This morning the world, in all its springtime glory, came to a screeching halt. Well, that might be a little dramatic, but when you are 12 years old and your parents forget to wake you up in time to get ready for school, there may as well be a disaster similar to Chernobyl on the horizon.
The reaction I am talking about was nothing short of, “Holy crap, Marge, build the bomb shelter! The big one is on the way!” That kind of reaction.
And it sort of followed the steps you would logically think would occur if there were such a huge disaster.
Step 1: Disbelief
She had sort of this startled, suspended-in-time look on her face for about 15 seconds as she shook off the remaining fragments of sleep. Then, her eyes dilated completely before popping out of her head entirely as the realization of what had happened finally settled over her.
Step 2: Reaction
When she fully grasped the life-altering mistake we had made, she threw the covers off and bolted straight up in bed, demanding to know, “What time IS IT??” (The tail end of that question was more of a screech, and I swear dogs in the neighborhood starting barking from the high pitch.) And while she was screeching, she was frantically attempting to hand-brush her curly hair into some sort of respectable coif for school. (And I can guaran-darn-tee you that I wasn’t going to be the one to tell her she was having a bad hair day.)
Step 3: Grief
There was moaning, groaning, and pretty much your general sounds of disgruntlement. Then came the stomping and slamming. Her armoire door was closed (loudly) no less than three times, and this was followed by more groaning. I could hear some sort of muted mumbling through the door that sounded sort of like, “ruined my life,” but I didn’t really catch it all, so I can’t quote for certain the entire tirade.
Step 4: Acceptance
“I guess I’ll just have to look like THIS today, because I didn’t have TIME to actually get READY!”
“And while I’m at it, I may as well just STARVE!! because no one thought I needed to get up early enough to eat!”
(Yeah, those were the words that were emphasized, so for clarity, I wanted to make sure anyone reading this would understand just how badly we screwed up her LIFE!! FOREVER!!)
Step 5: I dunno.
Because we left the house as soon as Candice got there. I grabbed my coffee and made a quick exit, and as I blew out of the house, I called over my shoulder, “Have a good day, Micaela!” As you can imagine, I got no response.
Today was the day I took Jordan to his assessment at the Great Beginnings campus, and let me tell you, THAT was fun. Ok, it really wasn’t so bad, and they were done with us in a couple of hours, so pretty quick and painless really.
But let me tell you what was not so easy—separating the conjoined twins so that Jordan could go to the appointment alone with me. This meant leaving Jadon behind, which shouldn’t really be a big deal. Oh, but it was. Very big. As soon as he caught wind of the fact that I was leaving the house and that Jordan was going with me, he immediately began rushing around, gathering shoes and mismatched clothing so that he, too, could go with us.
He begged. “Peeeeease, Mama.”
He demanded. “I go with Jo-Jo!”
He reasoned. “Jay-Jay need to go school, too.”
All to no avail. Jordan and I left as scheduled and drove across town to the building where the pre-school and testing centers are housed, and all was actually fairly calm…until we walked in the door.
Ok, seriously, do these people not know that some of their kids have attention-related issues and tend to short circuit when presented with more than one stimulating item at once? Because, I can tell them now, I nearly watched my kid’s head explode as he tried to process what to do first and then next and then next…and so on.
As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a nice lady who really would have liked to have held my attention for more than 2 seconds. I’m sure she would have, because she kept pausing and waiting for me to finish redirecting Jordan before she continued. Except that never happened. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve now been diagnosed with ADHD, and I wasn’t even the one getting tested.
But here’s the situation. We walked in, and immediately across from the nice lady who was supposed to greet us and get our information was a fish tank. With fish. Lots of fish. Brightly colored fish that were swimming all around. And Jordan was off, and the rest of the filling-out-paperwork session went sort of like this:
“Jordan, don’t put your hand in the fish tank. Yes, he’s three. Jordan, don’t leave. No, he doesn’t talk. Yes, he’s always this busy. Jordan, don’t lick the glass. Jordan, we don’t need all the books. Yes, ma’am, we’re concerned that he’s behind for his age. Jordan, you can’t go outside right now. Jordan, Mommy has juice. Do you want juice? No, we don’t have his complete medical record. Jordan, don’t get in this nice lady’s file cabinet.”
And so on. So, I’m not really sure what I told the nice lady at our initial screening, but I’m pretty sure she’s convinced that I need Ritalin or something. I’m not sure I got a complete sentence out during the entire conversation, but she must have gotten what she needed, because it didn’t take her long to tell me to have a seat, that someone would be with me shortly. Really, what she was probably thinking was, “Downer, anyone?”
Our wait wasn’t too long, but it’s funny how much havoc a determined 3-year-old can wreak in a few short minutes. Just as Jordan finally plopped himself, back to everyone else, in front of a chosen toy, they called us back for the first part of the assessment. This is the only part where Jordan had to go in alone, one on one with the teacher. It’s funny how she left the waiting area with him in tow, looking all groomed and professional, but when she brought him back, she sort of looked like she had been hit by a tornado. Oh yeah, that’s my kid.
Then we went to do the speech analysis, where I promptly told the lady that he doesn’t talk. She gave me a “there-there” sort of look and stopped just short of rolling her eyes and saying, “Yeah, right.” So, I thought, ok, see for yourself.
She proceeded to ask him some questions, and that part went something like this:
Teacher: Jordan, can you tell me what this is?
Teacher: Jordan, what’s your name? (Really, lady? You have to give away the answer in the question?)
Teacher: Jordan, how old are you?
Teacher: (Toward me) Maybe you are right. He doesn’t say a lot.
That’s when it was my turn to do the eye-roll and “there-there” look, but I refrained. I was adult and professional, and all I said was something like, “I told you so! I was right, and you were wrong!” sort of in a sing-songy playground voice. Ok, I didn’t…but I really, really wanted to.
Long story short, that boy can work a mean puzzle and can organize just about any shape you hand him, but if you ask him to tell you about it, he’ll look at you and grunt. No words. Just grunting…and gestures. It’s sort of like a frantic game of charades when he’s upset and I can’t figure out what he wants. Sounds like…looks like…starts with…you get the picture.
At last, we moved on to the hearing and vision test where the ultra-hilarious lady said, “Now, if you’ll just hold him still on your lap…” I didn’t catch the rest of it because I was laughing so hard. Hysterical! She wanted him to sit still. On my lap. Uh-huh, and I want to win the lottery, too.
So Jordan gets to go to pre-school next school year, four days a week, for 3 hours a day, which will really be good for him. I think it will help for him to be around other kids and different teachers who can help him even more. Now, we just have the Children’s Mercy appointment ahead of us, and when we get specifics from them, we can forward them on to the school. We are on the road to helping our little guy!
And I still have to figure out how this separation thing is going to work for the boys. As soon as we got back into the house, Jadon ran over to Jordan and hugged his legs, which were dangling because I was carrying him, and said, “My Jo-Jo home.” I know it’ll be good for them to have some time apart, too, and not be so attached at the hip—but you know, it’s sort of cute to see them sticking together, too.
I am forced to interrupt my insane tales of parenting hijinks momentarily so that I may focus on an issue that has recently come to my attention. I have recently learned that there are people (some of them even friends) who do not wish to have anything to do with scuba diving. I KNOW, right? I mean, I was shocked to find out there was no Santa Claus, and equally dismayed to learn that the Easter Bunny was fictional, but I think I might need therapy to help me get over the fact that there are actually people who don’t want to get into the water and explore.
From this point on, I am dedicating myself to spreading the joy of the underwater world to all those non-believing landlubbers out there (well this will, of course, be alongside my dedication to preserving my sanity by attempting accepted parenting techniques). In order to accomplish my new goal of earning an honorary set of gills for every human being, I have had to do some thinking as to my persuasive tactics and techniques when it comes to coaxing humans into the water.
There are numerous tactics you may use, but I have narrowed my list down to the most logical and effective courses of action. Feel free to ad-lib as necessary when coercing a non-diver into the water, as it is simply unacceptable to be so highly outnumbered by landlubbers.
Here are some of my top suggestions for coaxing a hesitant human into the water:
- Put a shark in the boat.
Now, this may seem illogical at first, but stick with me. Most landlubbers are scared of sharks (I dunno why, but they are), so it is logical that if they are face-to-face with a shark on the boat, they will take the shortest path away from the shark—which will conveniently be by jumping off the boat. And there you go! Give ‘em a tank and a regulator, and they’re ready to dive.
- Show off your ultra-stylish and coordinating mask/fins/snorkel package in the latest shade of raspberry pink.
This is sure to cause equipment envy and should get them in the water in no time, if for no other reason than to try to look as cool as you do in the newest gear. Just remember to show your confidence—nothing looks as hot as a neoprene wetsuit. Nothing.
- Tell stories of ‘The One That Got Away.’
And by that, I mean, elaborate on the wonderful, mythical half-mermaid/half-bunny creature you saw underwater on your last dive. (And by no means are you to mention sharks or barracuda—these are a turn-off to not-yet-seasoned divers.) Make sure you mention how cuddly and snuggly the creature was and how you can’t imagine how you’ve made it your entire life without seeing it before now.
- Tell the landlubber you are hunting for treasure.
True, the only treasure you are likely to find is an old tire or rusted-out can, but there’s no need to mention that part. Hopefully, they will be lured in by hopes of finding Blackbeard’s treasure at whatever dive site you may choose. (But if you’re diving at the lake, you are going to need to make up something more creative than Blackbeard’s treasure, because chances are, they won’t believe you.)
- Talk like a pirate.
Or even better yet, hire a sexy pirate-looking (or wench-looking, depending on the landlubber you are working with) instructor to teach them the ways of the sea. It wouldn’t hurt if said pirate were sporting an open shirt and a 6-pack (if we’re talking male pirates), along with sea-touseled hair pulled back by a faded and rugged-looking bandana. I’d skip the peg-leg though…that’s pretty low on the hotness scale.
- Act like you are drowning.
This is a particularly desperate move, but if you happen to be with a fairly good friend, it just might work. They might, out of the goodness of their heart and a sense of decency, jump in to save you. Then, just in the knick of time, just as they save you from your fate, you could “happen” to spot the coolest stingray EVER, and presto! Your landlubber would be hooked.
Remember, no matter what, you’ll need to use every creative resource at your disposal to lure these naysayers into the water. They are crafty in their refusal to get anywhere near the big saltwater pool, so you will have to tempt them with tales of the safest, most likeable, and relaxing adventure ever. And remember, never, ever—under no circumstances—should you mention the man-eating squid that is lurking beneath the boat.