May I Be Excused Now?

It is 10:12pm as I begin this. Justin and Alex are still not sleeping. I’ve chased them back to bed about a thousand times. Before that they were arguing over who was going to sleep on which side of the bed because Justin decided that he didn’t want to sleep in the top bunk tonight.

Before that I was settling an argument between David and Cameron about whether the world was really going to end in 2012.

Before that I was cleaning up an ice cream bowl that Justin had poured juice into.

Before that I was searching the garage to find Justin’s toy rake so he could help Barry with yard work. Before that I was rearranging pepperoni on Alex’s pizza because they weren’t in the right spot. Before that I was picking gum from Alex’s hands. Before that I was rinsing off his muddy feet and hands with the hose because he was putting it all over my car. Before that I tried to take a walk around the block but didn’t get far before I was being chased by a crying Alex and a bike-riding Justin.

Before that Justin and Alex were talking incessantly during church while playing with Alex’s princesses (we don’t ask and do tell in our house) and no matter how many times I invoked the veiled threat of “Jesus is watching you,” nothing would shut them up. Before that I was telling David that if he didn’t go to church with me that he would be on heavy cleaning detail, including the bottom of the refrigerator where all the gunk ends up. Before that we found out that Cameron’s 5:00 baseball game was cancelled due to rain.

Before that…the best part of the day…I took a heavenly nap while listening to the rain and an Enya station on Pandora.

Before that we were at Culver’s celebrating David’s best baseball game of the season. Justin got mad because after they delivered the chicken tenders he asked for he went back on his story and said he wanted a hot dog. After a talking to outside he finally sat down and ate. After that everyone wanted frozen custard. After that Cameron sat over by David and his teammates. After that Cameron came over crying because David put pepper in his frozen custard. After Barry bought Cameron a replacement I snatched David away from his victory celebration, took him home and told him he owed us $3.00 to replace Cameron’s custard that he ruined.

Before that we were at David’s rain-soaked game. After it ended Justin and Alex were fighting over a stick. After I was sick of them fighting, I took the stick from Justin’s, threw it away in disgust and hit one of David’s friends in the chest with it. Before Cameron threw a fit and was trying to steal my wallet because I wouldn’t give him more money for the concession stand. Before that Cameron, Justin and Alex were all fighting over chairs and umbrellas. Before that Justin poured water on Alex’s shirt.

Before that someone came over with Cameron, who was watching another game, and told us that he had been hit in the collarbone by a foul ball (Thanks for the ice and TLC, Colleen!). Before that I can’t even remember what happened because I planned to write this when I got home but fell into aforementioned nap instead. I do recall that before we left Alex was hopping mad because all we had were chocolate donuts, David was his usual self, overseer and enforcer of rules and punishing violators as he sees fit. After another beating incident I decided I was no longer getting involved because if these kids keep provoking him they deserve what they get. After that decision I rationalized it by thinking that no, David should not be allowed to be the judge, jury and executioner, but at the same time, if you poked a dog with a stick what would you expect even a mild-mannered dog to do? I’m not giving up on parenting, I’m teaching survival skills.

Before today I was feeling guilty about working and not staying home with the kids and not having time to spend with them during the summer and wondering if my master plan to work the morning shift at Starbucks was the right path to take. Days like this make work a little more appealing, but not much.

It’s now 10:53pm as I wrap this up and Justin and Alex are still not sleeping. If they’re not asleep by 11:00…Heads. Will. Roll.

© 2010

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