Locking Horns

I have been battling with the kids a great deal lately. I chalked part of it up to their ages, some of it to school starting, some of it to the changes in the weather and their routines and some of it up to me and my mood du jour. Even given all the excuses I can come up with, last week was a VERY long week. My 4-year old decided she no longer wants to go to school at all. She informed me that she “has enough knowledge.” I was so stunned by this statement that I stared at her for a moment before I came up with a retort: “You can’t read yet, so you need to keep going to school.” Unfortunately, when I dropped her off this morning, I turned to go and got as far as the door before she tackled me from behind and started crying. I could tell it was going to be a long day…

I then get to my car in the remote parking lot only to find that it won’t start. I figured it was the battery or the starter, based on the sounds it was making. I called the boys, who were waiting for me at home to get them off to school, to let them know I was stuck and to finish getting ready and get themselves off. I couldn’t reach my husband, so I started digging in the glove box. I found a card for roadside assistance from our new insurance company. I was on hold for 20 minutes before they informed me that we didn’t have roadside assistance with our policy. By this time, there wasn’t a single soul in this remote lot. I walked back to the school and ran into the 3 older gentlemen (I use this term loosely – keep reading) who do the crossing guard duty for the school. I asked them if any of them had cables and would they be so kind as to give me a jump. Two of them went to their cars to look. One said he had them. I told him where I was and said that I would walk back while he drove around to meet me. I get to my car and pop the hood just in time to look up to watch him driving right past me. He even looked at me, changed to the far lane and then turned at the next light. I was so stunned that I just stood there. Fortunately, one of the guys from the parks department that I had asked earlier was still there when I got back. He had been kind enough to ask one of the employees of the community center (where I was parked – in employee parking no less!) for cables. They quickly hooked me up and sent me on my way. So at this point, if I sped across town, I would be just in time for my doctor appointment. Who doesn’t want to top off a morning like this with a pap? Huh? Anyone?? At this point, I haven’t showered or eaten either. Good times.

So just to back track a bit, when I called the boys to tell them I was stuck, my oldest started in on me about school also. He said he was too tired, that he hated school, that his brother was sick – all while using a whiny voice that reminds me of Mickey Mouse. I was like “Seriously? Can we discuss this in person at a later time? Please just go to school.” I have been fighting with him all day, every day for weeks. He is driving me to drink. This weekend we fought about hiking boots that he needs for outdoor ed. We made the mistake of taking all 3 kids shopping. Finally, I took him home and went shopping with just my sister. I was on the verge of killing him. She had grabbed him by the back of the neck at a point when he was chasing his brother through the store. I was livid. He said that she tried to choke him. I told him that I would be happy to demonstrate choking if he really wanted to see it and that he was lucky she got to him first. He is spending a lot of time and energy being contrary. Even last night when I went out of my way to get him the hotdogs from the butcher that he likes for dinner, he informed me he didn’t want hotdogs. If I could just not talk to him for a month, I would.

Fortunately, my middle child has been relatively easygoing. He gets up and dressed without much fan fare. He typically doesn’t complain about school or meals or hiking boots. Every now and again he has a complete meltdown, but then again, so do I. Right now, I am very thankful for him. It is nice to have his smiling face in the midst of all the turmoil.

Someone commented on the blog that maybe all the weirdness has something to do with the massive changes in our lives. I have never been a stay-at-home mom. I have never cooked as much as I do now, not to mention the HUGE variety in our diets these days. Maybe I need to back off the experimenting a bit. A little routine to life is comforting. Since we do our own version of Dinner and Movie on Fridays, perhaps I should introduce a standing dessert or something. I LOVE chocolate pudding. I also adore caramel corn. Here I go again, too many choices! Anyway, I know this will sort itself out. It always does.

By the way, made the cutest dessert ever this weekend: Cheesecakes in little jars. I did learn though, that a smaller jar is better. The bigger jars were too much for one person to eat. I am sold on these and can’t wait to have an excuse to make them and take them to a dinner party or something!


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