Monday, January 7, 2013

Last Days of Winter Break

My son goes back to school this morning.

We had a good final weekend of winter break, though I wasn’t sure we would on Friday evening.

My wife had called me at work that afternoon. She was very upset.

Kai had opened the front door and one of our dogs ran out. My wife had to run up and down the block to try to catch the dog. It was frigid cold out, and it must have seemed like forever before she finally caught her. When she called me, she was coughing from breathing in all that cold air, and her body was aching from all the running and stress.

To make matters worse, Kai did not seem a bit sorry for opening the door. He was laughing the whole time.

After an afternoon where he had already complained about his “yucky” lunch, and was in a demanding mood, my wife had had enough.

My wife was still angry when I got home. I didn’t say too much to Kai, as my wife was still voicing her displeasure over his words and actions.

I heated up some leftovers for dinner. When my wife left the room, I spoke to Kai quietly. I told him that he made a mistake in opening the door when the dogs were there, but I was most disappointed that he laughed about the whole thing. It wasn’t funny, and he has to learn not to laugh when someone is in distress.

I also told him that it was not nice to complain about his meal as he has been doing often these days. He doesn’t have to like everything he is served, but I wanted him to appreciate that Mom tries hard every day to make good meals that will keep him strong and healthy.

After that, we had a quiet meal. And then he took a bath.

After bath, he wanted to play a game as is our usual custom. I told him I would play with him, but first he had to do something.

I stuck a blank piece of paper in front of him on the kitchen table.

“What’s that for?”

What do you think?

“To write a sorry letter. What should I say?”

What do you think you should say? You write it, I told him.

He started writing. He wrote that he was sorry for letting the dog out.

Anything else, I asked him?

He wrote that he was sorry for saying mean things about his meals.

He paused.

I asked what about laughing when Mom was feeling stressed. He wrote that he would try not to do that anymore.

I asked him if he could also try to think of other people’s feelings. He wrote that he would try.

When he was done, I asked him to really think about the things he wrote and to keep them in mind and not forget. He said he would.

He went downstairs to hand my wife the letter. When he came back upstairs, he was quiet. I told him that Mom might still be angry, but she would eventually forgive him.

We went to play our game, and my wife joined us a few minutes later.

The tension was broken.

We went on to have a good weekend.

Kai did not complain (hardly) the rest of the weekend. And we had a lot of fun.

We went ice skating outside at our local park for the first time since my wife bought us all skates a year ago. Last winter, with the unusually warm weather, the park district never made the rink. This weekend, we skated while it snowed.

We also worked on a Chicago puzzle that we gave Kai for Christmas. It is part jigsaw puzzle, and part inserting small replica of downtown Chicago buildings. It is a fun way to teach Kai about the name and location of the buildings, and the date they were constructed. Kai loves the building parts; the jigsaw part, not so much.

We also played a quiz game. I created questions about elements on the periodic table and my wife and Kai took turns answering them. My wife is a good sport to play, as Kai always wins these very handily.

We also cleaned up a bit from our holiday mess. We took down our Christmas tree. Three of the four dogs staying with us went home.

With Kai back in school today, things will go back to our regular routine. But it was a nice last weekend of break.

Hopefully his transition back to school will go equally well.


  1. Kai looks as if he is doing well with his iceskating. He sure has a beaming smile :)

    While many fun things are experienced during breaks...the return of routine is always comforting.

    My son goes back to school in a couple of days. He is looking forward to it.

    1. Yes, Kai has come a long way with his skating. It is nice to see that he is able to skate well and enjoys it.

      We were relieved that Kai had a good attitude about going back to school, and that he had a good day today. I can understand why your son is looking forward to going back to school.


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