Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's been a long day & it's not even 10am

The morning started off promising. I had 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep for the first time in a couple of weeks. No one had any bad dreams, no one wet the bed, no one woke up at 3:15am just for the hell of it. Everyone slept solidly. The boys got their own breakfast & quietly watched TV from 6:30 until 7, when I get up. Then it went downhill rapidly. My mistake, as I now realize, was getting out of bed. Had I stayed in bed I would not have seen that DH had failed to load & run the dishwasher as he had said he would last night. Had I stayed in bed, I would not have had to say "Get dressed" to Havoc repeatedly over a 10 minute period while he ignored me in favor of teasing his brother.  These 2 things combined to ruin the rest of the morning.

I admit having to load & turn on the dishwasher put me in a bad mood. I was expecting it to have been done & was irritated that it was not & now I would have to hand wash things if I was going to get dinner started this morning as I had planned. So I was not being very tolerant of Havoc's failure to respond to my instructions. Havoc failed to respond to a number of instructions over the next 10 minutes - get dressed, put your bowl in the sink, leave your brother alone, I said get dressed, I said stop teasing your brother, have you put the bowl in the sink, leave your brother alone & go sit on the sofa and be silent for 5 minutes, etc etc. He whined about having to do things, fussed about having not heard me, denied that I had in fact said anything to him.  Having reached saturation point I announced "Ok, that's it, since you will not do anything you are supposed to do we're not going to McDs for lunch today." We go to McD's for lunch on Thursday as a reward for everyone getting ready for school without complaint all week. (it started when Havoc only went to school Tues, Wed, Thurs). I remind them during the week when there is too much fussing & delaying that if it keeps up, there will be no McDs.

Havoc collapsed in a flood of tears and sobs. There was much wailing & gnashing of teeth. "You didn't tell me today was McD's day!!!" being the refrain. Oh, so you only do what is expected of you when there is a big prize on the line? If I had said "Get your shoes on now or no McD's today" you would have done it? You are only motivated by the reminder of the loss of a privilege? Sorry kid. I'm done with that. After 2 years, you know what is expected of you in the morning. There are no more warnings of privileges to be lost & there is limited negotiation to regaining them.

Havoc cried while getting his shoes & coat on, he cried while getting into the car, he cried for about 5 minutes of the drive and then he sulked & moped for the rest of it. I could tell he was in a fragile mood. The sort of mood where anything I said or did could set off another hysterical episode. So I left him to get on with it for the remaining 15 minutes of the ride. He sat back there sniffing & not talking.  We get to school, he unbuckles himself, stand ups and drops the race car he was holding and freaks out. Possibly he was bumped by his brother,who was also getting out of his seat, because he was yelling at Mayhem in between shrieks & sobs about not seeing the car on the floor. I eventually get them both out of the car and Havoc sobs the whole way to his classroom & is still shrieking incoherently about the missing race car while I am hanging up their coats. I am calmly (to my surprise) repeating "Honey the race car is in our car. I can find it. It isn't lost. It'll be on your car seat when I pick you up." over and over, trying to get him to calm down. He did eventually stop shrieking long enough to hear what I was saying & to calm down some. I left him sniffing to himself and beginning to sort some cards for his teacher.

I come home to discover that I have no cornmeal, which I need for dinner. I am also really low on gas and today is the 31st& due to the unexpected $100 ER & the $143 car repair bills I am fairly certain I don't have enough to fill the tank up.  Then there will be the ride home from school, where Havoc will again feel the pain of the loss of McD's when I drive by it & he realizes that Mommy actually *meant what she said* this morning &  he will then spend the rest of the drive home crying about chocolate milk and nuggets, setting him up for an afternoon spent in a fragile state, just ripe for Mayhem to torment.  I need to think of something positive to do with him today.  Maybe I can get him to help me with the dough for dinner.  Pounding on some dough usually makes me feel better.

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