Friday, August 27, 2010

I spent a year there one week

It only felt like a year.

This was one long and difficult week. A week in which many battles were waged between parents and children.  On multiple occasions we (the two adults) looked at each other with baggy eyes and slumped shoulders and said, "What tha?!?!" We would have said more, had we not been too exhausted to form sentences. All conversations were kept to a ten word minimum.

"Troy, I need you to run to the store and ..."
Out of words.
Will finish sentence tomorrow.

The kids did not plan the coordinated uprising - or so they say - but it was a full-on non-stop assault none the less.

Teenagers-  We respect the privacy of ours.  Let us just say:  Not a great week.

School-aged-children-  We have created some systems to be sure that all homework is done, all letters/notes are signed, all are fed their 3square a day. The hope is that all the teeth hookup with a toothbrush at least once daily, and they are clean and clothed as they walk out the door to school at 7:25 each morning.

These are not lofty goals, we recognize this.

The system broke down when somehow Isaac managed to go four nights without showering even though he was scheduled for bathtub time on Tuesday night. We learned a valuable lesson, though. Asking Isaac to shower is not good enough.  You have to ask and then physically walk him to the bathroom and hear him turn the water on and get in. If you neglect this step, he'll skip it and put his pajamas on. Once in the shower you have to help him realize the size of his own noggin and shampoo more than two or three inches of the front of his hairline.  If you cannot see the back of your head, it still exists.  Who knew?

Noah has no plans of embracing his new Kindergarten life.  On Monday night when I tucked him in, I told him I'd wake him the next morning and to please try to be cheery - or at least not hateful.  He said, "WHAT?!? I have to go again? How many days till it is a day I don't have to go?!"

Thinking it would really excite him, I woke him this morning and whispered, "You get two days off after today honey."  I waited for him to pop out of bed and do a end-zone celebration dance.  I waited. Nothing.  "Noah?  Did you hear me?"  Long pause, he rolled over and said,  "I want TEN days off after today."

Small Toddler-sized people- These two believe they are in charge. From that belief, all problems flow. Phoebe and Lydia, for the first time ever, are watching all of the other kids leave and experiencing less divided attention from their parental unit. They get more wrestling time, more playing time, more one-on-one attention. They now have almost 8 hours to rule the roost together. One would think this would thrill them. Perhaps they'd even enjoy it? If the way to express content and even excitement is to bite one another and scream for half of the day, then yes, they are thrilled with this turn of events.

These two continue to impress us with their disdain for one another and their disregard for the rule of law. Neither is willing to secede in the battle over the role as top-toddler in charge of the drones parents living in their kingdom.  If we would hand over the Suburban keys, and if they could reach the pedals, chances are they'd race to the driveway to see who could get to the courthouse to file for emancipation first.

Earlier today I heard Lydia raise her voice and yell, "No, I told you no first!"  I wondered what had come between her and Phoebe.  Then I heard Troy say, "That's it missy, you cannot talk to me that way."  And so it goes.  A two year old that will chew out her Daddy is a two-year old to run-from fear pray for fervently.

And we do.

All of that aside, we managed to sit down Sunday night and make a plan for meals.  Typically at around 5pm I say, "What should we have for dinner?"  Troy replies, "I don't know. Mac n Cheese???"  From there we keep Kraft in business and never eat much more than white flour and powdered cheese products for days on end.

This week we tried something new.  Maybe you've heard of it?  It is called - Planning.Ahead.

Shockingly enough it led to five unique menus in a row, none of which called for a packet of florescent orange cheese powder. Who knows, maybe it was the real food that energized the troops and caused them to flip out in unison.

The rest of the non-child things that made this week a buttkicking are related to passport application rules, re-adoption hoop jumping, bills, and other horribly mundane things.

All of that to say - good riddance to the last full week of August 2010.