In my mind there is a perfect solution to every thing. If only the kids would change their attitudes. If only they wouldn't make me repeat myself, over, and over, and over. If only they cared about how organized the inside of their suitcase are. Sometimes I even trick myself into thinking that I am really allowing my kids to make their own choices sometimes, knowing that they will learn that I know best, and take my advice from now on. But what really ends up happening is they make the wrong choice, and they still don't get it. At these moments I have two choices, cry, or laugh. Tonight, I laughed. Here is the detailed run down of the evening, from 7:34 pm (when we entered the camper for the night) to 9:33 pm (when I tucked them in and said good-night).
I have just pulled all the clothes off the line, and gotten the last load out of the dryer. My little papoose is on my back. Little Princess is prancing around in her underwear telling me things like, "I changed my mind, when I grow up I want to sing songs to God," and, "I can't decide if these pants go in the light hamper or the dark hamper, they are pink on the outside, but kind of white on the inside." I start to fold clothes, watching out the window for what the boys are doing. Little Dude pulls out some toys, and AJ starts taking down the clothes line. I pound on the window to get their attention. They were told to come into the camper, and forgot. In they come, I tell them all to wash their hands, arms, faces and feet with baby wipes. Then I tell them to get out their suit cases so we can put their clothes away. AJ starts to tell me why he can't do that. Little Princess drags her bag out and puts it in the most inconvenient place in the entire camper. Little Dude tells me he needs help, and then stretches out on my suitcase. There is also a mountain of blankets and pillows and sheets on one of the booth seats. This is the seat the kids use to climb up into the top bunk. I catch Little Dude trying to scale it like a monkey in a tree.
AJ finally concedes that he does indeed prefer his bag to be organized. He has been living with it unorganized (because I refuse to repeatedly organize it, after the third time I was done) for about three weeks. It's almost a daily battle. He whines and complains, and I tell him I don't want to hear about it, if he wants his bag to be organized, he knows what he needs to do. Or he will say he can't find socks or underwear or something, and I will tell him they are there, he just isn't looking hard enough. So, we have decided, together, that he needs a different suitcase. The one he has is hard to keep organized. Fair enough. So I give him a clear tub. He is organizing clothes into it, but he keeps sitting up on the top of the booth seat which has the kitchen sink behind it. This also just happens to be the location of our awesome new fly paper trap! What do you know, it works on flies and kids. Of course, I don't know about your kids, but my kids never learn their lesson the first time. Not unless it is something super painful. So, does AJ remember to stop sitting up on the booth seat, and stop sticking his arm in the fly trap? No. So, after wiping sticky goo off his arm four times, the next time he does it, I tell him he has to wipe it off himself. What do you know, he doesn't do it again. In fact, he takes steps to keep himself from even going near it, by moving to the other booth seat at the table (which is now blanket mountain-less, because in between wiping the goo off his arm, I have been able to fold the blankets for my bed and put them aside, and help Little Princess make the kids' bunk bed).
Little Princess is done putting her clothes into her bag. Little Dude is in the way of her bag, and she plows right over him, causing him to fall over, as she drags her bag back to it's place in the camper. Little Papoose has fallen asleep now, but I have no place to put her.
The kids start singing some annoying song (which I don't even want to try to remember) over and over. We have another discussion about what I have coined as "unnecessary noise" in the camper. Then I suggest some TobyMac. I suggest that Little Princess read to me from one of her books. She picks a Animal Joke Book. Lovely. Now I am listening to jokes and punch lines that don't really make sense because she isn't pronouncing the words correctly, mainly because they are play on word type jokes. I give up trying to correct her pronunciations after the second joke. Then I hear Little Princess say, "Then you trying reading, DUDE!"
Little Papoose is now awake. TobyMac's fault. Little Dude is trying to convince me he should wear footie pajamies. AJ is making a good case for why I should let him keep six small pieces of black broken plastic in the camper. No, scratch that, it's not a good case. By this time I have all my clothes into my suitcase, a clean table, a semi clean floor, still no place to put Little Papoose, sore shoulders, the kids' beds made, Little Dude in front of the computer clicking repeat the minute TobyMac's song is over, and AJ crying because he can't get all the goo off his arm, even though he is used "twenty wipes".
Oh, look at the time. :) I pull out The Wizard of Oz. The kids get in their beds, and finally there is silence as I read to the kids from their book. Well, that is until Little Papoose starts jabbering and screaming and shrieking, over and over and over. Thankfully my kids seem to be paying attention and enjoying the store, despite the noise.
And now, everyone is asleep. I need to be too! Wait, one more load in the washer, better move that over...