Is there any sound more pathetic than the sobbing of a small person who doesn't feel well?? Himself and I were wakened at about 5:30 this morning by Petunia, who appears to have contracted a respiratory bug of some sort: she was alternately coughing and crying and sounded like a bullfrog, the poor little thing. A dose of decongestant and a snuggle with Mom worked wonders and she did go back to sleep (we were up for the duration, unfortunately) but she ended up staying home with Daddy and orange juice and pjs and games instead of attending the soccer clinic as planned this morning.
All three of my kids play soccer more or less year-round. During the off-seasons of winter and summer, they take part in periodic skill-building sessions at a training facility near our house. One of the many things I like about the trainers is that they keep tabs on the schedules of area schools and offer optional clinics on days that the kids are out--sometimes, by the end of a long weekend, the kids really need some exercise. The clinic this morning ran from 9-12 and was actually in one of their other locations, which of course to me translated as an opportunity to go geocaching in a new area (yes, I freely admit that I need professional help for this addiction.) I got the boys checked in with their trainer and took off for a couple of hours.
On two separate occasions I've found 14 caches in one day. Last night, I looked at the map for the area around the soccer field and was gobsmacked by the number of caches in the near vicinity (yes, this looks great, but I keep forgetting that it is directly tied to population density and do I really want to live so close to all those people?? No effing way.) At any rate, I figured it for an opportunity to beat my record, and did in fact manage to log 18 in just over two hours, including one evil little beast masquerading as trash at the base of a stop sign. Just when you think you've seen it all...ha. Stopped quickly at a drugstore to purchase a new humidifier for the room of our little froglet, picked up the boys, and then hauled back home to throw them into the shower.
The other thing we try to do on days off from school is set up playdates if the kids want them, since the regular schedule is busy for them and their friends. Petunia's had to be cancelled today, unfortunately. Thing One was invited to a friend's house this afternoon: piece of cake. Clean him up, drop him off, remind him to use his manners and Bob's your uncle. For Thing Two, however, anything social is never simple. He's still working on playing with people as opposed to next to them and the whole imaginative play thing in general, although that skill set is improving, and when people come to our house he only wants to play video games with them, so for him playdates have to be a little different at this point. What we generally do is invite a friend of his to accompany us out on an activity instead of coming over to play, and keep it to him, the friend and one parent so that we can discreetly guide things socially if need be. Today, I took him and a buddy bowling.
I understand that he wants to have friends and really needs the playdates to work on his social skills. I understand that his friends know him from school and appear to like him 'issues' and all; it's not like they don't know how he is. But I hate his playdates with the fiery passion of thousands of suns because it is so painful and stressful for me to have to watch him feeling his way awkwardly along. I have knots in my stomach for hours before these things, which is ridiculous but there it is. As it happened, today's outing went quite well after an slow start: the boys had three rousing games of what we were calling "bumper pinball" (how DID little kids bowl in the era before gutters could be blocked by movable barriers??) followed by a treat. Thing Two managed to carry on a reasonable conversation and to stay out of his friend's personal space for the most part: success!!
Dinner and baths over, kids in bed now: time for tea and bed myself. Done, fried, baked!