I babysat today. The kid that I used to babysit last school year was in need of adult supervision today... I was approached by his mother several weeks ago about the endeavor. Momentary lapse of sanity made me forget what a little monster this child is, so I told her Yes, sure... I'd watch him... it'd be good for Tal to play with someone other than the other little cretins that plague my neighborhood. I'm not sure what the day did for Tal (or Kellen, for that matter) but for me, it reaffirmed that I'm SO lucky to have children that are actually decently well-behaved.
I began to regret my decision at 6:15 this morning, when my alarm went off. I have grown quite accustomed to sleeping until 8:30 or so in the morning, as that's the time that my wonderful hubby HAS to be out of bed to make it to work relatively On Time. I smacked the snooze until sometime in the neighborhood of 6:30ish, then got out of bed and into the shower, much the zombie that one would expect from someone that is unaccustomed to rising so farking early in the morning. I was in and out of the shower, dressed, make-up on, and hair prepped (mousse, etc, but not dry) by the time "Damien" arrived. BTW... apparently, my 8 year-old son had his own momentary lapse of sanity himself, as he was EXCITED about the day that lay before him.
7 a.m... "Damien" is ushered to the front door by his mother. She slipped me a handful of bills, which remained unexamined for the dollar amt until I was alone a while later, in the privacy of my bathroom, told me it was for watching her little angel and to cover lunch for two days. I reminded her that I needed to take Tal to the dentist at 8:45 today and that he had a flu shot appt. tomorrow at 10... she assured me that "D" (for Damien) would behave and be fine with the excursions. Upon seeing the wad she'd deposited, another wave of insanity passed over me, saying "maybe I should go back to babysitting." That wave was quickly flattened when I heard the shrill voice and laughter coming from the living room, penetrating through two closed doors and a bathroom vent fan. A nauseus wave of familiarity washed over me. WTF had I gotten myself into???
I spent the next hour making breakfast for my brood whilst reminding two rambunctious 8 year-olds to keep their voices down, for there was a 2 1/2 yr old and a grown man who didn't have to be at work for 2 hours asleep in various places in the house. I felt like a broken record, to sound like a cliche. FINALLY.. breakfast was ready. "D" said "oooh... apple muffins. Me want!" (NOT KIDDING.) I just looked at him and asked, "Is that how we ask for something?" He then spat out the proper inquiry, and I obliged. He took one bite and said "EWWWW... I don't like the butter! It's SOUR!" I informed him that our butter, which was spray Parkay, was exactly the same as any other margarine, except in spray form, and that the "sour" he was tasting was REAL apples in his apple cinnamon muffins (I used Granny Smith) "Well, I don't like it. You should have made Banana. Or donuts." I then informed him that no one invited him to eat. Mean of me, but he was already rubbing me the wrong way. I also got questioned and argued with about my decision to turn off the TV while breakfast was being served. I informed him that my children (like most) are too distracted by the TV to eat and I needed everyone to be done and ready to be out the door by 8:15 for Tal's dentist appointment. This explanation didn't sit well with "D," who argued that he would eat with the TV on. I told him that my kids wouldn't and that I made the rule, so that was the end of it.
Somehow, I managed to get the horde to eat (not without a LOT of prompting of "D") and out the door by 8:15 so that I could get Tal to the dentist on time. The ride there was HORRIFIC. The two over-excited 8 year-olds yelled and smacked each other the whole way, AND, as an added bonus, chucked whatever toy they could at each other constantly. They each had their own PSPs to play, but insisted on switching them because each had a game that the other didn't and wanted to play. After vast attempts to ignore the melee, I gave up and lost my cool and yelled at them to settle down. Pretty sad... Kellen.. the 2.5 year old was the best behaved.
I do have to admit my surprise at the conduct at the dentist's office while we were there. Kellen quickly grew bored, but the two older were very well behaved. I DO have to give kudos for that.
The ride home, however, was another story.
The ride there was pretty much repeated. I finally got pissed and told them that if they'd shut up and behave, I'd take them to the video store to rent "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," which neither had seen. They settled down. They behaved at the video store. I (stupidly) thought things were turning around. Then we drove home.
Keep in mind that I live LITERALLY 5 minutes from the video store. Between there and home, they lost the right to watch the movie. Again, Kellen was innocent of wrong-doing... it was all on the older kids.
The rest of the day was much of the same... a LOT of arguing, back-talk, smarting-off... you name it, "D" did it. I kept revoking privilidges and fun things, thinking it would finally sink in, but to no avail. I'd resigned to being the megabitch for the day and trying to start tomorrow over anew, when 4 o'clock hit.
That's when I told the boys to clean up the garage (where they'd been playing) and then Tal's room.
Of COURSE I was met with resistance. After 10-15 minutes, I looked in the garage to see what was taking so long. Both boys were "picking up" golf balls by hitting them with Tal's miniclubs. I told them to knock it off and to pick the stuff up with their hands. The next thing I know, "D" is running across the street to retrieve a golf ball. He then runs back and starts whacking at the leaves in the front yard with the club. I opened the door and told them both to pick up. "D," of course, argued that he was. I told him to use his hands and not the club and he told me "wait a minute! I AM!" I yelled his name and reinforced my demand. He muttered something under his breath and finally did it. Then both boys came inside.
I told them to go to Tal's room and clean it up, as I KNEW that it was clean as of this morning. "D" said "I'm going to take my PSP in and play it while he cleans up." UM. NO. "No... you're going to help him clean up. I know his room was clean before you got here today and now it's a wreck. You helped destroy it, you can help fix it." "D" replied, "No, he did it himself." Don't think that I bought that for a second. The two of them were in there together for quite some time today... I know better. I told him that he WAS going to help Tal and that was the end of it.
The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back: The way out the door.
"D" was throwing his toy car that he'd gotten at the dentist's office around. I reminded him, stearnly, that we don't throw toys in the living room (I'd explained earlier that Kellen models his behavior after what the bigger kids do and I didn't want him accidentally throwing a toy into my plasma on the wall and busting it.) His reply: "But it's MY car."
"THAT'S IT!!!! I unleashed the fury.
And the WORST threat (that I followed through with!!) that I could...
"I'M TALKING TO YOUR STEP-DAD WHEN WE GET TO YOUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
That, of course, was met with a low howl that resonated a penetrating "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Heh. "Oh yeah, buddy. I've had MORE than enough. I'm SICK of the arguing and backtalk that I've gotten from you all day, and YES... I'm talking to "P" when we get back to your house."
Needless to say, it was a VERY quiet two block ride.
Looooooooooooooooooooooooooong story short... I'm not babysitting tomorrow.
"P" has the day off due to a surgery and "D" will be in his room tomorrow and for the weekend.
I had to fork over half of what I was handed in cash this morning, but IT WAS OH SO WORTH IT.
PS... I DIDN'T EVEN COVER THE WHOLE 6 TACO-LUNCH FIASCO.
xposted to my MySpace for those who read both and don't want to live through the horror again.