I have those kids. The screaming, loud, obnoxious kids. I've always known it to a degree, but I know for sure now. I knew Trouble was that kid, but now I know the others aren't much better. I do feel better when other people tell me they have that kid too. I guess we all have them at one time or another. Trouble is just going to be a lifelong commitment though!
Since we moved into our house six years ago, I have wanted to get rid of the eyesore of the house, the wood-burning stove in our basement. The people who owned the house before us said they barely had to use the heat in the winter because this heated the whole house. They didn't have five kids who could get hurt on the stove. They didn't need the space that the ugly thing took up in the basement.
Finally, last weekend, my husband listed the stove on Craigslist. Like magic, someone came and picked it up the next day. That left a platform of bricks in the center of the room that had to be removed. My very industrious husband set out on a mission this weekend to remove the bricks, so the floor would be even and we could finally make use of the space. Our house is a split-level, and there's not a ton of space for the kids to play. (Read about our crowded home here.)The basement is the place where most of the toys are, the TV is, and where the kids spend most of their time. Because he was chiseling out mortar and there was dust and debris all over, my husband sent the kids to play outside. Our backyard is just as full of toys as the rest of the house. Seriously, if you ride by, it looks like we run a daycare center by the looks of our backyard. There are tons of things to play with outside, and it was a gorgeous weekend.
Amazingly, I had a life part of the weekend and I was out for a good part of the day Saturday (yay, me!), so I missed some of the unpleasantness. However, what I witnessed the rest of the weekend was enough for me. From the second we said they had to go outside, Princess pouted. She wanted to stay inside and read or draw. (She's kind of like Brick from The Middle when it comes to reading.) She went out anyway (because we made her) and proceeded to complain about everything. There was bird poop on the swing, she was hot, there were bees, the boys were annoying her. Pirate and Trouble were happy to be outside, but started fighting not long after they started playing.
They each have a jump rope, although Princess is the only one who knows how to use it correctly. The three of them argued over who got which jump rope. They fought about who was using the ball (even though they could have easily each used their own). They argued over how high they were swinging, whose turn it was to go down the slide, whose turn it was in hide and seek. Anything they could argue about, they did. And they asked to come inside about a thousand times. Trouble was just Trouble, throwing balls over the fence and grabbing toys from the other two.
Typically, I try to ignore the fighting. But when they're outside yelling and screaming, you can't ignore it. They were being those kids. Those loud, screaming, annoying kids. And I turned into that mom. The mom who had to repeatedly go outside and yell at the kids to stop screaming... The mom who had to take the toys away because they were fighting over them, and the mom who had to tell them to stop it or else... I never have anything good to use as the or else. Or else what? I'll make you come inside? That's what they wanted. I'll make you stay outside? Then they'd just continue being annoying. I'll take your toys away? Wouldn't matter, they'd find something else to use to bother one another. Or else worked to a degree because at least they lowered their volume. That was really all I wanted. I knew they would continue being those kids... I just didn't want all the neighbors to have to hear them and know those kids were my kids!