Getting him out the door this morning was less traumatic than last week.
He still complained and looked periodically distraught, but conceded on the key points of getting dressed and leaving the house under his own power- he even climbed into his car seat voluntarily.
Our morning was occupied by a replay of last night's impromptu BBQ on the back deck. I'd picked up a pack of chicken breasts for a proposed crock pot meal of Salsa Chicken (one of the most delicious and easiest recipes in the world- 1: put chicken in crock pot 2: dump salsa on top of chicken 3: cook for 3 hours, shred & eat) but the house was stifling and we took the party outside, drinking ice choked Margaritas in the cooling twilight while the chicken grilled & Fuss bashed apart two big hunks of ice with a large rubber mallet.
Fuss was unhappy I hadn't made more "ice rocks" for him overnight, so we filled some zip-lock bags with water and stashed them in the freezer for this evening. Then we had a great time with an old pencil sharpener & caulk gun I'd picked up at a thrift store while scrounging for books- you find all manner of interesting stuff when you spend as much time as I do in thrift stores and junk shops.
Things Fuss 'sharpened': Acorns from yesterday's trip to the Elephant Forest, a striped paper ice cream cone drip protector, a coffee cup, stuffed animal limbs, and eventually a green colored pencil.
The caulk gun became a glue gun and he had a grand time 'splatting' me with it- I'd feign my hand getting stuck on my face or in my hair, and he'd laugh like a maniac. I'd eventually get loose, and we'd start the game again. The climax came when he glued my butt to the couch, and I eventually stood up with the cushion clamped to my ass and chased him around the house with it waggling behing- quite the funniest thing he'd seen all morning.
Most everyone understands parenting is tough in an abstract way. One of the things you don't realize until you're a few years deep is how many situations drop you straight back into your own childhood, where you end up facing off against a tag-team of your current physical child and your own past self. This is true even for someone like me, with a childhood like an impenetrable fog bank rent by periodic, terrifying flashes of lightning...perhaps especially true for someone like me.
The school thing is extra tough for both me and the Wife, two sensitive souls who had very little in the way of constructive parental support and reacted poorly to being tipped into the deep end of a fundamentally uncaring educational system. That Fuss is attending a school founded on a philosophy evolved in explicit opposition to that sort of regimented, impersonal agenda is something we understand intellectually, but remember the tag team- when he wails and cries and looks miserable it's answered by the unrestful spirit of our child selves, clawing at our brains and hearts.
Learning how the world works is hard for kids, however old they are.