Each day is a struggle to wake up, let alone pack.  And each time I leave the kids to pack something, I emerge five minutes later feeling elated that one box has something in it, only to find that David has either: dumped a 1000 piece puzzle, or shredded Styrofoam into tiny balls, or dumped the leeetle Legos, or helped himself to the last few chocolate morsels in the house, or gotten out scented bubble mix and then left it unattended where Henry found it and then tried to blow bubbles but spilled it, or decided to go to the car to get something and since our storm door has no latch the dog let herself out and ran away across the road and across the college campus to a point where I no longer see her…   At which point I feel like I’ve taken 2 steps backward.

Today I left the house at 2 o’clock and didn’t return until 7:20.  First the kids and I went to McDonald’s Playland.  I had hoped Amanda could come, but since they’re moving tomorrow, they were very busy today.  Around 4 we left McDonald’s and went to Wal-Mart.  I was fried from…well, life, so I told the kids well in advance that we were not, under ANY circumstances going to the toy aisle.  And since we’ve had 2 Code Adams in the last couple weeks, I put my “safety belt” on David.  In reality, it is a dog collar meant for a very large dog, reduced to fit David’s or Daniel’s waists, with a 5-foot dog leash attached.  He’s too big for a toddler harness, so I had to get creative.  I used to have one that even had an oval ring that screwed closed keeping the leash on the collar.  David can open a clip.

Wal-Mart went better than expected.  He had only one major melt down.  He had a few tantrums.  He called me “jerk” maybe 5 times, and “idiot” about 3 times.  It was less than at McDonald’s…  I had to put him in the cart during his major melt down, but since Henry was napping at home while Scott packed, it wasn’t too big a deal.  It only took a few minutes till he stopped trying to punch me and call me names till he was making his high pitched “me-me-me-me” sound and reaching out for a hug.  He apologized.  I let him down.  We got our few groceries, looked at a few other things, and then left.  We didn’t look at toys at ALL !

We then ran the groceries home and since Henry was still napping, we continued on without him.  We went to Amanda’s new house.  It was probably 5:30 when I got there.  The kids were LOUD.  There were doors slamming.  Kids hiding in closets.  Kids screaming.  Kids walking toys on walls (that would really just be Daniel).  Kids fighting.  Kids crying over hurt feelings.  And no, they wouldn’t take their playing outside.  No matter how many times we laid down the rules, David and Daniel kept getting carried away and getting everyone in trouble.  And because of stress and exhaustion, Celia and Caedmon are both extra dramatic and moody.

Suddenly it was after 7 and Scott was asking what was for dinner.  Amanda and I both balked at the time and decided Pizza Hut buffet sounded easy as long as the husbands agreed.  They did.  We all raced over.  All 10 of us.   All the parents were tired, and all the kids continued to be loud.  Then, at the end of our meal, a major storm blew in.  The rain was going sideways.  We decided to have a refill and wait till it eased up.  Which just meant more of us telling the kids to stay seated.

And tomorrow I do it all over again.  Because while I was away, Scott got a decent amount of packing done.  Without the kids, it went much more smoothly.  I just don’t know what I’m going to do with them tomorrow!