Remember when I went to the party at Aunt Leprechaun's lake house and there was no party? Well, that was the DAY befor
e I was leaving to live in a hotel with the boys. I HAD SO MUCH TO DO - MAKE MEALS FOR AT HOME AND TO TAKE ALONG, PACK STUFF FOR THEM TO DO, LEAVE LISTS FOR MY KIDS SO THEY KNEW WHAT TO DO WHEN I WAS GONE, ETC.
Can I get a NO WONDER THAT WASTED TRIP MADE YOU LOSE YOUR MIND amen?
We plugged along with the boys showing them the ropes here. Coach and I divided and conquered to read with them daily. Our kids took turns listening to them read, too. It wasn't their favorite thing (the boys or my kids), but we made it work. Once Mini called out: OK, WHO WANTS TO READ WITH THEIR FAVORITE SISTER? I laughed.
|Getting pasta made for|
the big party. Never dull.
They wrote in their journals, responding to prompts I gave them, and as we got busier doing fun things the prompts became "TODAY, I . . . " - and they responded with what they'd done.
|Mini decorated the dry erase board|
with a caricature of Tank.
She had a big fan
observe her every move
- to the right.
Saturday, August 7th we hosted Tank's grad party and introduced the boys to relatives. We were a tad nervous. This might end badly. We'd dealt with some meltdowns along the way. We also wondered if they might feel overwhelmed. They had an absolute blast though, playing nonstop. They started to meltdown when at long last we called them in to get ready for bed. I gave Coach an OH SHIT look - as in, here we go.
We gave them 15 more minutes. That helped, but we still got attitude when we finally pulled the plug. I pointed to the clock and then to the bedtime routine listed on the fridge, which had become a necessary visual after some bedtime fits by Larry (the younger and typically better behaved guy).
Me: ACCORDING TO THIS, WE LET YOU STAY UP PAST YOUR BEDTIME, BECAUSE IT WAS A PARTY. NOW YOU NEED TO GET SHOWERED AND READY FOR BED. ALL THE COUSINS YOU WERE JUST PLAYING WITH ARE LEAVING THE PARTY BECAUSE THEY NEED TO GO HOME TO BED TOO.
While Harry was in the shower, I took down the globe in the boys' room and showed Larry where my brother, Pat, was. He and his family were in Ireland. They took a plane across an ocean, etc. We looked at other places, like Florida, which is where Debbie had just gone on vacation when I hung out with them at the hotel.
The globe cast a spell on him and the bedtime concept no longer set him off. Bullet dodged.
|The older boys drove separate|
and weren't there the whole time.
This is Reg flipping kids
off of his shoulders.
Back home Wednesday, we switched gears and packed Tank for college. We left with him on Friday. If you are noticing a pattern of HOW CRAZY A WEEK THIS STRETCH WAS, then you aren't missing a thing.
Thursday, the night before we drove Tank, Coach was at work. I made chicken tacos for dinner. Tank and I scheduled one hour to review stuff on his list and get everything ready for the car. Between his jobs and his friends, he is hard to nail down. Harry didn't like the chicken tacos. We'd had them before and he did OK with them. Instead of eating them this night, he kept swiveling his head watching Larry enjoy his dinner. It made Harry crazy. As if Larry eating well was making him look bad. He wouldn't even try a bite.
Finally I called out: HEY REG, WHY DON'T YOU HAVE LARRY (who was done eating) GO PICK OUT MOVIES TO BRING IN THE CAR. I THINK WHOEVER EATS WELL CAN WATCH A MOVIE WHILE WE DRIVE.
Harry had been fighting with me about dinner for so long, that movie idea suddenly got his attention.
Harry: CAN WE MAKE A DEAL? IF I EAT HALF MY TACO CAN I WATCH A MOVIE IN THE CAR?
Understand, I'd already offered to re-heat it. He'd wasted so much of my time. I was frustrated. I'd already told him he wasn't going back outside to play after dinner. It was shower and bed for him. I knew he could eat that dinner as he had before. It wasn't necessarily his favorite, but that's the way it goes. He thought that since he FINALLY ate a few bites, he could go outside, etc. I was like NOPE. GAME OVER.
I sent him up to shower and go to bed and he screamed and hollered at me, interfering with my ONE HOUR with Tank. Tank was not having it. He walked into Harry's room and screamed in his face to get in bed. Pretty sure that's not an approved method for these two boys, but at this point I needed to get ready to leave in the morning. The girls were staying home with Ed and Reg. It would be Tank and the boys and Coach and I in the minivan for 6.5 hours. We were waking up early. I was at the end of my rope.
The college drop off went fine, but Tank's anxiety made him a little on edge. He barked at the boys as we set up the room. Tank's roomie wasn't there yet. When he arrived, the boys blabbed the stuff you don't share: THIS BED HAS A BROKEN LEG, IT WIGGLES - SO WE SWTICHED TANK'S MATTRESS TO THAT ONE. OH, WE MOVED THE FRIDGE OVER THERE SO IT'S NOT ON TANK'S SIDE.
They weren't picking up on our facial cues to shut the pie hole. Ah well. They had a few things to learn.
Token Dwight tapestry.
Coach and I ended up knowing SO MANY people in town dropping off kids at Creighton. My sister, Marie, texted me - her college roomie who lives in Colorado was there. I texted her and we planned to meet. I hadn't seen her since Marie's wedding like 27 years ago. We had more invites to go hang out at a bar then we EVER get when at home.
I urged Coach to go out with his college buddy after we got the boys to bed in the hotel. I was SO tired from the week we'd had that I honestly couldn't move. Coach took a pass.
Just before we fell into what felt like a coma sleep, I told Coach: YOU KNOW THERE ARE PEAKS AND VALLEYS TO THIS PROCESS. I'M DEFINITELY FEELING LIKE I'M IN A VALLEY HERE. WE APPEAR TO BE ABOUT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT A 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD TO COLLEGE DROP OFF. UGH. WHAT HAVE WE DONE? WHEN WE COME BACK FOR FAMILY WEEKEND, WE ARE GOING TO GO OUT WITH FRIENDS AND LEAVE THE BIG KIDS HERE TO BABYSIT.
Stay tuned: tomorrow I'll try to share some bullet points. There are some rough times ahead.