Every day, my son begins his arduous task of making his bed. This is an intense process with several Parts. The first step is to begin the day's audio production. This may be Oliver Twist. Or The Horse and His Boy. Or one of Jonathan Park's adventures. Or maybe even an Adventures in Odyssey. He then climbs up his ladder and begins The Animal Stack. Literally. He removes all of his at least 25 animals to the head of his loft bed and makes a perfect pyramid. But before he completes his pyramid, he stops to recite his lines: (this one in particular from Oliver Twist)
"Oh please sir, may I please have more soup?" ~ with the perfect British accent
He then continues stacking, all the while carrying on with this particular scene. He decides, since the task is so difficult, and he has had ever so many lines to say, that he would feel much better after a drink of water. He climbs down his ladder, comes to the kitchen for a drink, and then returns to his room to carry on his task.
Eventually The Animal Stack is completed, so he moves on to Part B in his convoluted task.
He begins by perfectly - and I mean perfect - aligning and tucking in his first bed sheet. Some days this takes longer than others, depending on how restful his sleep was. During this process, he pauses for a soliloquy or two.
I open his door to see which Part of the process he is on. And to tell him for the first (of many) times to, "hustle it up". "I will, I will, mom," comes the usual reply.
He manages to finish Part B, so begins Part C. The quilt. This seems to go a little faster. He tucks, recites, tucks, recites, and tucks. The audio drama reaches a crucial scene. He pauses for a fuller effect, and executes his lines perfectly.
Thirty minutes have passed. I have opened his door three times by this point.
He finishes Part C and begins Part D. The animals. Every animal for a spot. Every animal with a name. Occasionally one falls off The Animal Stack and onto the floor. When this happens he will try one of two things: 1) call for Hannah to come and pick up his animal....and if she is feeling particularly generous, she will; or 2) climb down the ladder, pick up his beloved animal, do a few jigs while on solid ground, enter WHOLEHEARTEDLY into lines because of his unlimited freedom, and eventually ascend the ladder once again.
Forty-five minutes to one full hour has passed.
He finishes his bed and climbs down his ladder. He gets dressed - it is simply not the correct order to get dressed before making his bed. All in record time.
One hour. Or maybe an hour and 15 minutes. Occasionally even an hour and a half. Depending on the particular audio drama and how many scenes he loved.
And four to five calls from me by this time.
This is a true, every day event. There is the odd exception, like when he really wants to go somewhere and it is dependent upon his having his bed done. In those cases he can make it in 10-15 minutes, just as perfectly.
But I have to be honest. Most days I really don't push it too hard. This is his time, he enjoys it, and he does a perfect job with his bed. Way better than I would if I had a loft bed (which is not easy to make). And if I have the luxury of not having something pressing, I let him take his time.
And in the evening.....this scene is repeated, in reverse order. He sleeps surrounded by his beloved friends, and every one of them has a special spot on his bed while he sleeps.
But again, I will be honest. I am not quite so patient then. I want him to get his bed "ready" because he needs to go to bed. In ten years' time, alas, I will remember this quirk of his with fondness.
And so I have written this story.......