Tomorrow is Another Day…

Have you ever wanted to kill kids? The medieval times apparently had some great techniques. I have a far better killing device than whatever that dark, demented era ever thought up…

Cleaning.

Yep, here we go again. First, I should give credit where credit is due. The boys helped us clean yesterday. The kitchen, the living room, one vacuumed the floors and the other vacuumed the stairs, and they put their clean laundry away. They mooed moaned about it at first, but once they got started they rocked and rolled and I was impressed. Today, after skating, I asked them to clean up their toys in the basement. I was less than impressed.

Dear Lord in Heaven, I thought WWIII or armageddon or the zombie apocalypse was upon us. The noise that was emanating from down there was heard three counties over, I’m sure. One would stop cleaning and the other would start yelling that he stopped. One would start singing and other would yell to stop singing. One would throw a block and the other would yell about it. Then they’d both coming running to be the first to tattletale.

I would tell them I didn’t want to hear it from either of them, to get back down there and finish cleaning, and I would return to cleaning the kitchen. They’d storm back down. Then the fighting would resume. They knew they had until suppertime (an hour from when they started) to get it clean. It could have taken them fifteen minutes. After an hour, they had barely started. After supper, I asked, “How many garbage bags should I take to the basement? Will I fit what’s left to clean in just one or should I take more?” The reply I got was zero (which is a number and it’s even) and they went back down to clean.

Can you believe they started fighting again? So at 6pm they were sent to their room to get pajamas on and get ready for bed.

We were done.

Now the basement door is locked and their toys are off limits. DW and I will go through them and round up all the ones they no longer play with and relocate them to a new home or toss them to the curb if they’re no good.

So today was just one of those days. They usually happen around this time of year. You would think with Christmas coming and the prospect of Santa and joy and decorations and music that happiness would abound. Alas, no. The stress and the pressure build up like magma under the volcano until it all erupts.

The silver lining? I have evidence that the 10 year old still believes. When I told him I was collecting his toys in garbage bags he told me that I could explain to Santa why all their toys were thrown out.

Now they’re asleep. There’s no more arguing and bickering. All is quiet. There’s even a dusting of snow outside. Even if it won’t last because it’s supposed to be 9 (48F) on Wednesday, it’s still calming to look at.

Here’s to starting over tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. I just hope it’s not another day of sibling rivalry.

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But it’s still light! (And other arguments that don’t work)

Anyone with kids has heard it a few million times around this time of year (or in October? if you live in the southern hemisphere). When trying to get your creatures to bed at a decent hour they realize it’s not dark, yet. They don’t have to be taught this argument, they don’t pick it by overhearing it. They just know. “Time to get ready for bed,” I say. “But it’s still light outside!” comes the reply. Then they dawdle and dilly dally and do everything short of running away to try to stay up until it’s dark. Combine that with the warm weather that is finally here and they think they’re on summer vacation! Every night it’s, “Can we have a bonfire?” or “Can I stay up late?” No and no, you have school tomorrow. Then it’s “I’m hungry.” and Crash will try to eat us of house and home in order to stay up. He’s not hungry, he just doesn’t want to go to bed!

“But the neighbors are still outside,” is another one that doesn’t work. I’m not the neighbor’s parent, so if they’re still outside that’s fine by me. But it’s time for you to come in to get ready for bed so you can get up at 6 am for no apparent reason. “But I’ll hear them outside and I won’t be able to get to sleep.” Good one bud. But your window will be closed, your air purifier will be on as will be your fan. You won’t hear them.

“But everyone else has one.” Nice try. We haven’t given in to the Minecraft craze, yet. Crash has almost broken us a few times, though. Once, we told if he cleaned up the toys in the basement he could get it. He went to the basement for a couple hours, but nothing got picked up. So we didn’t have to get it then. He received money for his first communion and asked if he could get Minecraft. We told him okay, but there would be limitations to it It’s a never ending game that he would, no doubt, waste hours and hours upon. However, he ended up forgetting about it and asked to go to Wal-Mart and got Legos instead. It doesn’t matter to me what everyone else has or does, it’s what’s best for him.

So many arguments, so little time. It’s Friday which means he’ll be asking to stay up late, just as he has every day this week. Chances are good I’ll let him tonight. The Orioles play the Rays tonight so I’ll let him stay up to watch some of it while we put his new Lego set together again. (I put it together a couple nights ago but Bang destroyed it in one of his fits of frustration)

Are there any arguments you have repeatedly? How do you respond?