We were detoured on the way to the Community Center this morning by a man in a vest waving an orange flag. The kids picked up on the change in route immediately and Charlie complained all the way around back to the main road, all the way to the exit to the neighborhood and all the way down the highway back to the road where the Community Center is.
"This is SO STUPID. Why do they have to work on the STUPID road?"
"Charlie, I don't want to hear you talk that way."
"But it's STUPID. I want to go to the Community Center."
"We're going to the Community Center right now. We just have to go another way."
"Those workers are STUPID."
"Charlie, they're working hard to make our neighborhood nice for us. We don't call people 'stupid'. If you can't stop complaining, then I don't want you to speak at all."
Then quietly, "It's just so stupid to work on the stupid road."
And then, we approached the intersection at the entrance of our neighborhood, where we'd have to turn right to get on the highway to go the long way around to get around the (stupid) road work and go to the Community Center, where I would enjoy forty-five glorious minutes on the elliptical watching the news--and maybe if the kids got distracted enough, a few minutes drinking coffee and reading the paper in the lobby--as we approached that intersection, they had two of the lanes closed and a long line of cars was backed up. I waited, but when the light turned green only three cars made it through before we were all stuck again. I was trapped in the car with a whining Charlie and potty-training Wes and the nap clock was ticking on James.
My internal dialog turned negative "This is so STUPID. Why do they have to do stupid work on the stupid road. Stupid stupid stupid. I want to go to the Community Center!"