Yesterday was like a magical fairy tale of a day the likes of which we have not seen in at least several months. Today was like that too, except the opposite.
Yesterday Ryan texted to tell me that after he picked the kids up from school, he planned to take them to the pool. Would I like him to pack a picnic and a couple of beers so we could make a night of it? The answer to that question is always yes, so I eagerly jettisoned the work I was doing and jumped in the car. I did not get in because it was like swimming around in a recently melted popsicle, but the kids had a blast. We spent a pleasant ninety minutes there and then wrapped our shivering little bundles into towels and walked home.
Everyone got ready for bed cheerfully and we read books together. Wes and James wrestled good-naturedly on the floor for a few minutes.
It was a weird unicorn of a night where you have to tear yourself away at actual bedtime because you are having so much fun.
Tonight the kids rushed at me to tattle the shit out of each other before I could even put my bag down. They all had so many grievances it was impossible to tell who was at fault or if this giant three way fight just erupted spontaneously in the EIGHT MINUTE ride home from school.
There was hitting and scratching and punching and one kid told me another kid "shook him vigorously."
I finally sharply told them to knock it off long enough for our nanny to tell me about it.
She used polite terms, but I could see the truth in her eyes.
After she was safely out of earshot I let them HAVE it.
Them beating each other in the car has been a problem for YEARS. We have tried EVERYTHING and I am DONE. We have no good options--waiting for them to mature, making them walk three miles along the highway to school, taking video and becoming overnight superstars on Youtube.
I power ate my dinner (hot dogs and mac and cheese, which she made, plus a bag of chocolate eggs and kind of a lot of potato chips) then went outside where Ryan had just arrived home.
We decided to keep them home from choir, which they love, because they have shown us they are not capable of riding in the car.
It KILLED me to do it, because they have their final performance in a month and they love choir, but OMG.
As part of their punishment, I had them each compose an email to their director. Charley's said "I lost car privileges because I was being an ass----" before I made him change it.
And then we put them to bed at 6:30.* You don't have to sleep, but you have to lie down and be quiet.
*James went to bed earlier for OUTRAGEOUS rudeness to Ryan while he was practicing his guitar on not the first but the first AND THE SECOND chances we gave him. Then he slammed his door so many times I was literally considering how hard it would be to take it off the hinges.
Tomorrow is another day.