Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last of 2008

Am sitting here in the quiet of my living room. George the Elder was taken the boys down to the local park - - a blessing since it is kind of cold, drizzling and very foggy. He is a king. He is also a savior. He arrived home from work to find Henry in his room and me with that look of "You arrived at the very nick of time as I was considering beating him with his own arm!" Yes, I am hopeful that this will be the last of Henry's descent in to darkness moments of 2008. We still have several hours to go, but I am hopeful.

Georgie is like water - he flows serenely through his days and there is very little that gets the kid riled up. Henry is like lava - smooth and calm and black until - - well, until he becomes red and bubbly and erupts. Today it was because I asked him to do his Kumon and he discovered that he was 2 worksheets behind. Zero to fifty in about 2.4 seconds. He makes a Maserati look sluggish. I ended up taking him to the store with me to do grocery shopping (yes, that is a punishment. People who throw tantrums cannot be trusted to stay at home while I go to negotiate the size and quality of a pork loin rib roast...) and then he was put in his room (stomping all the way up the stairs) until he could 1) finish at least one kumon worksheet, and 2) become a rational human being again. He was in there for 2.5 solid hours before he emerged. He emerged because he heard Dad and George leaving to go to the park.

It is worthwhile noting that a Kumon worksheet takes approximately 13 minutes to complete. On the outside. Obviously, the ability to rationalize the 2.5 hours in his room staring at the ceiling, in addition to being hauled around a very crowded supermarket for about 40 minutes - - is worth it, as opposed to just doing the damn worksheet. On one hand, you have to admire his tenacity. He's like a dog with a juicy bone. He can't let go. On the other hand, you have to wonder about his ability to see the forest through the trees. Big picture is that he could have been well done with the evil kumon in the time it took me to strong arm him in to the station wagon for the dreaded trip in search of meat.

So, for now all is quiet. I am hopeful that the time outside will do wonders for Henry's disposition and the age old remedy of a little "fresh air" will suffice. He wants to stay up until midnight tonight. We will see. Right now there is a little note taped to the fridge that states "Henry is not permitted to stay up tonight." He will need to figure out a way to convince me to take it down. Short of sprouting real wings and a halo, his chances are slim. I say that, but the flip side of Henry's darkness is that he can be the sweetest, most loving boy you would ever want to be around when he wants to. They wrote "There was a little girl, with a little curl" with Henry in mind. They just changed the sex so that it wasn't so obvious.

We have no real plans for tonight. Gonna sit around, eat corn chowder and play some raucous dominoes while we wait to usher the new year in. I got some party hats and streamers, champagne and bubbly cider for the boys just in case they make it that far. Last year we were in Sri Lanka watching fire dancers. This year we will be in our living room watching TV. Kinda the same, I guess?

Tomorrow George and I will make the New Years pork roast and sauerkraut that will bring us good luck in 2009. He has found a new recipe that calls for homemade cornbread stuffing. I wonder. If the recipe is a total bust do you still get all the luck that the pork is supposed to bring anyway? It sure looks pretty in the Sauveur recipe picture. Am I doubtful that ours will look the same? Absolutely.

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