September 15, 2008

I Should Have Known

I should've seen it coming. Remember when I wrote "Now that Jerry spends less time with his screen stuff (by his own choice!) I don't have nearly as much of my own screen time."? I forgot to knock on wood. And you know how I said "I'm still trying to figure out how to get a bit more physical activity into Jerry's life but I can honestly say that's the only aspect of our home schooling that I'm worried about right now."? I have another one now. And you know back when I talked about my marriage and how Warren and I had gone through some tough times but how we were lucky squared and cubed because we'd made it through the toughest part? What was I thinking? And where is my duplex!?

Okay, I admit I'm not actually looking for a duplex. It's not that bad, really. But these last few weeks have been haaaarrrrd. (Can you hear the whine?) We haven't been as nice to each other as we could be. Actually, I was getting a little worried. But our 17th wedding anniversary was last weekend and we had to go out to dinner together, which made it impossible to avoid talking about how we haven't been our best selves lately. So we had a good talk and managed to find the culprit. It's that stupid deck! You know how they say remodeling your house puts a lot of stress on a marriage? I figured it was indoor remodeling that made for stress because, you know, you can't use your kitchen, or you don't have an indoor bathroom, or something. But now I know. Now I know it's not about the cooking or the plumbing. It's about the money, and the workers never showing up when they say they will, and the money, and the architect wanting to do his own thing, and the money, and the city of Los Angeles and its God forsaken permit office, and the money, and the money, and the money. Oh, and did I mention the money?

Last night I tallied up how much we've spent on this project thus far and I thought I was going to be sick. It's a deck for crying out loud! We're not building another house! But it turns out that being on a hillside and living in a house that's nearly a century old can create problems. And, naturally, problems must be solved by forking over lots of cash.

I'm sorry. I shouldn't be going on about this, but it's on my mind. The deck will be lovely when it's finished. I know it will. We'll have a BYOC (bring your own chair) deck-warming party and drink lots of wine and forget all about how horrible the building process was. We'll get good and drunk. Yep. That's what we'll do. We'll drown our sorrows in alcohol and hope some of friends are too drunk to carry their chairs home so we'll have something to sit on when we stumble out onto the deck for coffee the next morning.

Well, now that I've exhausted my typing fingers (yes, I hunt and peck) I have almost no energy for explaining how my proclamations about how unschooling has been going so great have come back to bite me on the ass. I'll give a quick summary, though.

The first one is not a concern so much as a "wouldn't you know it?" Wouldn't you know that the moment I write about how Jerry spends far less time in front of screens he immediately goes back to being glued to one screen or another all day long. Seriously. All day. Okay, most of the day.

And then, I said I was only worried about his level of physical activity, right? That was it. Nothing else. I was perfectly happy with everything else. Well, all of a sudden I'm worrying about his friends--or lack of them--again. Jerry never wants to join in. He doesn't like to go to park day. He doesn't really talk to the other kids all that often, even though he considers some of them his friends. I have actually paid him to leave the blanket at park day and socialize. I know. I'm pathetic. It's been established. So maybe he just likes to be alone, right? But then he cries because he has no friends. But he hasn't been trying very hard to make friends. What can I do!?

I know I could talk myself down from this place of unreason if I had more energy, but I don't. Will someone please snap me (or slap me) out of this?

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