Some time last week - or maybe it was the week before - I read an article on procrastination in the Washington Post which in turn lead me to this post from the Wait but Why site (whose subtitle by the way is: new post every sometimes; which I am totally going to homage) and despite the fact that I initially just skimmed the cartoons, I could not have been more struck by it if it had been holy writ. Seriously. It was as if I had just been putting the finishing touches on a sign for Ye Olde Gomorrah Cupcakery (So Good They're Sinful) when someone handed me a stack of stone tablets detailing the lure of the Instant Gratification Monkey and the pitfalls of the Dark Playground and I fell to my knees, chastened and gobsmacked.
[I'll give you a minute to go read the posts, or at least look at all the cartoons.
Finished? Heh. Panic Monster.]
It. Was. All. So. True.
It's not that I don't want to write. I do. I like writing. And I particularly like writing to you. But somehow - hand to my heart - I sat down to type a sprightly 850 words last week only to spend three hours reading wikipedia entries on the children of George III after I wasted most of an afternoon poking around the life of the Marquis de Lafayette; who in turn had only come up because it crossed my mind that it might be a good idea to research and then compose a musical based upon the life of Aaron Burr (but I guess this has sort of been done already?) As much as I enjoy writing, I apparently enjoy the immediate gratification of chewing on my thumb while pondering the many miseries of long dead English royals even more.
So every day I wake up with the best creative intentions and every day my spiral into the numbing void of clickbait articles is filled with guilt, anxiety, self-hatred, and dread. Or, as Homer admitted after he ate an entire pan of brownies: I'm feeling a lot of shame right now.
But, you know, the book of a thousand pages starts with a single letter et cetera.
So, hi, how are you?
I'm fine except my thumb has been acting up a bit and my dentist has asked to see me again in two weeks while hinting darkly at a root canal. The internet says a root canal is actually a good thing because it takes the pain away but the internet says a lot of stupid things.
Caroline wound up doing her science project on sugar crystals, mostly because Patrick finally said: enough - all of your ideas are going to get you suspended if not expelled; so just make rock candy and be done with it. We spend a lot of time reminding Patrick that he's also a punk kid and not in a position of any authority whatsoever over the twins but I have to admit he had a point.
When Edward was evaluated in December the neuropyschologist diagnosed him with dysgraphia and ADHD (heavy on the A; zero H.) The dysgraphia made complete sense to us but I was a little, meh, shrug, maybe, on the idea of an attention disorder. I mean, sure, if you tell Edward to go upstairs, get his pajamas and then come back downstairs for a bath it is possible he might actually go upstairs; but you can forget about the pajamas (he would) and he is just as likely to wind up on the porch in his snowpants playing badminton. But in our house this is normal. Sure we have our freak outlier in the form of Caroline who always knows exactly what is going on and where and why but the rest of us? There is myself (see above re. descendants of the wee bit German lairdie) and Steve who snaps "You know I'll never remember this! Text me!" when I ask him to get a tomato AND an onion when he calls me from the produce section of the grocery store. As for Patrick... well I suspect Patrick is perfectly capable of doing X Y and then Z when asked and in order, but we'll never know because in his heart Patrick is a born subversive.
[Case in point: Patrick recently came up with the idea of a comfort tuba and suggested that I send a note to his school asking that he be allowed to play the tuba - HE DOES NOT ACTUALLY KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE TUBA - as a stress reliever following exams.
"I'll play very quietly," he assured me, "since other kids might still be working on their tests."
And don't even get me started on his imaginary exchange student, Oslo.]
Where was I?
Oh right. Edward. Attention issues. Question mark.
So the neuropsych put the ADHD in her report and I said, well, sure, ok, whatever but told the school that I was skeptical. His teacher - now that I think about it - looked at me with gentle pity and when it came up again during his IEP meeting the school psychologist shared the following story.
While she was administering a test to Edward he asked to be excused to go to the bathroom. She said, of course. When ten minutes elapsed and he failed to return to her room she went to look for him. After first checking the hall and the bathroom, she went to Edward's classroom where she found him at his desk working on a project. Apparently he had gone to the bathroom and then forgotten all about the testing. Finding himself outside a bathroom in a different part of the school with no idea how he had gotten there, he must've blinked a few times and then gone to locate his teacher.
Every time I think about it I laugh. While being tested for attention issues... he forgot he was being tested for attention issues. One can only assume that his Instant Gratification Monkey was at the wheel.