Next Time

One major perk of writing a mommyhood blog is that when my boys are acting completely out of control, I know I will have some good material. It doesn’t necessarily help in the heat of the moment but it does give me a slight, intellectual step back from the insanity. That can be helpful. Especially for a late afternoon like the one we had.

T.Puzzle and I had a relatively uneventful day. He took an extremely long nap which could mean one of two things: the heavens were smiling on me or he is coming down with something. Either way I didn’t question my good fortune, I enjoyed my break and felt refreshed as we headed to get Full Speed from school.

Pick up was fairly normal until we came back out to the lobby. There was a folding table off to the left that had the final product of the boys’ recent school portraits. Of course I didn’t have my wallet and today was the last day I could purchase them (yes, I let that one slip right by me). So, I’m standing there feeling the pressure. I want to make a quick decision and then in all likelihood run home (which is only couple miles away) and return with my wallet in hand. I stumble upon two obstacles. The first is that my children are fantastically photogenic (no bias on my part of course) so their pictures are adorable. We just had a family sitting that was the bomb, too. How can I justify buying more photos of these guys? Shouldn’t I at least run this by Mad Dog?

 

The second hurdle is, well, you know my boys. It gets to the point that I can’t even think straight. They are running around and start beating on each other. Soon one is crawling over a chair about to leap and the other is on his heels. The energy level in the small, confined space of the lobby is reaching a fever pitch. I make a hasty apology to the picture people and promise my return. I grab the boys, head to the truck and it goes from bad to worse.

T.Puzzle is feeling sassy. He tells his brother there are ‘no pictures’ at all of Full Speed. This hurts Full Speed’s feelings and he melts down screaming. He can’t believe T.Puzzle would say such a thing. I strap them both in and before you know it, Full Speed is whaling on his little brother like there is no tomorrow. At this point I have Mad Dog on the phone to explain the picture dilemma but I can barely hear him over the hysteria. They are screaming in stereo.

I say, “Could you hold on for a moment?” into the phone and proceed to threaten them. “The next person that speaks will immediately go to their room when we get home!” It works enough that I can get us home with a tenuous air of peace in the truck. They know I’m serious.

When I pull in the driveway and take the keys from the ignition I slowly and deliberately turn around. “I’m glad you were able to be quiet for the remainder of the ride home. However, your behavior in the lobby was unacceptable. You do not behave that way. You show respect for each other and listen to what your Mom says.” I feel very confident I have turned a horrible episode into a watershed, teachable moment. My boys have learned their behavioral lesson.

Full Speed looks dubious. I sit back and wait for his contrition. Instead all I get is, “Mom, what’s a lobby?”

Oh well, maybe they’ll learn something next time because as we all know, there always is a next time with these two guys.

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