Maybe Yoda had night terrors, too.

Soccer season is now over, which Atticus is already grieving.  I'm excited about the time this frees up, but am wise enough not to say so.  It's already given us extra orchard time!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Stories for Two Out of Three

I have yet again had a talking-to with myself and said that I am not to let this little piece of the internet waste away with but a single post a month.  We've been busy little bees-

and speaking of bees, those things stinging our children were not bees but the vile and depraved YELLOW JACKET, and once I took the time to do two seconds of investigating I found that why, yes, there was a hole in the ground with a steady stream of black- and yellow- banded winged insects streaming into it, and if I hung around for more than two seconds that trend would reverse itself and a steady stream of those same insects would begin filing out, heading straight for my own apparently threatening body.  The internet is divided on what to do about this, so thus far I have fallen back on one of my greatest strengths and done nothing.

- so, yes, busy little bees we have been indeed, with both the boys having birthdays and turning different ages, which is helpful for me because all three are now back to their evenly-spaced, stair-step ages, so I don't have to look like a terrible mother when people ask me how old they are, as I stand there and try to remember just what age our own children are right now.

Adelaide seems to be feeling the full eleven-ness of her eleven years, which I will explain with a small story:

There was recently a lock-in at our church for sixth graders.  Adelaide was willing to go and participate, but kept bemoaning the fact that it didn't start until 9 p.m., and didn't those leaders understand that only gives her around two hours of fun?  I tried to explain that the point is to try and stay up all night, to which she responded with a harrumph and more grumbling about needing her sleep and how kids her age need a good 10-12 hours a night and are the youth group leaders responsible adults or not if they don't understand that?

But off she went, towing her sleeping bag and pillow, fully planning on using both to good effect.

I picked her up the following morning at 8 a.m.  She was holding two doughnuts and a full package of Oreos.  The youth group leader told me he was pretty sure she hadn't slept at all.  She confirmed this.

I knew what this meant.

Adelaide is right to put a priority on sleep.  She does and has always needed plenty of sleep, for with proper rest she is her usual delightful self, but without, she regresses in age by around 70%.  And sure enough, halfway home she burst into tears because I laughed too hard at one of her jokes.  Derek suggested she stay home from Atticus's soccer game to sleep, which she did, but then we attempted to rouse her for the afternoon, not wanting throw her sleep schedule off any further.  What we got for our efforts was a vengeful she-beast who wailed every time she was reminded that no, no, she mustn't go back to sleep, she must stay awake for her own good.
Approach with caution.

Eventually self-preservation won out and I did let her lapse back into slumber for the bulk of the afternoon.  By Sunday she was more or less back to normal, so I suppose it all worked out.

Atticus has been running around playing lots of soccer, of which I have zero pictures.  He has scored the majority of goals for his club soccer team, of which I have zero pictures.  Does this mean they revoke my soccer mom card, or did that automatically happen when I told Derek I still don't understand what "offsides" means?  At least it looks like I'm in good company:  a google search of "soccer offsides" gave me a bunch of results, naturally, topped with "How to Understand Offside in Soccer:  11 Steps," "What is the Offside Rule in Soccer? -dummies," and a 4-minute YouTube video of a soccer coach trying to explain this rule.  No wonder!  You're going to lose me in any situation that it takes 11 steps or four minutes or whatever to explain a sports-related rule.

Other than photo-less soccer, Son the Elder has also been harvesting his sunflowers for seed so he can plant more in the spring, because he really does love to grow them.
Note that he wears his shin guards to do so.  This is both practical for gardening and so that he can return immediately to soccer after finishing.  And regarding the knife:  I've found that even my more reluctant gardeners are more likely to join in when I tell them they can use a knife at some point.  This kid merrily sawed away at all our sunflowers, some to dry for seed, some to leave on the table on our back deck to try and draw the birds in closer.

We do still have a third child, and he has been doing things, but darned if I can remember what they are.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fake Farm Fun

We visited the orchard one day a couple weeks ago after school.  I'm leading school tours there again this fall, giving our family free admission; somehow Derek managed to avoid going all last year, so we were quick to drag him along this time.

I probably shouldn't say "dragged," as he was happy to participate in every activity there, which was plain fun for the kids and mixed fun for me as I was reminded that some people are irritatingly good at most everything.
Of course you can successfully rope pretend cattle, Derek.  Of course you can.

And pull a tractor up a slight incline with two of your children.

Although I'm shamefully excited to report that were unable to budge that thing until I joined in and pulled, too.  Raw animal strength, that's me.

He finally found a chair big enough for him, and then stepped onto the jumping pillow and thrilled/ terrified his family by bouncing right next to us and sending us all sky high.  The kids actually handled this better than I did, as every time he'd start to jump my way I'd mutter, "NoNoNoNoNo" and slowly crumple into myself.  It turns out I'm a bit of a baby about being shot five feet into the air.

We entered the corn maze, which seemed like a good idea until my family deserted me- Derek in the vast, 5-acre maze, the kids into the much more manageable kid's section.  I followed the kids in, took three turns, and got lost. 
This was a bad idea.

Plus my phone was about to die, so I resigned myself to a life of ferality within the corn.  But lo!
After my trusty guide gently led me out of the agricultural labyrinth (aka activity made for six-year-olds), I was too scarred to continue.  Or we were all hungry?  I don't remember.  This is why I need to stop trying to write these posts in six different sittings. 

[Enter abrupt ending here.]