Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

It seems with our schedule that I am constantly struggling to get the boys out of the house on time because I hate being late. I spend a great deal of my day, hurrying from one place to the next, clutching my calendar to try to insure that I know where I am supposed to be and do not miss an appointment or, heaven forbid, forget to pick up a boy and leave him stranded someplace.

There are some things, however, I do not like to rush. A delicious meal with family or friends on a special occasion. A glass of vintage tawny port. A cup of coffee with real cream and sugar added. Please try not to notice that I have included only food and drink items and not some amazing athletic endeavor like crossing the finish line of the Boston marathon.

Sectional-type overhead garage doors in the st...
David's list, however, would be very different from mine. I am happy to report that it would not include the glass of port or even the cup of coffee, but it would most certainly include the opening and closing of the garage door. Don't make the mistake of trying to close the door to the house before David has had the opportunity to watch the garage door close completely every…single…time. If you press the button for David before he is ready for his observation, he will make the door go back up so that he can watch it descend in its entirety. It doesn't matter if it is 12 degrees outside, or 112 degrees. It doesn't matter if there is a swarm of mosquitoes charging toward the open door—or rabid dogs, for that matter. We are going to wait until the last ray of light has been blotted from view, and then we can close the door to the house.

Also, you cannot rush David when he is putting gas into the car. You don't need to make a quick call to DCFS. I don't really make David hop out of the car to purchase gas, which, by the way, is a confusing enough topic because when I tell David we are going to stop for gas, his reply is usually, "I passed gas; excuse me." For a period of time, however, he would pretend to put gas in the car every time we parked in the garage. Now, of course we want to encourage pretend play and it was really cute the first time he did it, and the seventh time, but by the 77th time with an armload of groceries, some of the novelty had worn off.

As soon as David could get out of the car, he would grab a bungee cord that hangs from a shelf in the garage. And, of course he never would choose the bungee cord with the plastic hook, he would invariably choose the one with the metal hook, partly because it had a black rubber cord that more closely resembled the gas hose and partly because of the extremely satisfying clicking sound that it made as it removed tiny flecks of paint--I mean as he tapped it repeatedly on the door leading to the gas tank. Then there would be two taps with his open hand on the side of the car, then came the whooshing noise of the gas going into the tank, "SHHHHHHHHHHH."

Now, we are almost done, but don't drive away from the pump yet. The improvised gas hose goes back on the pump and we must wait for the receipt to print. "Eeeee. Eeeee. Eeeeeeeeeee." Now it is safe to enter the house, but don't forget about the garage door.

I try to be patient, but there are times that I really have to call on my yoga breathing to calm myself. (No, I don't really practice yoga, but I needed something to counterbalance all of the earlier food comments.) I have learned with David that I cannot rush the process. It is like waiting for water to boil, repeatedly pressing the elevator button, or waiting for the "fasten seatbelts" sign to turn off on an airplane. "DING. You are now free to move about the cabin."

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  1. Funny stuff. You are not alone. Reading this post made me think of how many hours of my life I've spent driving miles out of my way just so my son could see his favorite flashing yellow traffic lights. Just like David, my son used to be filled with rituals and quirks which made getting out of the house an epic adventure. As he grows older, these seem to be dissipating. Breathe.

  2. I remember as a child waiting for my younger sister on a daily basis. She would always procrastinate when it came time to put on her shoes. Everyone would be loaded up in the car before she would sit quietly on the stairs to buckle up ....not her seatbelt...her shiny patent leather church shoes. Mind you we were all still waiting while she got up to make her way to the car, but not before a little tap dance on the marble entryway. A little soft shoe on the way out the door always put a smile on her face :) We should all have habits like hers and David's interest with his doors ...maybe we would all smile a little bit more!

  3. Oh God, I so hear you. Audrey loves the automatic garage doors as well...and we have a detached garage so I have to stand there with her to make sure that she doesn't run away after the door is down. I am such an impatient person too...part of the reason that Audrey may never learn a life skill such as shoelace-tying. I just can't stand the wait!