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Wednesday, August 24, 2011...the first day in 14 months that all three of my children have been out of the house at the same time for any extended period of time. The first day back to school for the younger two. The third day back to college for the oldest.
My oldest son began college last fall, but he is going to the local community college to get a transfer degree. This is good in so many ways, as it is way cheaper than a four year university and he gets his general education requirements out of the way. But it also means that he is still living at home. If you have ever lived with a 19 year old male college student, you know what it's like. If you haven't, just imagine a kid that doesn't want to talk to you, won't respond when you talk to him, arranges his class and work schedule around the fact that he would rather sleep than be productive during the day, comes to you as if you are an ATM (the only time he talks to you is when he needs money), hasn't washed his sheets in months, and who no longer has to legally show you his grades. It's kind of like having a really messy renter that doesn't pay rent and who eats your food.
As the kids have gotten older, my husband and I have kind of given up on the whole idea of ever having any privacy. They now stay up later than we do and I can hear them coming to life after we shut off our lights at 10:30 to go to sleep. Doors slam, footsteps go down the stairs for food and come back up, the bathroom light is turned on which shines right into our bedroom because our cats are never on the right side of the door and keep flinging it open. It's like they are just waiting for us to get out of the picture. I didn't see much of my two older kids all summer and Jamie finally confessed to me yesterday that he was kind of ready to go back to school because he was getting bored. Hallelujah! Hopefully he will keep that attitude when the algebra assignments start rolling in.
Joey spent most of yesterday off and on in tears. I knew he was upset about summer coming to an end and I think the thing that bothered him the most is that Garfield comes on the Cartoon Network at 2:00 and he won't be here to watch it. I know we have access to a DVR type of deal, because there's a button on the remote, but even if I could figure out how to do it, I refuse to DVR the Garfield show because, well, it's just horribly stupid. I'd much rather he spend his time reading a book. Which, by the way, isn't that what we used to do all summer because we didn't have all of this marvelous technology by which we could completely tune out our parents?
So, what the heck do I do now???? Wow. I don't even know what to do with this feeling. I can get my lunch whenever I want to instead of when the kid is reading what I am writing over my shoulder because he is waiting for me to serve him. (Which is incredibly annoying, by the way.)
If it was fall or winter, I could opt to spend all of the hours they are gone in the hot tub, but since it's in the 80's outside, I'm kind of putzing around, not quite knowing what I am supposed to be doing. It's a novel thing not to be interrupted for a drink, a request for food, a request for the Cartoon Network while I am trying to work, tears because I've been told for the 19th time that someone is going outside and I finally have to say enough already!
I went around the kids' rooms and their bathrooms this morning and found 7 glasses and two of our missing soup sized spoons. Even though I have a fairly strict no drinks upstairs unless it's water policy, apparently that has been ignored all summer long. Since nothing appears to have gotten spilled onto the carpet, it looks like they were being careful in order not to incur Mom's wrath. They just forgot that the minute they were all out the door, I would be doing inspection.
It's already almost 12:30 and I'm feeling a little panicked. I should really be enjoying this more. I'm just not exactly sure how to do that. I think I'll go switch the laundry.