Good Times, Bad Times

As winter break (a misnomer for parents, by the way) comes to a merciful close, I look back on the high- and low-lights of living 24-7 with my children – my eldest in particular.


For this blog, I’ll refer to my oldest son as “Mayhem” because it was during this vacation (yeah, right) that I discovered he is EXACTLY the Mayhem guy from the Allstate commercials. Mischievous, hole-ish, wildly disruptive – but with a certain likeable charm.

Ryan Paul Simmons ( Artist ), Dean Winters ( Actor ), Leon Robinson ( Actor ) © by harmonica pete

So, I’ve already told you about giving Mayhem a break from the meds for a day or two. We are, of course, back on them. Funny thing is, my husband, who was adamantly anti-pharmaceutical in the beginning, is now the FIRST one to emit this type of morning tirade: “Did he take his meds?… He HAS to take his meds today… is that one on the floor?… MAYHEM GET IN HERE THIS SECOND AND SWALLOW THESE PILLS!… He better not have left this house without taking these meds!?!… He has GOT to take these pills… I am NOT living another day IN THIS HO– USE without him on the meds!”


You get the idea.


So, back to looking back.


There was the evening Mayhem refused to stop bouncing around potato sack race-style in a sleeping bag – thrashing about and breaking ornaments on the tree like a dolphin struggling in a tuna net. This, by the way, not even at our own home. And right in front of a girl his own age (13!) who looked up at him occasionally from her iPhone and shook her head as if to say – “Don’t even THINK about asking for a piece of this someday.”


Then there was…. (CUE OMINOUS MUSIC) “Family Game Morning.” What ever possessed my husband to BEGIN the day with an activity that invariably leads to Jerry Springer style lash-outs, I will never know. But when he gleefully inquired, “Anyone up for Farkle?” and Mayhem responded “yes”, I at least knew enough to vacate the room as fast as the cowardly bartender drying glasses in an old Western when the bad guy swaggers in.


But then…. There was this.


On day, I asked Mayhem to clear his plate from the table.


And he did.


Without negotiation. Without altercation. Without hesitation.


And with a smile.


The pride and exhilaration that beamed from my face rivaled that of the college quarterback’s mom in the stands when her baby throws the touchdown pass that wins a bowl game, secures a high draft spot and buys her some kick-A new wheels.


Indeed, I have learned to cherish those moments – and similar ones – whenever Mayhem decides to dole them out.


And you know what? This was hardly the worst break ever – and certainly preferable to the one a couple years back where Mayhem refused to take off his obscenely tight long underwear pants for two entire weeks and impulsively mooned our family, friends and many an innocent passer-by our picture window.


Good times. Bad times.


Now “Get them all the f*&k back to school” time.








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