…they just pretend to be some times. That’s my motto today.
Our morning started out wonderfully. Before I went to bed last night I decided to let our “lake day” be today. Usually it’s Thursdays and we run lots of errands and we plan to eventually get to the lake. However, tomorrow is going to be a mad house over at
WAAF Clay Kaserne so I wanted to get all our business taken care of today. Plus, it’s going to rain tomorrow anyway, so I knew we weren’t going to the lake either day.
All that to say we slept in. At 8:00 I woke the boys and gave them thirty minutes to eat and get ready, as we needed to leave the house by 8:30 to make it to Hayden’s annual well-visit. They boys were in the most pleasant moods I’ve ever seen them in at that time of day. Hayden helped Bailey pour milk (so that Bailey didn’t get four-and-a-half cups of milk to eat a half-cup of cereal). Hayden then helped Carson tie his shoes, because Carson still struggles with that. All three boys helped us get to the car and there were no arguments at all. I hadn’t even told them that we were going to go to the gym to play basketball and racquetball at that point. They ask us at least three times a week if we can take them there and we usually say, “No, we’re not driving to a gym to let you play inside when the weather’s this nice and you can play on the playgrounds in the neighborhood.” (Plus, we really don’t like having to take that much time out of our day to go over there.)
Since we had multiple errands to run on post I decided I’d get my 25 minutes of prescribed running in on the track while the bigs played basketball. The plan was awesome.
We hit the doctor’s office in time, and all the boys were excellent while in the waiting room. They were good while I dropped off Hayden’s paperwork at CYS so that he can continue to play sports. They behaved while we got the mail from the post office. And they were AWESOME while I ran, with two of the boys actually running a mile with me. Parker got a little antsy sitting in his stroller while I ran and enjoyed hearing his echo through the empty gym but was good, other than that. My run was great other than the fact that I lost count of my laps on the last two… not sure if I ran 24 or 25 laps in 25 minutes… somehow I got all discombobulated and lost count. I either ran 2.51 miles or 2.4 miles. It bugs me that I don’t know!
The bigs had a great time playing basketball (and running) while I ran and then I let Parker stretch his legs and chase a basketball around once I finished my run. The bigs were itching to play racquetball so I let them have at it. Secret: 10:00-11:00 is the perfect time to work out at the gym on post. I think there were only about 4 other people there.
I’ve been doing this “mom” thing for eleven years. Before that I was a teacher. Before that I was a swim instructor and before that, I babysat a lot. I’ve learned a few things that work well in dealing with children. One trick I have up my sleeve is to end fun activities while things are still going well. Before there are meltdowns and before boredom has a chance to set in. I was just about to give the boys a five-minute heads-up (another trick up my sleeve) when Carson accidentally hit Bailey in the head/face (there is some disagreement over just where the ball made contact with Bailey) and this started a spiral that got out of hand quickly.
If you haven’t heard about SPD, google it. Or click on the letters “SPD” which I have linked to a site about the condition. Bailey has been diagnosed with this disorder and has done so well that he barely exhibits symptoms anymore. Except when he’s hit in the head with a ball. (For most of us, being hit in the head with a racquetball might hurt, to Bailey it feels more like he’s been hit in the head with a baseball.)
Carson made a partially-appropriate move and came out of the court with Bailey. I say “partially” because instead of saying he was sorry and checking on Bailey, he began by defending himself, assuring me that it was an accident.
I had him sit out until I could get the whole story and calm Bailey, which made Carson mad enough to drop (um, chunk) his racquet and throw the ball. Ohhhh…. not a good idea.
While doing all of this I had to get Parker strapped into the stroller which made him quite unhappy, so I’m sweating from running, listening to a toddler scream, to an 8 year old milking an injury (I know it hurt but at some point he started milking it) and dealing with a mad 9 year old. Had Carson simply listened to me and sat down, I was going to get Parker buckled in and then get the whole story. BOTH sides of it.
While I was distracted with Parker, Carson said something under his breath and Bailey interpreted it as “Do you want me to hit you in the face again?” (I’m laughing as I type that because it sounds funny, now. I assure you, it was not funny in the moment.) I couldn’t get a good read from Carson as to whether or not he had actually said that so I went back to the source and reminded Bailey that his iPod has been taken away because he lied to me last week. He then admitted that Carson said something but he didn’t know what. Great. Now I have one kid in trouble for throwing his racquet and one in trouble for lying. I went inside the court to gather Bailey’s abandoned equipment and as I was walking back to the door, through the glass I saw Hayden peg Bailey in the leg with his racquetball, which got Bailey all riled up and crying again. Three in trouble, with Parker just calming down.
Incredulous, I asked Hayden why in the WORLD he would do that and he had two comments: 1. “He said something rude under his breath.” and 2. “I didn’t throw it that hard.”
I can’t take away “lake day” tomorrow because it’s going to be raining and because we had just enjoyed our day off of school. I made a quick decision that some of you may not agree with but I had to have something immediate, painful, and shocking to let them know that what was happening was NOT okay.
I decided that they were going to go to nap time with no lunch. I think I hit a nerve because I heard a few groans.
We had to stop at the grocery store for necessities (coffee creamer, milk, and grapes) and there was another episode of Bailey being obnoxious to the point that one of his brothers whacked him with something, pushing Bailey over the edge and into tears, again. I took away Friday Night Movie Night. I rarely do that.
When we got home Carson asked if he could PLEASE have a little lunch and I said no. They all sulked to their rooms while I fixed Parker’s lunch.
I hate it when a perfectly good day goes bad in an instant. Carson came out and apologized a few minutes ago. I will speak to each one of them over the next few minutes to remind them of their part in this debacle and encourage them to remain in control of themselves.
And I plan to make a really big dinner because I’m going to have some extra hungry boys tonight.