Before we get to the chaos part, a little parenting vignette.

We had Benji scheduled to do a phone interview with a guy who’s doing a podcast of interviews with kids talking about their experience of coronavirus. My Uncle Gerard suggested it, and I think it’s a cool project. So we were doing it. (I’ll post more about it when Benji’s episode goes live on the podcast. Edit to add: See the post about the podcast here.)

Five minutes before the interviewer called, Benji decided he really, really didn’t want to do it. He started melting down into his spiral of resistant complaints, excuses, whining, and arguing. I didn’t have time to deal with all that crap — by then we were at T-minus three minutes and counting — so I went full scorched-earth bribery: “If you cooperate with this, you can have an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.”

Turns out, an ice cream sandwich buys a lot of cooperation. Nothing like greasing the skids occasionally to keep things sliding along smoothly.

Ice Cream Sandwich for Breakfast
Benji enjoys the bribe he earned by cooperating with the podcast interview.

Now, on to the chaos part. If you recall the Learning Continues post, you may remember the photo showed Benji at my Surface talking with my mom. Back then, you could actually see the surface of the dining room table.

Ah, how much has changed since those idyllic days last week. Now the dining room table has morphed into a full-on mess of learning-related papers, notebooks, pencils, pencil shavings (someone keeps accidentally popping the top off of the sharpener instead of opening the sharpener), books, and other miscellany.

Unfortunately, the library (just visible off to the left) has gone somewhat the same way, only weighted more heavily towards toys — although the book piles remain constant. Benji pulls books off the shelf, “reads” them (skimming rapidly), and abandons them in place. We’re working on it.

School Zone Now

If, by the end of this, I’ve managed to keep my bedroom and office mostly clear of Benji-detritus, I will consider it a success.

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