I know within seconds of getting in the car if it’s going to be “one of those days.” I’m speaking of our thrice-weekly routine of meeting in the parking lot and trading cars (one with and one without children). Usually the boy-os are pretty good, this is usually because I have a plan for what we are going to be doing [side note: Liam told me yesterday he just wanted to see his friends because I wasn’t his favorite, spending time with just me was just not the best. Thanks for that buckaroo. And also, sniff.]
Rather, they are little pint-sized containers of raging hormones – much like teenagers but with extra concentration. And instead of laughter and smiles, all I get from the back of the car is screaming, whining and crying. Seriously – how can life be so very hard when you are 3 and 5.5? Really. I wonder.
Here’s a typical exchange:
Liam: Um, mommy… can we…
Liam: Be quiet Jack, I’m talking… mommy, can we…
Liam: Jack!! Mommy, can we…
Liam: Jack, shhhh!!!! Mommy, can we…
Jack: [screamy, screamy sounds]
Liam: MOMMMM!!!! Jack won’t be quiet! Jack, you’re making me mad… I want to punch you [we need to work on his anger management skills]
Me: [breathe in, breathe out] Jack, Liam was talking first, please be quiet for a minute and then it will be your turn. Liam, just keep talking, I can still hear you over his screaming.
Jack: Aargh! I want to tell you something!
Liam: Jack, be quiet, it’s my turn to talk. Mommy, can we go to [someone’s] house?
Me: No, not today, they are busy [who knows if they are]
Liam: WHINE… whine… whine… never do anything… WHINE…
Jack: SCREAM… mommy, my turn… scream… no Liam!
[It’s just as fun and as loud as it sounds. See also: annoying, maddening, relentless. You are jealous. I can tell.]
Last week when this happened we ended up going to Millenium Park on the spur of the moment because I needed to do something or else I was going to end up with no children in my car and a future prison sentence. But yesterday, it happened again and I had plans later that night with my friends so I didn’t want to have to re-shower to look presentable after a walk pushing both kids in the stroller (I’m a sweaty person, it’s genetic, at least that’s what my dad says). So I calmly (go me with my no yelling) but forcefully told them both to stop talking and that the next person who whined or screamed or so much as made a sound would not be getting the Wii or the Kindle that evening. I told them they needed to stay quiet until we got on the highway. And they were silent. For 30 seconds (but it was a glorious 30 seconds). Jack started to speak, but a quick “nope” from me got him quiet again (Liam, my elder and possibly smarter child recognized the gravity of the situation and kept quiet a good 5 minutes) and I decided we were going to going to Costco. Because Costco makes everything better with their cheap fruit smoothies and mass quantities of stuff to buy.
We made it through the afternoon (as we always do) and I got to go out with my friends and have good food, dark beer and creme brulee (with an Italian flair, the menu said, but when we asked our server, she said the only Italian flair was in its Italian-sounding name – ha!). All was right with the world. Until the next time this happens. Next Tuesday, I’m looking at you.