One week down. Only twelve to go. Whee.

I love my children.  I love my children.  I love my children.  I probably, however, should not write about them while they're both serving simultaneous time outs and my blood pressure is still somewhere in the triple digits over some more triple digits.

This week was a lying liar who lied.  It started out so nicely.  The kids were SO well behaved.  Everything actually went according to plan.  There were practically church choirs singing in the background as we went about our activities.  And then.  Wednesday morning happened.

I don't know exactly what started it, but every. single. time. the boys got within three feet of each other, claws shot out, fur flew, blood coated the walls and ceilings.  I separated them, as one does when one is so #&$%ing tired of hearing "MOM!  MY BROTHER JUST--" that one would rather eat glass than walk into that room and mediate one more time.  Then they fussed about being separated.  They fussed because the sky was blue and the sun was shining and their eyes were blinking.  We were scheduled to go on multi-hour road trip to do a little geocaching, visit family and go to my favorite author's book signing, and I sincerely considered canceling it all and hiding under the bed. 

But we went and it was generally okay, so I thought maybe it was just a rough patch.  The 4-year-old did apparently denigrate every room in my aunt and uncle's room when bedtime rolled around (the 6-year-old and I were out at the book signing during all this or I'd have died of mortification).  No one lit anything on fire, though, so there was that.

This is a geocache. 
It is filled with the rejected party favors of your frenemies.
It is still very cool to find.

Yesterday morning we went out to finish our geocaching, having had excellent luck the day before and finding some great boxes.  Our luck decided to abandon us, though, and we found exactly zero items despite hunting for about an hour (did I mention it was the 7:00 a.m. hour, because MY CHILDREN HATE ME AND DO NOT BELIEVE IN SLEEPING IN EVER WTF WHHHHHHHYYYYYYY?!?!).  The 6-year-old declared it the worst day of his life.  At 7:30 in the morning.  New world record, that.

I took us home, fed everyone, even put on a full-length movie in the hopes that some quiet downtime would be like hitting the reset button.  OH, BUT NO.  The nanosecond the movie was over, they were back at it.  I tried interjecting a guided activity, even though I was so tired from being awake since 5:00 a.m. that I wanted to spoon my own eyeballs out of my head.  We did our "Thoughtful Thursday" project and made uplifting bookmarks to hide in the books at the library.  That went well.  And then the nanosecond the project was over...

It was like living the worst possible version of Groundhog Day.  Being half-narcoleptic and not-a-dieting didn't help.  I'll own up to my contributions to the situation.  But you know what my favorite part was?  The way their switches flipped from feral to adorable when their dad got home.  I JUST LOVE THAT.  SO MUCH. 

My solution was to put them to bed early yesterday.  When the 4-year-old fell asleep by 8 o'clock, I thought I had it figured out.  They were just tired.  Okay, I get that.  Me, too.  It was just a long week, that's all.  I knew they'd be better when they woke up today.  Also, my husband brought home a dozen donuts and I fell on the box open-mouthed, because the first week of summer break, that's why, and I knew I'd be better when I woke up, too.

AND THEN THIS MORNING HAPPENED.  AT $%#&ING 6:45 A.M.

I sanded my eyeballs, regretted every life decision up to that point, and tried to be cheerful.  I tried really hard, y'all.  I was all, "Yay, it's library day!  And we can hide our kindness notes!  And look at that beautiful sunshine!  Today's going to be so great!  Thank god for donuts!" 

We ate breakfast, the kids had play time without bloodshed, everything was on track.  Until I took a shower.  Which is when EVERYTHING needed to be dealt with.  (PS, note to any other parent reading this:  if your children ever rip the shower curtain back and shove their heads into your running shower because their need for a stuffed animal to be in the exact proper place is SO GREAT that it literally cannot wait five minutes, I will alibi you out for whatever you do to them.  Anything at all.  No judgment, full support.)

By the time I got out of the shower, the Eye of Sauron had turned on my home.  The One Ring was replaced by a stuffed horse.  I ignored the distinct possibility that we would not all make it out alive and demanded that everyone be dressed and by the door in five minutes or we would never go to the library again.  Why I thought going to the library at all with the lot of us in that state is a good idea, I will never know.

These are kindness bookmarks.
Not real sure how deep this lesson went on a personal level.


The 6-year-old got himself together admirably.  He found his favorite book series, picked out way more than any mortal being can read in a month, let alone a week, and set about hiding bookmarks.  And the 4-year-old wasn't bad per se, he just spent the entire time loudly announcing, "Look at THIS book!  MOMMY, ARE YOU LOOKING?" to the point where my hissed "Whisper!" became "WHISPERWHISPERWHISPER" until the old dude on the computer gave me the disapproving look.  Which I'm 100% sure was the 4-year-old's plan all along.  We managed to leave the library standing, which genuinely is some sort of dark magic, because the vein throbbing in my forehead alone was strong enough to send off shockwaves. 

We had a brief moment of respite for lunch, because apparently there's some sort of unspoken truce while food is present, but the rest of today has been spent with me alternately yelling, "GO OUTSIDE OR I SWEAR TO GOD--" and, "THIS IS NOT A THING I NEED TO HEAR ABOUT, GO TALK TO YOUR BROTHER, I KNOW YOU KNOW HOW TO TALK WITH WORDS BECAUSE THEY ARE COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AT AN INFINITE AND CONSTANT RATE RIGHT NOW, YOU CAN TELL BY THE BLOOD COMING OUT OF MY EARS." 

Add in a handful of self-loathing downswings involving tears and Cheetos because I've spent so much time being irritated with my kids this week and, that, ladies and gentleman, is how things go even when you plan carefully and make pretty charts.  Or maybe because of it.  I haven't sorted that out yet.

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