As the final day of oursummertogetherness approached, I noticed a puzzling trend. The boys seemed to be getting along. More than they had all summer. They spent an entire day building little Lego things. The Gort drew up plans for how to build a fort ‘so we can build a fort tomorrow.’ And he opened a pop-up restaurant in our kitchen; with all the fare costing between 1 and 3 cents. He even made a sock puppet – when he wasn’t waxing enthusiastically about the [quickly approaching] start of school.
‘I’m so excited for school to start!’ he told me on Saturday night. ‘I wish it could start right now.’
I learned later that his extreme excitement was
largely entirely due to his new, unworn, back-to-school-clothes. Not his commitment to education.
Things were going so well chez Johnson, I found myself wondering ‘we’ve been together for almost 68 days. Shouldn’t I be ready to pull my hair out by now?!’ I concluded ‘maybe it’s because they’re older and more mature.’ [Or because I’m such a spectacular mother.]
Ha. Haha. Hahahahaha.
I’m not sure if it’s because I may have joked one too many times that I should homeschool them [so that they could be home with me all day long] but it seems the three conspired today to ensure I would both pull my hair out and drop them off at school tomorrow. Early.
In between the fighting and the tattling and trying to stock the freezer and fridge with lunch-edibles, I decided we should make some sugar cookies. Because nothing keeps bad behavior at bay like pressing letter cookie cutters into dough and decorating them with drippy icing and copious amounts of sprinkles.
Or so I thought.
Apparently the 8 and under set have a different understanding of phrases like ‘don’t touch anything’ or ‘you can have one cookie.’ They think it means touch whatever you want, dump some flour onto the table and play with it and sit under the table and pull your brother’s legs.
At one point I looked up and saw Percy eating a second cookie. Though I’d been rather serious about the one-cookie rule. ‘Percy, are you eating a second cookie?’ I asked. He pretended not to hear me. Kept nibbling. ‘He’s eating another cookie!’ his disgruntled, compliant brothers tattled. With only one cookie in their respective bellies. ‘THIS IS NOT A COOKIE!!!’ Percy responded to the accusations; gripping his star-shaped ‘piece of baked dough’ with both hands.
It reminded me of a dispute we’d had earlier in the day.
For reasons I could not ascertain, Percy’s teeth landed on his middle brother’s skin. After a minutes-long time-out, I sat down with the boy and reminded him that we are not allowed to bite. ‘You need to tell Henners sorry you bit him,’ I instructed. ‘I DIDN’T BIT HIM!’ the disagreeable lad replied, ‘I BITE HIM!’
Note to self: teach three year old about past tense while older children are at school.