- Wednesday, May 23: Rock breaks a family room window with one of HardPlace's toys. Ron arrives. We grill steaks and simply enjoy being together.
- Thursday, May 24: We all go to the circus and have a great time.
- Saturday, May 26: Rock overfeeds the fish, requiring an emergency water change 1 hour before our party starts. We have a fabulous cookout, with lots of friends over. The kids have a grand time in the sprinkler, and the adults enjoy margaritas and conversation.
Before the last guest leaves, Rock dumps two cans of food into the fish tank, requiring another water change.
- Sunday, May 27: One fish is alive, three are dead, including the treasured loaches that Ron had shipped to me a year ago. I take HardPlace to buy a rocket, because I had PROmised.
We all go launch rockets and have a great time (and I actually buy ice cream for the boys!).
- Monday, May 28: Because of a technical malfunction (read: User error), we need to exchange HardPlace's rocket for a new one, and Ron wants to go to the hobby shop, and and and. Before we even get home, HardPlace starts whining: You PROmised we would go to the pool this weekend. I drive by the pool to see how late it's open. I'm seething inside: I've been driving, doing good things for my guys, still angry with Rock, and don't even get a nod of appreciation. Just You PROmised. Grrrrr. Rock pulls some other stunt and doesn't go to the pool with HardPlace and me after dinner; but the pool is closed at 7:30 even though we had been told it would be open until 8:00.
- Tuesday, May 29: HardPlace has his new rocket assembled, and since Ron is leaving tomorrow, we decide to dash out during the last 25 minutes of daylight to launch it at the school. We can't go to the best launching field because it's too far away. HardPlace cops an attitude about which other field is good, arguing about which one to use. No, he's not arguing: He is declaring in that insufferable 9-year-old-knows-EVERYTHING tone of voice that Ron and I are wrong and he is right. Fine. We'll go where you want. But if anything happens to my rocket at that field, I'm not gonna be responsible.
I am now officially declaring WAR on my children:
1. I will no longer accept the word no.
2. I will no longer tolerate whining.
3. I will no longer yield to you PROMised.
4. I will no longer tolerate punching, hitting, destroying.
5. I will no longer tolerate that awful disrespectful tone.
I am DONE with it.
For the last 2-1/2 years I have tried to make things as easy as possible for everyone, myself included. I have theoretically picked my battles, but that approach has not worked too well. Now, I am out to win the goddam war.
Wish me luck.