School’s out for summer…and deep breaths…

There’s 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it

Phineas and Ferb theme song

In fact, it’s more like seventy-nine days until the first day of the next school year.  This is not a complaint.  I am merely stating a fact.  J can’t count that high yet, but I’m working on it.  I would do a countdown, but for now I think it’s more important to teach J to count forward.

After donning his last-day-of-school shirt, J took thank-you notes and snacks to his classroom.  A couple of hours later we arrived to pick him up and found him, the only student and the only male, surrounded by aides and playing Uno.  The kid, from what we could see, is quite the card shark; he shuffles and deals like a pro.  Ask me if he’s ever wanted to play with us here at home…ask me.  You know the answer, don’t you?

The afternoon has gone by with Benny Goodman’s All The Cats Join In playing repeatedly, and J attempting a dance step or two when I’m not looking at him.  From time to time, and only to convince me that I don’t want to be in the family room, J will switch to Christmas music.  This is enough to convince me that it’s time to do something upstairs, and as soon as I leave, he starts giggling…very much the cat that swallowed the canary.  Today we’ve given each other time to adjust to the reality of no-school; we have been figuring out who is in charge…J’s winning, of course.  Tomorrow, perhaps, it will be my turn.

At J’s behest, we brewed coffee to have with our sandwich dinner.  This little command of his gave us the opportunity to test the three-timer board.  J’s insistence (he said COFFEE at least six times in the span of five minutes,) and the fact that we don’t want to fall asleep too early convinced us to use the three-timer board to make him wait long enough to grind the coffee, load the coffee maker, and serve the coffee.  It worked.  After half an hour, he came upstairs to grind coffee with Dada, and then -mere minutes later- the next timer went off and he prepared the coffee pot.  Ten minutes later, the coffee was served and everyone was happy.  Tomorrow I will do my best to time a task in three steps using the same system…the worst that can happen is that J is not in the mood to participate.

For now, though, summer has started on a nice note.  We have eased into not waiting for the bus, not rushing up the hill with backpack and watching out for dogs.  Weather permitting, we will go for a nice brisk walk in the early morning hours, then we’ll check the mail at around 2 PM and then we’ll go back out for another walk at around seven-thirty.  During the day, our schedule is peppered with other things: feeding the cats, putting together a Lego, working on a puzzle that will take us a few days to complete.  By Thursday we will be following a chore schedule that will give him three things to do each morning to help around the house.  This, anyway, is the plan I have in mind…

By the end of summer I want him to be able to make pancakes without any help.  I am sure that he can learn to use the griddle with very little effort.  I would probably (with a great deal of effort since I am not very good at Math) halve the recipe so we don’t end up with too many pancakes, but this is not outside the realm of J’s ability.  The kid can make a quesadilla, and we have a panini press so he can use that, too.  Pancakes, though, will take a little more control in terms of pouring the batter, but I’m sure we can master this (with a mess here and a disaster there) before August rolls around.

Yes, it was the last day of school and it is the first evening of summer vacation.  I am still brave, intrepid, ambitious about  the weeks to come, and I hope to continue with my sails full for a little while longer.  Of course…J will let me know how viable my crazy maternal schemes are.

We’ll see…but, right this minute, it’s looking pretty good!!!!


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