The week started out peacefully enough but then things went horribly awry. Monday, we went to the National Air and Space Museum to finish up our rowing of The Glorious Flight. Then Tuesday started out nice enough.
I was enjoying my quiet house of kids and husband sleeping in, while I sipped my coffee in my pajamas and read a novel, then perused all the Facebook photos and comments of friends and neighbors sending off their publically schooled kids. I knew what it felt like to shed tears after the bus pulls away and to experience that milestone of sending a child off to school. Firefly went to afternoon public kindergarden last year. This would’ve been our first year of full day public school, and I was glad that I wouldn’t have to nag and rush him to get ready and out the door on time this year.
It was a false sense of security, however, because two hours later, the kids had, yup, that’s right: a battle getting out the door. We were on our way to a Not Back To School celebratory breakfast at IHOP with some friends. For some reason, Firefly and the Queen Bee cannot be in the mudroom together putting shoes on at the same time. It is the equivalent of putting two cats who don’t know or like each other into a bag. There’s a lot of clawing and fighting and, from the Queen Bee, shrieking at a decibel level so loud that I can actually feel permanent hearing loss occurring in at least one of my ears.
But, we finally got into the car and off we went.
One dumped cup of milk, two uneaten breakfasts and 25 choruses of “Sit down, stop it!” later, we left the restaurant and that is when I completely lost my mind and…..wait for it……
—-took them to Target. Yeah, I know, you can’t even really feel empathy for me at this point, having brought it on myself and all. But I deluded myself into thinking, “This will be a quick trip. I only need two things. They are things that the kids we will be excited that I am buying and so they will behave. And if not, it’s only two things, we will make a quick exit.” Now, who really goes to Target and buys only two things?
Anyway, guess what happened? They completely changed their behavior and decided to become shining examples of well-behaved homeschooled kids by…..wait for it….
—fighting in the store!
There was more shrieking from the Queen Bee and I actually dumped some of my merchandise on a random shelf and prepared to exit the store quickly but then realized that we really, really needed the zip lock bags and a birthday card for grandpa and I’ll be damned if I am going to have to make another trip with all the stuff I have to do this week so we will buy these two things, dammit, and get out of the store and they can go to their rooms when we get home and come up with a plan to LISTEN for crying out loud [you can see where I really needed intense mental help at this point].
Well, it turns out that might have been the better part of the day because later I could swear laser beams shot out of the Queen Bee’s eyes and Love Bug. Oh, cute little Love Bug. He looked at me with those rosy, chubby cheeks of his and that sweet little grin and I just knew he was thinking, “You’re going down, lady. I’m gonna break ya.” He then proceeded to get into everything while simultaneously hurling matchbox cars at my head.
The Queen Bee continued on her campaign to deafen me, but as soon as The Husband arrived home, she was all sweetness and light and I stood there with my mouth gaping open, going, “Come on. Show Daddy how you spin your head around.” And to my husband: “Really, I swear, she has literally not stopped shrieking all day long. I swear!” He looked at me and just ever so slightly shook his head in pity and disbelief.
In fact, the rest of the week was quite productive. Except for Thursday. We didn’t get anything done on Thursday. At all. Love Bug refused to nap. Not only that, he decided to sabotage us at every turn. When we sat down to read, he climbed on us and screeched. When we tried to do some writing, he attempted to fling himself off the back of the couch, head-first onto the wood floor, then ran off to bang toys onto the table, leaving deep gouges in the wood. So I gave up on school that day. What else could we do? At least we had a productive morning cleaning out the garage.
You know what else I learned? Firefly will say he loves Draw Write Now until you actually try to do one of the lessons with him and then he will whine and complain endlessly about it, until you go upstairs to change into clean pants (because Love Bug smeared spreadable cheese all over the ones you are wearing). Then Firefly, having lost his audience, will immediately stop whining and complaining and procrastinating, and will quickly finish the lesson. Isn’t that interesting?