Today, of course, a Monday, is an absolutely beautiful day. I want to play hooky from work. I want to start planting the flowers JoAnna and I let sit on the picnic table in the back yard all weekend.
It rained much of Saturday. Andy 10:30 soccer game was cancelled, even though the rain had let up by then. Surprisingly, Eddie’s first baseball practice of the season went on as scheduled. During the middle of the afternoon, JoAnna, Eddie, and I walked our bikes the few blocks to Middleton Cycle and Fitness just as a light rain started to fall. After letting our bikes hang on hooks in the garage for five or six years, JoAnna and I decided to bring them back from the dead and get them tuned up. Eddie’s bike, a hand-me-down from his brother, will also get tune dup. Then he can learn how to ride it. Eddie still hasn’t mastered a two-wheeler.
Sunday started out as drearily as Saturday, but the rain in the forecast never happened. By late morning, JoAnna and I were outside tackling a variety of chores. JoAnna edged the lawn along the sidewalk and cut down one of the cedars along the driveway. We plan to put a trellis in its place, accenting the entrance to our side yard. I plucked weeds out of the lawn in the back yard and transplanted some ferns and other perennials to think out certain garden areas and fill out others. I mulched the area of perennial by the patio.
The new grass I seeded in the back yard has really taken hold. The large bare patch is just a bad memory now. Based on the success of this project, it looks as though I’ll be doing a lot of lawn doctoring this summer.
By late afternoon, the sun was shining. After driving Eddie to his soccer practice, I moved the back yard, except for the new area. Only the second time I’ve used the lawnmower this year, the first time in the back yard. With all the rain we’ve had lately, part o the lawn was starting to resemble a hayfield.
After consulting with our pediatrician, JoAnna and I decided to have Eddie participate in a Ritalin blind test. Ritalin is a prescription drug that is used to treat attention deficit disorders. Dr. Koslov described it to Eddie as “glasses for the brain, something that will help you concentrate better in school.”
The test will last for four weeks. One week he takes two doses of the drug, mone at breakfast and another at lunch. Another week he takes a placebo. Only our pediatrician and the pharmacist knows when each type of pill is administered. Eddie’s teachers will note his behavior at specific intervals during the day.
Even though he has already shown great improvement since starting his special reading classes, JoAnna and I want to determine if Eddie does have attention deficit disorder, and this test is one way to do that.
A Tuesday postscript
Yesterday evening I was able to do some planting, a combination of coleus and pansies next to the patio, but only had time to fill in about one-third of the bed. JoAnna worked on rearranging the patio blocks that form a pathway along the south side of the house. It’s hard to get much done on a weekday evening. We don’t get home until nearly 6:00. We need to eat,. The boys have homework to do. Eddie’s is interactive, i.e., we work with him as he identifies a list of words or reads a series of short sentences. I always have to take a few minutes to decipher the hieroglyphs in Andy’s assignment notebook. His handwriting is so sloppy. He brought his mid-quarter grades home yesterday, and they were worse than I expected, and I had lowered my expectations significantly. D- in Language. C in Math. In both cases, the low grades are the result of late assignments that have yet to be turned in. JoAnna and I just don’t understand what happened to his attitude about school during the past couple months. I tried to talk with him about it at bedtime last night but he offered no enlightening answers, only a mumbled, “I don’t know” every now and then. I think he just never connected with his teacher this year. One of her children has been quite sick and maybe that family concern has left her preoccupied in the classroom. Andy just doesn’t seem to care anymore, and threats aren’t making much of a difference. Part of me says, “OK, relax, it’s only 4th grade. He’s got plenty of time to recover. Look how you goofed off academically in 8th and 9th grade to no severe effect.” But then we don’t want Andy to develop bad (or nonexistent) study habits that he can’t break. If I don’t go completely gray or bald within the next 8 years, I’ll consider it a miracle.
JoAnna worked with Eddie last night, helping him as he tried to take that first ride on his bicycle. An event yet to happen. The level of frustration he reached precluded any successful outcome. Being the perfectionist that he is, Eddie did not take his tumbles with a pleasant composure. A piercing wail of defeat carried over the roof of the house and settled over the back yard, where I was planting flowers. I got up from my crouch to investigate. Walking along the side of the house, I saw Eddie, fresh from another tumble, at first wrestling with his bicycle, then becoming stubbornly immobile, as if suddenly overwhelmed by the experience. One of these days, he’ll feel the exhilaration of zipping along on his own.
Happy Mother’s Day to you, Mom, from all of us here. We don’t have any special plans at this time. Just the usual house & yard activities at this time of year. More flowers to plant. Mulch to spread. We’ll be going to Two Rivers for the Memorial Day weekend, which will coincide with our anniversary celebration.