Today, the younger two and I picked up the older two from school as usual. We were very excited to see them. The sentiments were not returned. No sooner than they caught sight of us, the whining and blaming and begging and pleading and whining began. No, they did not want to make monster cookies. They wanted to play on the playground. No, they did not want to play on the playground. They had to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW. And my shoes don’t fit and my shirt is itchy and… ahem, anyway.
Then on the way home, they both cried and said how tired they were and how they almost fell asleep at school. I almost fell asleep while standing in line, said one. I almost fell asleep on the playground said the other. And I’m going to make you both walk home from school, said I. They both cried and I sighed and said I was joking and maybe they should go to bed early tonight, oh but wait, we have church tonight, so I guess you’ll have to take a nap instead. They halfheartedly whined, but mostly thought I was joking again.
They had a snack and I sent them to bed for half an hour. They couldn’t believe my cruelty. Oh! You should have heard the moaning and howling and gnashing of teeth! THIS IS JUST LIKE SCHOOL!!!! Moaned one, then broke into such heart wrenching sobs that I about cried myself. I’m only doing what I think is best for you and my sanity, I justified to myself. I don’t know how to take a nap, cried the other. You, uh, lay down and close your eyes, I told her with as straight a face as I could.
And I? I went to my coffee pot to look for solace and comfort. Dear friend, said I, please, please, please give me my sanity back. Shhhhhhh hissed my Keurig. Oh, not you, too, I wailed. SHHHHHHH blurped my Keurig again. I looked and realized I had grabbed the cup out after I’d hit the button a second time and coffee was streaming into the little drip tray. YOU BUMBLING, WITLESS FOOL I vexatiously hollered at myself and hurriedly thrust my cup back under the stream of precious as gold black liquid.
I wish I could say that the kids took a nap and I became less bacon brained, but my mother taught me to never lie. We continued to rub on, raising each other’s hackles, and leading each other’s goats around until bedtime. Then Dad came home and everything was better. Funny how Dad makes everything better. A little frustrating for Mom, too. I spend all day correcting, cajoling, yelling, and pleading only to watch, with deep chagrin, the ones who will be choosing my future nursing home be meek as lambs for other people.