Yesterday when I picked the kids up from school, Boy Genius was in a foul mood, as is becoming more and more usual in the afternoons. He was moping and aggravating, grunting and stomping his feet, even yelling. I’d had enough of his attitude so I made him go to his room for an undetermined amount of time, telling him that I would release him when I felt good and ready (hmmm, wonder where he gets the attitude from???). Anyway, when I granted his reprieve, he was still showing signs of brattiness but was no longer being so flagrant about it. I gave the kids a snack and let them watch TV for a little while before we headed off to The Girl’s soccer practice.
When I parked the car at soccer practice, I noticed Wonder Boy had dozed off in his seat so I told The Girl that I was going to sit in the car with him while she practiced with her team (I could see her field clearly from my spot). Boy Genius said he wanted to go out on the empty field and play with one of the extra soccer balls and I was happy to oblige, fearing that if he stayed cooped up in the car with me the length of the practice we’d have a repeat of his afternoon jail sentence.
When practice was over, The Girl asked if she could ride home with her friend “LG” who lives around the corner from us. So Boy Genius climbs in the van and asks if he can move his booster seat to the middle row, next to Wonder Boy. He had clearly been sweating out on the soccer fields but his face and eyes were bright as ever. He started telling me, quite exuberantly too, all about who he played with and what they played, then drifted into telling me random facts about the state bird and where he was going to have his birthday party and who all was invited (his birthday’s not until October).
I was laughing, saying how glad I was that he was in such a good mood again. He said, “Yeah, my energy tank’s full again and so my happy tank is full too.” Startled by his clear analogy, I said “really?” and he replied, “Yeah, see after all day at school my energy tank gets empty and so does my happy tank, but after a couple few hours not at school my energy tank gets full again and so my happy tank is full again.” I was amazed and somewhat speechless. Finally, I said “Well, I didn’t know it worked that way but it sure does make sense,” to which he quite simply replied, “See, that’s why you need to watch more TV.” Apparently I missing out on some interesting physiological and/or philosophical lessons by not watching back-to-back episodes of Zack & Cody.