Hard Labor Day 2

My boy can make the most of things-I’ll grant him that. 

Day 2 of moms hard labor camp. We made it to work Despite pure chaos of having to have a tired, grumpy 6 year old at day camp 30 minutes early for a field trip. He drove. I felt pampered being chauffeured to work by my khaki, hatless volunteer. I’d insisted on pants despite the heat. That alone was torture. He complied after my explanations that he was going to a business and needed to look appropriate. He didn’t like it but he complied. Thanks to the earlier than usual report time for baby girl we arrived at work early. On the way in he said,”what if we did this everyday…us working at the same place,” the idea seemed to please him which thawed my cold heart a tee-ninny bit-not that I let him see that of course. 

We looped into my office where he was stunned that my co-worker was already hard at work counseling an employee. “Y’all start this early,” he asked. Life lesson time. “Yep. We start working the minute we get here and don’t quit until it’s time to leave.” He started some bizarre conversation at which point I warned him that I hadn’t had coffee. Wise boy hushed momentarily. 

Without any promoting he went to work. “I’ve got 40 packets made,” he said proudly. “I need a 100,” I replied. His face fell a tad. I could see his wheels spinning knowing how much work went into the 40 he’d already made. He nodded-accepting his fate and trotted off to his station. 

A bit later he danced his way to my door and longed non-chalantly against the door frame. “Copies,” he relied to my questioning gze over the top of my glasses. “It could take awhile.” I slid up from behind my stack of to-do’s and motioned for him to follow. “If you’ve got down time you can start another project.”

We unearthed the shredding container and made our way down the hall. “Help has arrived,” I announced. The pod leapt into action pointing out the task that needed done. They were loving the free, good natured help. I left him with a cabinet of documents to shred. A task list of cabinets to organize and strict instructions to NOT speak unless spoken to. “I know-I know-it’s a business,” and went back to work. 

Mid-way theu my stack he reappeared. Again I have the old librarian stare over my reading glasses. “Checking my copies,” he replied. “Bam! Tools belt,” he lifted his shirt to show me his office modified tool belt. A staple remover was hooked in his belt. Despite myself I laughed.

He took that as a sign of a truce and smiled back. I sent hmm back to work. He went after getting to be introduced to the Vice President of my division. He thought that was all kinds of cool. Especially since I didn’t rat him out for being there as punishment to the dapper man he was meeting. Hey-I have a standard. Embarrassment was part of the punishment but I wouldn’t shame him to someone he felt priveleged to meet. 

He finished his 100 packets while I was in a meeting. I made him pack them away in newly cleaned out cabinets before I agreed to feed him. He was ravenous but had the sense NOT to complain. 

After lunch he played errand boy and went to another department to fetch some things. My friends worked in that department. He came back and looked sheepish, “think your friends are made at me too.” I explained that they were my tribe and as such were disappointed when I was. He nodded. “Women are like hydra. Cut off the head off one and 3 more pop up,” again, despite myself, I laughed. “Like how I worked mythology into that mom,” he said as he Made his way back to work. 

The afternoon was spent alphabetting (he never got to word alphabitizing) years worth of documents. That caused him to sweat. Guess brain power was required. Or maybe the room he was in was hot and he had been forced to wear PANTS AND A REAL Shirt. Who knows? Unintentionally he learned another life lesson. Evidentially the documents he had to alphabet showed some effects of poor attendance. 

One by one my co-workers left. He kept looking expectantly at his watch and at me. “We’ve got until 6 before we leave to get the bug.” His face fell. Welcome to my world home slice. 

He settled on to read since I didn’t have time nor energy to direct him in another project so late in the day.  Moments later a division co-worker stopped by to talk about a project we were working on. She spied my boy and made a comment about how nice it was that I got to have company. “No ma’am…I am here because I am in trouble. She’s still too mad to admit she likes having me here,” he grinned charmingly at me,”but one day she will because I got stuff done and made this place fun,” I rolled my eyes and didn’t agree. As a mother to an older boy we had a brief conversation about boys and their troubles and rights versus priveleges. He laughed when she asked if I have the same lecture 100 times and laughed harder when she said that her adult son told her that he often wished he would just spank him and spare him the endless tirades. 

Eventually we left work, with him driving. He has a paying job tomorrow but Talked about the projects he planned to complete on his 1/2 day with me at Hard Labor camp. No arguments or trying to dissuade me. Just a boy accepting his punishment With a bit of grace. Having not seen a lot of maturity lately I was happy for a peek at some. 

While it hasn’t been the hard core punishment I had intended I have seen some behavior that gives me hope. 


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