So Sunday is usually combination of high-intensity work (quick! everyone get your shoes on already we're going to be late! What do you mean you can't find your shoes?!?) and endless afternoons and evenings (sweetie, it's six o'clock; can we put the kids in bet yet?). Some Sundays can be quite pleasant; we talk to my parents in Columbia, Brandon builds things with the children, we all have some tasty dessert before story- and bed-time. Other Sundays are less so, more like a continual series of breaking up fights with crying spells in between.
This past Sunday was a mix of the two, with the mix leaning more towards the latter. 'It's okay,' I kept reassuring myself when Edwin was standing in the corner again after smacking Joseph while we were attempting to video chat with my parents, 'not all Sundays are pleasant. It's just the numbers catching up. Maybe next week will be better.'
I've realized after some years of
This year, however, Kathleen and Sophia have both started using scissors, so we had some company. Joseph, after smashing blue Lucky Charms marshmallows into his hair, got put in bed. Edwin insisted on having a chair up close and personal to watch the process, grew disinterested, asked for a pencil and paper, scribbled for twenty seconds, and wandered off to do something. After twenty minutes of entertaining himself, he started doing what any three year-old boy would do who has been stuck inside all day after being forced to sit through two hours of church: he started driving everyone nuts.
I mentioned to Brandon that maybe we should make him run stairs to burn off the excess Sunday-evening-everyone-is-going-crazy energy. Edwin wasn't interested. We suggested that he run circles through the kitchen and living room, and he thought maybe that was a pretty good idea. After watching Edwin have a fantastic time, Sophia decided that hey, running really was much more fun that
I was reminded of a story where two fathers on a beach trip convinced their sons that a pile of rocks really really needed to be moved from one side of the beach to the other. The boys had a great time, the fathers sat and enjoyed their day, and no fights had to be broken up.
The children began tiring, and I asked if they were ready for some leftover birthday cake. Yes! Yes! they all cried. Brandon, not ready to give up his own snowflake-cutting, interrupted, 'How about you have a contest? Keep running and whoever runs the longest gets the biggest piece of cake!' Without even waiting for her siblings, Sophia dashed off. Edwin squirmed as Brandon put his underwear back on, and almost ran away with it between his knees. Kathleen left her new snowflake mid-cut and got back to running.
Brandon and I enjoyed the peace.
After seven or eight minutes, we set the timer for five more minutes and declared that if Kathleen and Sophia, the ones still in the race, could both hold out until the timer beeped, we would declare a tie, and both would get the biggest piece of cake.
Five minutes later, both completed an extra victory lap and sat down with flushed cheeks and bright eyes to their well-deserved cake, happy with the good work they had done. 'Mom,' Sophia explained when I asked her why she wasn't eating her extra-big piece of cake, 'I'm just so tired.' Brandon looked at her with a smile, 'Well then you should have no problem going to bed tonight, right?' She nodded in complete agreement.
I think maybe we'll have to start a Sunday evening tradition.