Last night I was having one of those I-suck-and-my-kids-suck moments. (Tell me you sometimes have those too!) I think for me one of the challenges of having older kids and teenagers is the negativity. I have fewer kids who think I'm their moon and sun...and more who complain about pretty much everything I do. Heckling mom is our family's number one recreational activity.
Today the elementary and middle schoolers were out of school. I had to phone three clients, then get some lunch on, then get Logan to the school to turn in assignments he should have turned in yesterday, and take Levi to a friend's to pass out more Kony2012 flyers, then get to Costco because we're out of milk and bread, and get back home before Betsy's nap time was too far gone. Getting the kids into shoes and into the car was like herding butterflies.
About half an hour into the trip, as we're hurtling down the road, I hear Jesse suddenly scream from the back seat, "Wait! Who got out of this car?"
"No one got out of the car," we tell him. "We're all here."
"LOOK RIGHT OVER THERE!" Jesse yells. We look. He's pointing at Levi's empty seat. "WHERE'S LEVI??"
Jesse in crisis is a delicate matter. We carefully explain that Levi is at his friend's house. Where we took him. Not ten minutes before.
No sooner is this crisis resolved when Logan bursts out, "Wait, where are we going?!"
"To Costco," I answer. "Just like I said."
"Wait! Why didn't you take me home? Can't you drop me off at home?" Home is now about twenty minutes in the opposite direction.
"No. No, I can't take you back home."
"What?? Why??" And then with horror, "You're not taking us to IKEA are you?"
Suddenly I unhinge just a little. The ridiculousness. The absurdity. The futility! These spoiled children who can't manage some simple errands. Whose idea of horror is a trip to IKEA. Who seem to whine their way through the days in disgruntled confusion.
I start to giggle. "You guys..." I begin, but laughter is taking over me, "You guys...are all...STARK, RAVING MAD!"
Now I'm laughing so hard I can barely keep my eyes open. I laugh and laugh and laugh. All the way to Costco.
Haley, wisely, sat quietly in the far back seat, all the way there.