The boys have been out of school all week for May Day, whatever that is. And – worse than that – it’s an official holiday. I hate official holidays, because my ayi gets the day off, but my husband still manages to need to work. Sigh. She’ll be back Monday.
You would’ve thought the President was visiting, not just my mother. Xiao Tong spent the entire day yesterday cleaning in preparation, even wiping out the insides of drawers in the guest room and dusting the baseboards. Sad to say, as this was all done before Her Excellency’s arrival, the kids and I could easily undo her work by then.
So yesterday, I had all three kids to entertain while she cleaned. The boys spent most of the day fighting, bickering and brawling. At one point, Shay was in tears because, as he explained, he always gets blamed for everything and Aidan never does.
I feel his pain, I really do. It was the same way in our house when I was growing up. I always got in trouble, but my snotty little sister never did, because I was “Old Enough to Know Better.” I’m not sure, as we haven’t fought recently, but I believe if we did, and my parents were called in to referee, I might still get the blame. Even in her 30s, with a PhD on the way and a mom herself, I’m betting my sister still isn’t old enough to know better.
So when Shay was crying about this awful state of affairs, I tried to tell him the story of evil Auntie Deborah, who was the bane of my existence. I was hoping it would cheer him up to know he isn’t the only kid who has suffered so. But it didn’t help. So then I tried to explain that even if Aidan is the one who starts the fight, I still have an obligation to punish Shay if I round the corner and find Shay slamming his little brother’s head into the floor. This line of logic also failed to appease him.
I gave up trying to reason with him and instead just gave him a hug. “You know, Shay,” I told him, “you’re the first baby I ever had. That makes you pretty special.”
“No, mom,” he finally answered. “That makes me the fourth special-ist.”