Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Holy testosterone, Batman

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.


LL said...

Ugh. I'm reading and nodding in solidarity with you. When Landon had what I have now termed "testosterone poisoning" a couple months ago, he slammed his door in my face one time and I completely lost my shit. Partly because we have a very old house on a pier and beam foundation so slamming a door makes everything rattle and seem far more dramatic than it was, but also because it's MY DAMN HOUSE and my god you will not harm it. I am not proud of the unhinged, high-pitched, very loud words that came pouring out of my mouth, but I did somehow make clear that he would lose his door for 6 months if he ever dared to slam it at me again. (He did not. He has also leveled out lately, which probably has more to do with it than my unintelligible screaming.)

The point is, besides my making my blood pressure rise just thinking of that particular afternoon, is I'm glad you had some chocolate and put everyone in bed at 6:30 so you could eat it uninterrupted. And I'm really glad you got to have a magical swim night. We all need those nights to keep going and not eat our young. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Mine haven't reached that stage yet... but my oldest has started trying out a withering glare, so I know I'm in for it soon.

I have fond memories of my dad taking my sister's door off her hinges as punishment for her slamming it when she was a tween. It's pretty much family legend now. :)

Anonymous said...

Hang in there - there are the downs and the ups. And the ups feel so much better because there have been the downs. Meanwhile, some good wine/beer should help!

Chiconky said...

Averson yelled that I’d ruined her life and slammed her door on me yesterday and I screamed that she would be closing it appropriately 50 times. She cried, “I can’t count to 50!” and my super mature response was “Better learn!” Solidarity, Mama.
Charley’s e-mail cracked me up BTW. I would’ve been tempted to leave it as is...

Sassy Apple said...

I'm so sorry to hear the route to school is on a highway. I REALLY enjoyed the post that went viral where a father slowly drives behind his son running in the rain to school because he had been kicked off the bus. My meandering leads to this wisdom, your children sound completely normal.