When I gave Tank his 'talking to' on my now infamous drive home from St. Louis I touched on a few things:
1. Be prepared to pitch in more while I am taking this writing class. Tank's idea is an interesting plan that will NEVER work, but it is so darn tempting.
Tank: "Why don't you just stay in by your computer and NOT come out of the study to yell at us and tell us to clean up the kitchen and do jobs?"
Me: "What the hell? That will mean that we have no clean dishes the next morning because how will the dishwasher get loaded and started? What happens when there are no clean clothes? How long do you think it will take before someone does something about the bathroom garbage bins that will undoubtedly overflow if I do not remind someone to empty them?"
I must admit that this plan is REALLY tempting. We can go the way of the girl scout cookie boxes and just NOT say a thing to any of them and see how they hate living in the kind of conditions obliviousness creates.
The only real problem I have with this plan is that Coach and I still have to live here.
2. As I touched on how annoyed I am that he is not kinder to his family members (particularly Mini) I reminded him of a story about Mini.
He and Mini are only 16 months apart. Mini has always been devoted to him. When she was a tot she could not say his name. We called Tank by his first and last name all of the time. It just has a nice ring to it. Tank's real life middle name is Micheal. Since Mini could not say his first name, she called Tank 'Michael.' He would jump up and come running to her when she called to him: 'Michael, Michael.' She was probably not quite 2 years old.
We used to try to see if he would respond to us when we called him Michael. I would call to him over and over and he would totally ignore me. Coach and I just about died laughing.
Tank did not speak until he was almost 3. Ah, the glory days. Just joking. He had a serious speech delay, but he would communicate with grunts and facial expressions. I have hilarious home movies of him. His big cheeks would shake as he ran across the room to see what it was that Mini wanted when she summoned him. They were quite the twosome.
A few years later, Tank got in trouble for something. It was shortly after Halloween and if the kids had behaved they got to pick a Halloween candy treat. I put Tank's pumpkin head filled with treats on the fridge and said, "Tank you cannot have a treat because (insert whatever he did)."
Mini: With arms crossed over her chest, "If Tank is not getting a Halloween treat, then I don't want one either."
Fast forward to 2020. Tank is rotten to his buddy Mini. I cannot tolerate it any longer.
A few weeks ago Tank was in the basement with his buddies playing ping pong. I was about to go to bed, but I tossed some of my hot-commodity frozen cookies on a plate and carried them down.
Tank objected to my presence in the basement. I told him to stick it.
Me: "Hey guys. Here are some cookies. Now I just took them out of the freezer, but you can eat them in a few minutes. BUT before you do, I invite you to have a cookie if you agree to one thing. Only take a cookie if you agree that Tank needs to treat Mini better."
Tank's friends erupted in scoldings towards their leader: "Yeah Tank! What's your problem anyway? You are so bad to her. It's so dumb. She's cool."
Me: "See Tank. Even they agree."
Tank: "Whatever, they just want your cookies."
In case you have not gathered what Mini is like, allow me: Mini is hilarious. She is NOT boy crazy. Totally into hanging with her girls. Surrounds herself with a close knit group of pure-as-the-driven-snow friends. Doesn't do drama. Makes for a very loyal friend. Is friendly with various groups at school and most kids greet her or know her. I do not think anyone dislikes her. Is interested in the happenings in the world, and understands what is going on in foreign places (unlike her mother). Rocks the messy bun, or beautiful curly/wavy hair compliments of her towel turban depending on the day. Fairly athletic in a not overly competitive kind of way. She has only ever worn makeup for Irish dancing competition and has no interest in wearing it in real life. Plays the fiddle. Has serious artistic ability. She is VERY devoted to her grades and is pretty dang bright. Cannot keep a room organized to save her soul. Never knows where her phone is. Steer clear if she has not gotten enough sleep (just like her mother before her).
Tank and his friends could hang with these girls and not act so superior because they could do a lot worse as far as buddies go. His friends don't seem to object. I pointed out what a great opportunity it is that they are so close in age. They have always enjoyed each other's company.
On Mother's Day Tank and Mini tried to recreate some fragrance or hair product commercial. It was right before bed. Early riser Coach was already in bed. We laughed so hard as they tried to get thru their script with french accents without cracking up, that I feared we might wake Daddy. I was about to wet my pants as I tried to video a perfect take with my phone. Ed (in the background) could barely stand up, he was laughing so hard. Trying to insert that video here and yes, I have refrained from hiding their faces. The video is just too funny to NOT share.
Both kids initially expressed an interest in hosting friends here for New Year's Eve, but when Tank caught wind of the possible sharing of space/overcrowding situation, he baled. I even offered to have them rotate out of the basement and hang in the family room and kitchen while Coach and I and the younger kids scurried up to my bedroom.
Tank feared flaws to my plan that might lead to possible overlap, so Mini hosted her peeps and he went to a friend's house.
What I am saying here is: This is not over.