Sometimes I feel sorry for Kennith, he never knows what he is coming home to. The thing that I admire about him is he thinks on his feet and does not show fear (much) in the face of a potential massacre.
I try not to lose control at home with the kids – for me it a very slippery road to drinking two bottles of wine and screaming profanity at the neighbours, so I do attempt to contain myself, we live in a reasonably good neighbourhood and all.
I usually try to keep a “happy disposition” thing going. It is a total farce, but I give it a go none the less. I dash from work to fetch the kids, and the truth be told I am quite excited about seeing them. Each day I drive the distance from my office to fetch Connor and Georgia. I try to put on my happy face and really want to give them the impression that they are dealing with a competent mother who may get voted on to the PTA.
Georgia is usually an easy pick up. She is such a happy little soul, that when I fetch her she is all love and hugs and dirty pants. She hops in to the car and off we go. There might be a small wobbly about her eating her lunch in the car 45 minutes before dinner, but we have that fairly contained.
Connor however is like dealing with a surly teenager and he is only 8 years old. I go in to school bracing myself, as it can be a little challenging (she says politely.)
He will either be chipped off that I arrived too early, or too late – I can never quite work out the correct timing that coincides with his need to play with his mates. So we get in the car, there may or may not be sulking at this stage.
The drive home is an exercise is patience and good motherhood skills that I fail daily. It will usually start with Connor asking to do something that he knows I am going to say no to “Mom can I fly my kite in the electrical storm?” “Mom, can I please watch WWF on television naked?” “Mom, I know it is 8 degrees outside, but may I please swim?” “Mom, I know there is a cooked meal at home waiting for us, but can we stop at McDonald’s”
Unfortunately what ever I say no to is actually irrelevant, because it will just pitch him in to the next request which he knows I will so no to – which leads to the negotiating segment of our little road show.
By the time I pull into the garage, I have Connor sulking or in full-fledged crying. Georgia may or may not be crying – by the time we get home it is all a bit of a catastrophe, and we do not actually get out of the car as much as we fall out of the car in various stages of anger and frustration.
Getting kids in the house and to sit down for dinner has its own set of challenges. A side effect of the fighting is that by now I have probably banned television and am so desperate for a large glass of wine and a lie down, that I just want to kill. Isabelle is tetchy because I am tetchy – she refuses to be put down so she is firmly implanted on my hip. I am trying to warm a bottle for her while I am making wild gestures in the air with my free hand (as you do when you are trying to threaten children to finish their food or else.)
I am watching the clock tick by as each minute brings me closer to getting this lot into bed and having a moment for my head to stop ringing. Usually at about this point Kennith will come walking in (late from work – again) saying something chirpy like “Hello family – how is everyone?!”