It has been a humdinger of a week and a half. First, I had two projects due last weekend, so I was focused on those at the end of last week. Then, Monday, summer break began. We had signed the kids up for summer school, but the enrollment wasn't adequate, so there was no diversion in their future. I assigned extra chores and called the kids that evening from work and warned them that I was on my way home, and the house had darn well better be picked up.
Later, I realized I needed to be clearer what "picked up" means.
Tuesday, I called from work to redefine "picked up" to three children, only to interrupt the Tuesday version of the Friday Night Fights. Nita couldn't wait to tell me that Kiki had pinched her, her pompous little report accompanied by Kiki's shrieking diatribe about Nita's inadequacies as a sister and as a human being.
When I got home, we had a family meeting. I outlined who was in charge, what the expectations were, and what the consequences were for infractions, a summer break procedures manual, if you will. EG came home from work and announced that he, or rather his car, had a low tire. He discovered a screw in the tire, and so after a lengthy debate about Wednesday's scheduling, off we went to the tire store. We came home, picked up the house to our standards, and fell into bed. I woke up in the night, twice, with panic attacks.
Wednesday morning about six thirty, we finally got around to opening the mail, which included a letter from the school system. It turned out that there were enough kids for summer school. After a couple of minutes, EG said to me, "What's the date?"
"Uh, summer school starts TODAY."
What followed was a child's worst nightmare, and I am embarrassed to admit, something which gave me a great deal of pleasure. EG stood up, threw open the kids' bedroom doors, and barked, "Get up! You've got summer school and IT STARTS TODAY!" The wails which followed did my heart good, and I smiled as the little darlings complained as they stumbled out the door.