Thursday, June 18, 2015

Some days you just have to dance it out

Some days after school are easy. 

Everyone piles in the front door, bags are unpacked, food is devoured & homework is finished. Then more food is devoured before they all scatter off to fill the time void between snack two & dinner time. Minimal bickering & maximum amusement. Will & Blake scamper off outside to ride their bikes or jump around like lunatics all over the back yard. Ben, Rianan & Jack pull out the UNO cards & see how many rounds they can each win before it's discovered that Rianan has been cheating by sliding a few extra cards under the couch so she can declare "uno!" first.

Other days are not so easy. 

When everyone pushes their way through the front door like a herd of stampeding elephants, bags are dumped in bedroom doorways or along the hallway. The kitchen is filled with too many kids all vying to find the best after school snack, then stomping away when there is only the usual's on offer still. When getting their homework started, let alone finished is harder than trying to devour a bar of chocolate undetected in this house filled with minions. What would normally take ten minutes to complete, will instead span over an hour painfully filled with moans, complaints, messy & spaced out writing or staring at the same pages in the same chapter of their book. And that is just the older three.

Then there's Blake, Will & Clay, who will spend their time either a) running, screaming, jumping their way through the house until someone gets knocked over & trampled on the unforgiving floor tiles. Proceeding to burst my ear drums with their screams, before turning to retaliate against whoever they think is guilty of sending them sprawling to the floor.
Or b) Blake & Will spend the next hour or so annoying each other until I can't stand it any longer. While Blake & Will have me distracted with their arguing, Clay will quietly walk through each bedroom, opening drawers & pulling out every shred of nicely folded clothes he can reach. 

Before I know it, 5pm has ticked over, dinner isn't even thought of yet let alone cooking away. The house looks like an abandoned clothes warehouse after a cyclone has torn through & we've all given up on any legitimate attempt on the homework front. Forget about baths, at this stage the kids will be lucky to get anything more than spaghetti on toast before being shipped off to bed at my soonest possible convenience...after tidying from the storm that wiped me out flat.

Half an hour into yesterday's after school gauntlet & I could see the sides beginning to crumble. While the bags were put away, empty stomachs were filled & homework was done (because there was hardly any required) the disagreements & arguments were starting to come thick & fast. Add in several emails & phone calls that demanded my attention & could not wait, meant that everything going on out of my little bubble had to wait. By the time I put the phone down & decided the rest could be done after the crazy had passed, there were shoes everywhere, clean & dirty clothes littered the house mimicking behind the scenes of a fashion runway show, Clay was cranky, Ben, Jack & Blake were filthy from the waist down after playing soccer together & a lone empty fry pan was still waiting on the cold stove top.

I issued orders like a drill sergeant - "pick up those shoes"
"dirty clothes in the laundry now"
"put the clean clothes on the couch with the rest of the washing"
"bags in rooms"
"balls outside!"
The minions responded like a class of hyped four year old's coming down from an intense sugar rush.   

There was only one way to rescue what was shaping up to be an evening from hell & the breaker to demolish the last whispers of sanity that were stopping me from going all exorcist mummy.

Ignore the time & turn the music up.

You can't hear the petty little arguments, whinging & dobbing if they are drowned out with only the best playlist selections from the iPod on a volume level just bordering too loud.

It was the best decision made all day. It didn't take long before the boys turned the Xbox off, Rianan came out of her room (after escaping in there for some peace & quiet) & the younger three channeled their destructive energy into dancing like maniacs. While I was chopping up chicken, dancing & singing my heart out to Clay who had joined me in the kitchen, the other five had set up the coloring in gear on the table & were all happily getting along, talking, encouraging & laughing together, with the occasion dance off thrown in for good laughs.

Before we were even a quarter of the way through the playlist, dinner was cooked & the table was swiftly cleared & then set, on my first request, ready for the plates & bowls to be distributed. Knock knock jokes were told & the best things about our days were shared as we slowly finished eating. The tension & frustration that was flooding us all not forty minutes earlier had completely evaporated. Baths & showers were done, with the older minions doing a quick but thorough {enough} tidy around the house while the younger three were bathed & prepared for bed, not that much later than their usual bedtime either.

By the end of the night everyone went to bed in a good mood & I didn't feel like crap for spending the last three hours nagging & yelling while serving up a less than substantial dinner. I'm fairly certain that I'm not alone when I say I would much rather listen to the likes of Paramore, The Smiths, Ed Sheeran & Pink {to name a few}, than give myself a headache & everyone else immunity towards the nagging tones in my voice, topping off with foul moods all round.  

Next time our evening - or morning, is beginning to morph into a train wreck I'm going straight to that magic button, play.
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