Saturday, June 02, 2007

Heat, Boredom and Collared Shirts

We went to a picnic this afternoon. It was thrown by one of Jeanine’s co-workers out in Acton. Kids dashed in and out of sprinklers trying to keep the unbearable heat at bay.

Maybe it’s always hot in June but today was miserable. Wasn’t it just snowing, early May?

This was important for Jeanine. She loves Berklee College of Music, always has loved Berklee. I’m not saying this because I met her boss tonight and his wife or because people at her work read my blog. The reality is when she had the opportunity to create a program from scratch and be the big wig, she did but…she never left Berklee. When the program was set up, she left, pleased and ready to go back “home.”

A classical musician in a sea of jazzers and rockers. Home, indeed.

She wanted to show off her kids and her wife. She made the boys all put on collared shirts. She’s out of her mind if she wants the boys to be good wearing collared shirts at a PICNIC. I did not do the enormous eye roll in front of the children. But I did do an enormous eye roll.

95 degrees, 100% humidity and… collared shirts?

Yes, I had on mine, too.

Having been to enough parties where they know we are trying to put our best face forward, they took total advantage of the situation. Zachary refused to eat anything but chocolate, Jake ended up soaked and ignoring requests to meet people, and Ben… Ben was bored.

Soooo bored. Bored beyond belief. Bored to the point of death.

We walked in and before we had crossed into the yard, he asked, When are we leaving?

I ignored him.

He clung onto my arm and in the bazillion degree plus weather, I tried to remain calm. Earlier in the day, with my well known parental counterparts at the baseball game, when he tried to sit on me, all the other parents echoed my shriek of NO.

Heat and humidity, said one mom, means an extra foot of personal space.

Two! I shot back.

We laughed and the kids knew they were outnumbered.

But it was Jeanine’s party and I wanted to come across as a calm parent- this is something my baseball pals know better than to believe- and the boys knew it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Aside from drawing blood, they were going to get away with whatever they wanted.

Finally, Ben left my side and wandered- bored- through the party. I was talking to one woman who said, oh, don’t the kids look like they are having so much fun…

And the younger ones did.

I guess there are no teenagers here, she laughed, I don’t see anyone walking around bored.

Oh, my son is right over there.

She was surprised the bored look could start so early, at a mere eleven years old.

As if on cue, he walked over, put his head on my sweating shoulder and said, Mom? When are we leaving?

I ignored him again, merely rubbing his head.

Then, when no one was looking, I poured cold water down the back of his shirt. He eyed me, MOM.

I carved out my boundary- I would pour water on him regardless of who I was talking to at the moment. Stop pushing.

Eventually, the heat became too unbearable and unwilling to grab the hose from one of the kids, I gave Jeanine the okay, I’m a puddle need to go cue.

Which is me saying, okay, I’m a puddle, I need to go.

The boys all said goodbye, politely, and Jeanine thanked me when we got home.

You were perfect. The lovely wife.

Uh… thanks.

It's still unbearable hot.

And the boys are still in their sweaty, wet collared shirts.


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