Today I decided in a crazy ‘carpe diem’ moment that I was going to surprise the kids after school by declaring war on homework, chores and responsibility and taking them to the beach to play and swim and make sandcastles and then get fish and chips for dinner.
Of course this was naive.
I’d like to report that we held hands, frolicked in the waves and sang “He aint heavy, he’s my brother”. But, no.
Miss M accidentally elbowed Little Man in the ribs while reading book, he retaliated with a well-placed elbow to the back of her head (illegal even in the UFC, I might point out), Miss M slapped Little Man’s leg, he howled and pinched her arm. Baby G clapped hands and sang “I yuv you” (The Barney version) at the top of her lungs. Accompanied by Little Man’s howling and Miss M’s whining rendition of “Muuuuuuum, he’s huuuuuuurting meeeeeeee.”
I did the only sensible thing. I pulled over and threatened to leave them in the car. Yeah, good one, Michelle. On a 35 degree day.
It worked for a full 48 seconds.
Then there was a repeat performance of the Von Slapp Family Show. At which point I used the time-honoured: “If you children continue this kind of behaviour, I will pull over and put you on the side of the road and you can walk home.” Silence for a whole 2 minutes, then, from a very nervous Little Man with huge down-turned eyes and endearingly serious face: “Mum, if you put us out the car, would you mind please driving vey slowly so we can follow you because we don’t know the way.”
How do you deal with your kids fighting in the car?