This was one of those days that makes you appreciate your couch. Though the laundry had piled up during the last two weeks in the basement awaiting the service man to fix the washing machine, (which finally happened yesterday) I was not inclined to do much laundry at all. And, though the dishes in the sink were overflowing on to the counter, (creating a structure I like to refer to as Mt. Sinkmore) I was not inclined to move them any closer to the dish washer, either. Today, I really just wanted focus on making my living room livable again. I sat on the couch gently sorting through toy bins, encouraging the boys to discard their broken toys, to create a pile of toys they were willing to donate to other children, and to put the remainder of the toys they still play with back into the bins. I was determined we were going to repeat this drill until we achieved the desired result, which in this case was going to be toy bins that were not overflowing in such a manner they no longer fit on their designated shelves. To my surprise, the boys actually participated with this exercise and willingly made good decisions. As we went, I had Ben throwing the random clothing which had come to rest in the living room down the laundry chute, and I had Jake returning all the dishware cluttering our coffee tables back to Mt. Sinkmore. Before long, the boys were taking turns dusting the shelves while I was vacuuming the furniture and the floor. By the time we were done, we found there was actually a carpet under the mess and ample room suitable for playing the even the most rambunctious video games. And so, as the room was shiny and organized, I allowed the boys to play games as they wished and I sat down to play on my computer. (Yes, I realize this is a vice. Perhaps I will seek treatment at some point. Not today though, because I found some really fun editing software I am busy exploring.) The only casualty in todays activity was the laundry chute itself, as at one point, Ben had to free a clog of clothes by throwing heavy toys down it. (Not my idea.) As the toys feel into the heap of clothings below, they broke the metal contraption at the bottom of the chute. To be honest, I have no idea what the intention of that sheet of metal was anyhow, and the clothes still fall right into the place they always had. I suppose this means there was no harm done.
I’ve been observing a trend whereas the boys are playing better and better together when it comes to video games. As I melted into the comfy (and newly clean) couch cushion, I watched the boys cheer one another on, suggest new techniques, and even take turns sharing. Meanwhile, I worked on a photo collage which I plan to print and hang above a window in my living room. Though the noise level was a little higher than it had been when the boys had been feeling more ill earlier in the week, it was still a very quiet, serene afternoon. It felt refreshing.
And, just as I was thinking we might be able to attend a birthday party that we were invited to after all, Jake’s eyes turned a bit red, his face began to pale, and he started giving our furnace a run for its money. I reluctantly gave him more Tylenol and absolved to the fact that I was not destined to leave my house today in any capacity. As Jake’s fever took its grip, he could no longer continue playing video games and handed off the controller to Ben. (This proved to me that he was not joking around. Jake would just as soon give Ben all the candy in the world than let go of Player 1 controller.) But, that allowed more time for Jake to cuddle next to me on the couch while he occasionally critiqued Ben on his Wii Sword fighting skills. Ben was thrilled with the opportunity to play Nintendo with no reason to trade off taking turns. This is something he isn’t yet accustomed to. I was thankful again for the cuddles.
As the day wore down, so did both the boys, and after watching a little television on the couch together, I started the boys to bed. I read several stories to them, as usual, and tucked them tight into their covers. I asked Ben to share what he was most thankful for. Initially, he was most thankful for his chores. Thinking perhaps he had misunderstood the intention of my question, I explained it a different way. Indeed, Ben was happy to have had the opportunity to throw his toys down the laundry chute, and for that he was thankful, though he was sorry he broke the chute. I asked him one last time as I exited his room, and he decided he was also very thankful for Wii Sports Resort. And really, after watching the boys work hard, I was thankful for Wii Sports Resort also. It was nice to reward them with something which would further encourage their abilities to support one another, grow also as individuals, and all while allowing my backside to bond with my clean couch cushions.
Benjamin is thankful for silly chores and Wii Sports Resort. I am thankful for my couch, and the family I watch playing around it. I am thankful for cuddles, though I do wish my kids didn’t have to be sick so that I can get said cuddles. And, I am ALWAYS thankful lazy weekends. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to set your clocks back tonight!