The central tennet in David's life is his Games. It's the one thing that he consistently enjoys. It's also allows me to have some measure of control over his behavior when I'm not physically present.(and believe me, those teachers need all the help they can get with this guy).
I'm no puppet master, and even with me right there to stand over him, Dude's no robot. He's got a mind of his own and he's not afraid to let me know all about it. I'm able to get him to do more than just about anybody else, but there are things that he lets me know in no uncertain terms that he just won't have anything to do with. One of these things is, evidently helping his father clean the sidewalks.
I'm sure most of you know the Pittsburgh area has been hit with a series of blizzards (2 in 4 days and 14 straight days of flurries) dropping a total of more than 3 feet of snow on an area that has a long history of ineptitude when it comes to clearing even normal amounts of snow off the city streets. Case in point: In the 6 days after the first storm I'd seen exactly one City of Aliquippa truck removing snow from the residential streets in my area. Granted that was at 10 am Saturday at the tail end of the big storm. But it went through the residential streets just one time and never hit any of the cross-streets. Unfortunately most of the residential streets are one-way, so if (like mine) yours points in the wrong direction you can't even get to the main road without sled dogs and a St. Bernard with a little cask of whiskey around his neck. So, along with everyone else on my block Raine and I spent most of Saturday afternoon digging our walks and rides out of the snow.
If snow shovelling were an event in Vancouver this year Raine and I would get the Gold Medal in the team competition. But where was our third member, you ask? Warm, high and dry in front of his reason for existing and saving us from the Minions of Evil (or enthusiastically joining them, it's hard to say) . When we were finished I asked (ok yelled at) David to unlock the side door so I could divest myself from my snow encrusted garmets without having to shovel out the living room. He came down (grumbling) and opened the door for me and peered out into the winter wonderland. He looked pretty impressed (with the snow, not my shovelling) so I asked him if he wanted to come outside and check it out. "NOOOO!" He said loudly slamming the door in my face and then he LOCKED IT!. After convincing him that I was kidding (through the closed and locked door) he finally let me in to de-popcicle myself.
Dave was pretty much in heaven for the next 6 days. Because of the continued snowfall classes were cancelled until Friday. Now they have something here that I'd never heard of until I arrived, it's called a 2 hour delay. What that means is when the roadcrews need an extra couple of hours to finish up what they should have been doing all night(or all week), or it's just too cold in the AM to endanger the kiddies delicate little tootsies, they cancell the first two hours of school. Two hour delays still technically count as school days and don't count against the State mandated days they have to get in before sometime in June, and allows the parents to get a couple extra hours of surgary cereal induced insanity. For me, it just totally screws up getting to work on time (Dave doesn't need cereal to induce madness). After 6 days in a row of total Game indulgence Dave was unwilling to admit that school might not have completely vanished from the Earth. The 2 hour delay on Friday was a cruel ploy by the School Board to make him think that his string of school-less days were to continue. But it was not so. That didn't keep him from telling me "School's closed today" in a very sincere voice even as I was loading him on the bus to send him to school whether it was closed or not. Strangely enough, he had a very good day at school, and then proceded to try to convince me that the amount of days didn't matter, he had a smiley for every school day that week, so that constituted a GameStop weekend. Got to admire his persistence. I mean, it didn't work. But you have to admire it all the same.