Mike returned to Albuquerque (someone’s got to bring home the bacon) while the boys and I are staying for a few more days at my parents’ home. When he was here still, we had a great time with my brother’s family and Mike’s parents who all came this way for precious family time together.
Today my mom needed to run some errands and we tagged along. The boys had been up well past their bedtime since we were with my dearest friend Jen last night. Jennifer and I have grown up together through Bluebirds, Girl Scouts, 8th grade dance, prom, and beyond. My kids adore hers who are slightly older than they and therefore completely the coolest kids ever. Max and Megan are always so sweet with my two, and I believe my boys would move in with them if they could. The time together was well worth letting my boys party till the break of dawn (or 10:30pm in little party animal time).
At least I thought so until today resulted in tired kids who fought too much and whined and complained excessively. I cannot imagine why since running adult errands should be the most fun thing in the world for a 5 and 7 year old! 🙂 I mistakenly expected stellar behavior from them since they have been getting well over their fair share of special treats here. With grandparents who insist the boys get 500% of their daily recommended sugar intake, I foolishly thought that these indulgences would produce charm school graduates of the magna cum laude caliber in gratitude of these many exceptional (diabetic-inducing) bribes. Instead I was blowing my referee whistle countless times in Marshalls or breaking up their Indy 500 race around Home Depot or menacingly threatening to take away tasty treat promise #I-lost-count-by-then if they did not stop their driving-mama-crazy act.
Getting them ready for bed was a continuation of the day’s “fun.” While counting to ten over and over again to Connor who could watch visual signs of me aging between his distracted and painfully slow bedtime duties, I was mentally preparing my call to Mike later. I would say, “How was your day? Actually, let me tell you mine!!” and continue on until the poor man was stuck between being super glad he was home alone and wondering if his vacation into bachelorhood was worth the wife-rants that came with it.
Connor cried for the umpteenth time today when I was enforcing my punishment of no book at bedtime because he had used up all his time getting ready at a snail’s pace (or not getting ready which is why getting ready took so long). Maybe my ears were tired from the previous cries or I felt guilty that the only tone he had heard this evening was the mean-mommy one, but I relented in letting him choose a short book for us to read together. Before Dr. Seuss could soothe him, I threw in a stern lecture on listening to his Mama and how next time I would not be able to go back on my word. After the book, we held hands to pray with me hearing my future wine glass calling me from downstairs.
I went first and I do believe my prayers had a few requests about being thankful and not fighting and becoming the charm school graduates of their Mommy’s dreams. Ethan went next and uttered the often spoken “Dear God, Please help me to be good and forgive me when I’m bad.” He concluded with, “Please help Mommy’s rash to get better. Amen.” I did not prompt him at all, but he knows that I have had this skin problem on my legs that has given me empathy for the leper these past few weeks. My stern heart started to weaken. Then Connor also started with his usual, “Dear God, Thank you for our food.” He ended with, “Please help me to be a good listener to Mommy. Amen.” My heart is a puddle on the floor even before my white-hair contributor tells me, “I prayed that part for you, Mama, because I love you, Mama!” And the day ends perfectly with hugs, kisses, and terms of endearment overcoming the many other hair-pulling moments of today’s motherhood challenges. Lucky husband will dodge a bullet tonight thanks to the same source of that bullet, these sweet children of mine.