When Rain Hurts by Mary Evelyn Greene

May 28, 2010

Christmas 2009

May 28, 2010.   What follows was last night’s Abbott and Costello routine, Lobrutto style.  Peter has been upstairs 20 minutes changing into pajamas.  Although this isn’t abnormal, I hear no movement so I walk upstairs to check.  I find him in the laundry room, tugging at some pajama bottoms.  I haven’t put away the overflowing baskets of clean and folded clothes yet, so he finds his pajama drawer empty, which is a serious conundrum for a boy like Peter.  Instead of asking for help, he tries to address the problem himself.  Kudos for that.  A year or two ago he would have stood naked in his room until Pat or I walked him through the mental steps necessary to solve the problem.  But what I discover tonight, though in some ways more adapative, is equally exasperating.  He’s tugging at fleece pajama bottoms buried deep under the pile of clothes, in one of those plastic laundry baskets with the two-inch diameter holes along the sides.  The problem lies in the fact that he’s trying to pull them through one of the tiny holes.  He manages to free about four inches of one pant leg before an undeniable stalemate in physics occurs.  There’s no way those pants are ever going to slide through an unyielding, two inch hole.  When I ask what he’s doing, he replies, “Trying to get my pajamas.”  And then when I ask whether he thinks his plan will succeed, he looks at me and answers no.  “Then why do you keep doing it?” I ask.  “Because I’m trying to get my pajamas.”  I pause to get my bearings, and realize the Groundhog Day routine has begun.  “But its not working,” I repeat.  “I know,” he admits.  The exact same exchange repeats itself three or four times until my brain is ready to explode.  I grab hold of the counter to steady my nerves and take a deep breath.  Then another.  “What you’re doing’s not working.  It’s never going to work.”  I pause to allow for processing time.  “Those big pajamas can’t fit through such a small hole.  You need a different plan.  I’m glad you tried to solve the problem yourself, though.”  I do some reverse tugging of my own to free the very stuck pant leg from the basket and then pull them out to show Peter.  Wadded into a tight ball, the pajamas obviously are much bigger than the hole he was trying to force them through.  I’m hoping the visual will jar his thinking loose so his inflexible mind can change gears enough to understand what I’m explaining.  “See,” I show him.  “There’s no way this big thing will fit through that little hole.”  Because I feel victory coming, I can see the light bulb about to switch on in his head, the mounting tension slides off me like rainwater after a sun shower.  Peter takes the balled-up pajama bottoms, studies them briefly, and then announces with the confidence of a seasoned politician, “It would too work, Mom.  Why you not let me keep trying?”



  1. Sometimes you just gotta say, whatever…. Much Love to all.

    Comment by Sheila Greene — May 28, 2010 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  2. You know, lol, the movie Groundhog Day was not a favorite of mine…lol I did like the little critter groundhog tho. Very cute. 🙂

    Peter is coming along nicely. He’s reasoning, as you know. It’s great!

    Comment by L — May 28, 2010 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

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