Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not Tonight, Honey.

Conor's already on to Easter.
This kit he chose had sequins in them.
So very razzle dazzle.
I think they look like colorful little nips.
Last Saturday night, my husband and I lay spooning after a night of long, slow, passionate lovemaking.

"I'm glad we're finished with the long holiday season," he whispered sweetly to me in my ear. "I feel like we can finally take a breath from Conor's holiday madness."

I kid you, I'm kidding, that's totally not true.

Well, my husband DID say that, but he was practically passed out on the other side of our king-size bed. I was barely awake myself, having collapsed on my own pillow 20 seconds before.

"Mmmmhmmmuhhuhpffftmumble," I think I said in reply. We had just capped the long holiday season with Conor's 14th birthday party that day and we were toast. Done. Finished. Exhausted. So exhausted. No, really, not-tonight-honey-don't-you-dare-touch-me exhausted.

It's true, though, what my husband said. Every year, on September 1st, it's as if a starter pistol goes off in my little guy's brain, and he begins to obsess about the upcoming holiday schedule.

And... we're off!


Mommy's Birthday!
(Hey, it's a holiday, at least in Conor's mind. I'm certainly not arguing.)

New Year's Eve!

Valentine's Day!

Conor's Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

(Conor's birthday is February 14th. I never have to buy my husband a Valentine's present again, baby. Twelve hours of labor and three hours of pushing his ginormous spawn out of my hoo-ha is enough of a present for one Hallmark holiday IMHO. I figure I'm good until at least 2021.)

Wait, what was I talking about again? So distracted... oh, right.

On September 1st, that imaginary starter pistol goes off, and Conor becomes frenzied, obsessed, demanding, persistently so.  He practically races from holiday to holiday, breathless with anticipation and anxiety. One holiday isn't over before he's asking about the next one.

"You want to be a doctor, when's Conor going to dress up for Halloween?  
When's Conor going trick-or-treating?  
Want Conor to go to the Gerkin's house for Halloween? 
When will we celebrate Mommy's birthday? 
What time will we go to Nanny's house for Thanksgiving?
When will we go to Grandma's house at Christmastime? Can Conor
choose his outings for December 28th today?
It's Conor's birthday coming up, can Conor go to Amazing Glaze for his birthday party, with six friends and Aidan and paint pottery for your birthday?"

These aren't unreasonable questions, really, it's not that. It's just hard to answer them all in five minutes at 6:30am on September 1st. I haven't even figured out what I'm cooking for dinner that night! 

And he interrogates you like an FBI agent until you give him an answer.  It's torture. He'll ratchet up the intensity of his questioning and his perserveration until you're ready to say anything.

Ok, ok, I'll admit it!  I was on the grassy knoll 
with Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963! 
I wasn't born yet, but I was there! Just stop asking me!

And the constant wanting, it just never stops. Wanting to buy and aquire, his rampant attempts at accumulating things and maybe giving them away.  It's like he's a Kardashian or something. (Except for the giving away part.)

What do you mean you're not going to
buy Conor anything he wants?
Don't you know it's the holiday season?
Buy, buy, buy...I want, I want, I want!

Conor wants to do this Conor wants to do that when is Conor going here when is Conor going there when can Conor see this when can Conor see that Conor wants to buy Mommy a present Conor wants to buy Nanny a present Conor wants to buy everyone on the planet a present when when when when when?!!

UGH! It's enough to drive a woman to drink.

We do our best to manage his behavior.  Otherwise, he'd devolve into a whirling dervish of anxiety. (Sometimes still does, despite our efforts.)

He has a budget and a budget rules book to live by.

He has a calendar of when activities will happen and where, when school is in and when school is out.

He has social stories out the whazoo about this event and that event. And, this year, a special budget just to buy Christmas gifts for his immediate family only.  (And Linus the dog, we buy the dog Christmas gifts.  Don't judge, he's family.)

Sorry, cousins. He's got, like, a bjillion of
those so they didn't make the "approved" list.
I plan everything well in advance (as much as I possibly can, anyway). And, of course, there's his Levels protocol.

It's not that so much of this is inappropriate, these questions and the desire to purchase items and to travel and see our family and do fun things. I want to do all those things, too. Who doesn't?

It's the near-constant bubbling of the wanting, the questioning, the desiring, the anxiety, the constant perseverations, and the need for control. It's the frantic race from holiday to holiday, from activity to activity without a breath that is so wearing.  Each and every activity, holiday, vacation, and community outing takes so much work and effort on everyone to make it successful.

It's almost as if Conor's a bottle of soda.  Shake it up a little, and it'll fizz. Shake it up a lot, and it'll pour over.  Add a Mentos candy and watch him explode!

So, yeah, it's exhausting. It takes an incredible amount of work to keep Conor on the nice and even, and sometimes even that's not enough to keep him from exploding. And cleaning up that mess?  Not fun.  Not fun at all.

All I can tell ya is that we have six weeks until the Easter holiday. My poor husband may not get laid until April. Good thing Easter's early this year.

    Check out this very cool video. I can't wait to show it to my kids. Fun summer project?

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