Day 2 of DNSN: Look at That!

Kids get up on time, test the waters: “are we still supposed to do everything ourselves?” Yep. Things go okay, bags packed, lunch boxes, breakfast, dressed. Lea, age 8, goes back and forth between demonstratively overdoing it and crumpling in despair on the floor: “I don’t know how to do ANYTHING…” There’s tuna and mayo and tea bags all over the place; I catch myself trying to hint every-so-slightly that the big splotch of hot chocolate on the mudroom floor might need to be wiped up, and then I force myself to do the internationally recognized symbol for duct-tape-across-mouth instead. It’s. So. Hard.

We’re almost there, they’re on schedule (heck, ahead of schedule — what’s up with that?) when Lea suddenly realizes she can’t find her jacket (surprise — she’s the mess fairy on steroids; it could be in one of several time zones). Total misery… this is the end of the world as she knows it. I feign a keen interest in my coffee cup in the other room, and watch this unfold out of the corner of my eye. Her brother, Lucas (11) is getting furious now — she’s holding up his ride to school with this jacket nonsense. Usually he’d whack her over the head and it would go downhill from there, but apparently he already “gets” that it’s really up to the two of them to make this work: he actually helps her look for the jacket. Say, what?!? No luck, though, and it’s really, really whine time now. Lea is reading us all the riot act: “YOU have to find it for me or I’ll be late” — I’m still fascinated by my coffee cup. Lucas tries another tack: “hey, how about this jacket — it’s not that cold out?” Lea: “I hate that jacket. And I can’t wear that other one because I need it for skiing this afternoon, and I can’t get it wet or I’ll be cold…” Lucas: “Whatever. DAAAD can we go now?” Well, look at that — there’s more coffee in this cup…

And suddenly, Lea is standing in front me with her “other” jacket in her hands. “Let’s go!” she snarls, and we’re out the door — on time, with everything packed. Her hair is not brushed, her lunch box is like some mutant chucky cheese takeout dish. But this is huge: our helpless OCD/noodler actually got over herself, and her sarcastic, wanna-be teenager with the permanent eye-roll helped her get there. Loving it.