Monday. It started out typical enough. Maybe even a bit joyful. School prep was not completed so it got off to a later start. And maybe this is where it starts declining. Being just ever so slightly off routine. It does something. I think the kids begin thinking "Oh today is not mom's way. We are already off schedule. Today is going to be our way." Oh, they don't say that but I think they think it. At times I even think they think to themselves, "Hmm, what can we do today to irritate mom?" I do. I think that some days they just have it in them to reek havoc. And it may begin with, "I don't want to do this lesson." Oh, yes you will! Or it may be, "I don't want to eat that!" Oh but if you want to eat you will. It may be harassing their sibling until they are both in bad moods. One pestering, the other crying. And you find yourself saying parent stuff. "Be nice to your sister. Stop that. Do you need to be disciplined?" Ah Duh, of course this child needs discipline. So you proceed to the bathroom to discuss the sin, the consequence, the forgiveness. And the day begins to look a little better. Until the next thing they do not want to do. And you chant your new mantra, "Obey right away, all the way, with a cheerful heart." And after an hour or two of this you feel yourself getting weary. Finally you make it through the school day but there are many hours still in the day. Grandpa calls and gives you the excuse you need to get out of the house. You go to grandma and grandpas, hopeful, hey at least your out of the house. You bring along some stuff for them to show grandma and grandpa, school stuff. And instead of showing it to them, your child climbs up on top of the car. Finally they get off and show grandpa the folder. Then when asked to read the story he brought, your child puts on a stand up comedy routine, only mom is not laughing. Mom walks away and the child willingly reads the story to the grandparent. Mom reappears and the funny stuff reappears. I know he is thinking, "I will show her , read a book, ha, Will I do want to read for grandpa, but NOT for mom too, Nanner nanner, ok back to the book." Really I think these are things my child might come up with. After removing myself from the scene I go in to see my mother. The ads are out for all the upcoming sales and I sit to go through them. Children join me. The "I wants" begin. The taking ads out of my hands so they can get a better look at the loot. And the will you get me this and that and this and that. To which I mostly answer I will think about it. This was a good response. Then unfortunately I answered with the wrong response. I actually said an outright no to one of the requests, gasp! To which I got relentless whining and complaining. While the other child climbed about on my head. The boiling point was rising. So we made our exit. Attempted exit. The more pushing toward the door. Counting to 100. Deep breathing. Picking one up as you swiftly made your way out while be pulled by the child you are not carrying. At the least the pulling brings the child along as you finally make it to the car. Once in car, you declare many things. Mainly how there behavior is unacceptable. No you can not have the motorcycle you saw in the magazine. We do not act that way. You will both be going to your room. And finally mom is no longer talking. Upon arrival home, they are sent to their bed until dad comes home. They are not pleased but see that it is in their best interest to comply. Mom calls dad. 45 minutes later dinner is done and dad is still not home. So mom has to decide if the children eat while the food is hot or really truly make them wait for dad. Since dad's schedule can be unpredictable, I opt for feeding the children. The first 10 minutes is complete peace as they eat. Then the picking on each other tries to rear its ugly head. "Do you really want to push me?" They think about it, but no, they really don't. Then dad comes home. YEAH. We survived. Dad enforces clean up of the home. Had a discussion with the children, in which they confess their naughtiness. He has them get ready for bed as he calls me out to the living room. Instructs me to put my feet up, hands me industrial headphones like air traffic control might wear and I just lay there in peace for a few minutes as hubby smiles on. I love his sense of humor. Then he lets me in on the plan. He would call the children out to apologize. Give me a hug and that he was sending me on my way to do whatever I wanted to do for the evening. They came back in, he ran a mini boot camp with sit -ups, jumping jacks and the like. Then he did as he said he would do. I grabbed some money and out the door I flew. I went to see the movie The Martian Child. Perfect for the day I had had. In it Joan Cusak says, "Kids they are like mosquitoes they just keep coming at ya attacking, sucking the blood right out of you." Uh huh! The movie was heart warming and sincere. Near the end I had a good cry. I proceeded to cry in the car as I made my way to my friends house. Once there things were looking a lot better.
In the car I could not help but thinking, "We try to love out kids, teach them, guide them and we can not help but wonder if it is enough." Each day we have to embrace and do the best we can. Some days are great, full of life and reward. Other days are stressful and bleak. But through it all we press on clinging to the promise. To train up a child in the way they shall go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Lord, let it be so.
Oh, in case your wondering the rest of the week has been MUCH BETTER, even great.