5:30: We all sit down for the delicious fajita dinner Ryan made.
5:31: I have just finished putting pico on my fajita when Wes shrieks "MORE MILK PLEASE!" I sigh, put down my dinner, and go to the fridge for milk, wishing I'd made the cutoff one glass of milk instead of two so he would be up getting water right now by himself and I would be eating.
5:35: James, please lower your voice.
5:37: "MORE MILK PLEASE!" Charlie this time. I ask him to please go get the jug out of the fridge and use two hands this time. He slides it off the shelf with one hand and as it falls, it swings him around in a complete circle after which he artfully steadies the jug with the other hand. He gives me a bemused smirk. I pour the freaking milk. "OK guys, you've each had one refill. Water from now on!"
5:40 "Wes that's enough sour cream. Wes. Wes. Wes. That's enough." There's a mound the size of a racquetball perched on top of his rice. "Give it to me, please. Give it to me. Now." I rip the sour cream from his hands. He sniffs angrily.
5:42: "Muh MILK Muh MILK Muh MILK Muh MILK!" Slam slam slam goes James's cup on the table. Ryan makes him say please then pours him another glass.
5:43: "Boys, stop touching each other and eat."
5:44: "Please stop touching each other and eat." Now they are full-on wrestling while still seated at the bench.
5:45: "MAAAAHHHHH!!! MAAAAAHHHHH!!! TANK YOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" screams James as he flings a handful of fajita to the floor for Rossby . I meet Ryan's eyes at the other end of the table. "When people's kids go to college and they complain about the house being too quiet...?" He just laughs and looks tired. That's a long way away.
5:46: "KNOCK IT OFF!" Charlie has Wes by the wrist and is making Wes smack himself in the head over and over. Cannot hide my amusement.
5:47: "STOP TOUCHING EACH--" stand up and physically remove Wes from the bench, put him in my seat, join Charlie on the bench.
5:48: "TANK YOOOOOOOO TANK YOOOOOOOOOO TANK YOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!"
"James, please lower your voice. I know you are finished with your dinner but we're all going to stay here together for a few minutes." He throws his fork on the floor and pouts. Then resumes yelling nonsense, which causes Charlie to lose his train of thought mid-sentence, which causes him to become frustrated and slam his fajita back onto his plate where he begins eating with his face like a dog.
5:49: "Charlie, use your fork. Use your fork. Fork! Thank you. Wes, you have had enough sour cream, stop it!"
5:50: James throws up. No one bats an eye. Ryan wipes him down with a dishtowel and takes off his shirt.
5:55: "Charlie! FORK!" He looks at me smiling with a mangled piece of sour cream crusted tortilla hanging out of his mouth. I stand up and say "OK, I'll clear the table. JAMMIES. NOW. BOTH OF YOU." They scramble upstairs.
6:00: They are definitely not in the shower. They are definitely jumping on my bed. "IF YOU GUYS ARE JUMPING ON MY BED YOU EACH LOSE ONE STORY!" I call up the stairs, just like SuperNanny Jo Frost would advise.
6:05: They are still jumping on the bed. I run up the stairs both guns blazing to find them jumping on top of a pile of clean, folded laundry.
6:05:30: Count to a million.
6:07: "ONE. STORY. GONE! JAMMIES. NOW!!" I have turned into a caveman. Articles and verbs are for people with two daughters.
6:10: "Here are some jammies " (that I retrieved from the dining room table) " put them on please. Right now."
6:12: "OK! Now you just need the pants!"
6:14: "Wes! Jammies! Put that game down or it's mine tomorrow."
6:15: "Give me the game. Give it to me right now and put on your jammies." I wrench it from his grasp then shoo him in the direction of the bathroom where I stuff him into his jammies against his will.
6:20: "Teeth. Brush. Keep brushing. Stop spitting you're not done yet. Brush. I can't hear the noise! Gotta get those germs! Keep brushing! Brush-a brush-a brush-a!"
6:25: Argument between Wes and me about who reads stories, me or Charlie. I let Charlie do it. They both snuggle into my lap and Charlie reads a long, LONG story from the original Curious George. Wow, these guys are pretty cool, I think, and pull them a little closer.
6:50: Lights out. But don't tell them what time it was. Have not heard a peep!