Thursday, October 10, 2013

To the Brink...and Beyond!!!

When long periods of time pass without a post in this blog, you can count on one of two things. Either I  am very busy, or my boys are very busy. Everybody is busy in this corner of the world. That is a known fact. Yes, I have even been spending a great deal of time riding Maybelline, which has been amazing. For three months now I have been out there on average twice a week, which may not sound like much. But with a 40 minute drive each way, and four kids to leave behind every time, it is amazing that I have been able to do that. I have now ridden Maybelline out on the trail five times, and it has been wonderful. There is nothing in the world like riding your horse through the fields and the golden forests in the fall. Nothing. So I am incredibly grateful for that blessing in my life. I could write a ton just about that, but I have only a short time left before all three boys spill off the school bus and explode into this quiet house.

Busyness, at times, does keep me from this blog. But the second reason is more often the culprit. When I mentioned my boys being busy, I didn't mean with activities or school. I was talking about their specialty, which is mischief. That word just doesn't pack enough of a punch to really describe what I am talking about, but if you have followed my blog for long enough, you know my boys go beyond ordinary trouble. I am at a complete loss for words to describe the level of...well...you see? There isn't even a word for it. Let's just say that I often really feel like I am losing my mind. When the boys get into extra deep trouble, sometimes I can't bring myself to blog about it because I am too genuinely upset. I don't deny that they provide many amusing and shocking stories for me to share, but despite the element of humour in the stories, in the moment it can be horrible. There have been a lot of those moments in the last several weeks. Perhaps that is why I have opted not to share in here.

Last night, for example, I was sweeping the brand new flooring at the entrance downstairs. If you would like to see a picture of it, check out the post called "The summer in review". As I swept, I noticed something on the floor that the broom was not catching. I examined it more closely and I could not get it unstuck from the floor. It looked metallic. Like a staple. I called Mike over and we examined it together. It WAS a staple. From a staple gun. Realization set in, and we searched the rest of the floor. More staples had been shot in and were protruding from the floor. Mike had to remove them with pliers, but each one left a sharp flaw in the floor. It's not real wood, you know. It's not laminate either. I can't remember what it's called. Vinyl plank, I think. Either way, it's ridiculously expensive, and now, in my estimation, it is ruined, a mere eight weeks or so into its existence. I confess, I have not searched that entire section of floor for more staples yet, as Mike has some stuff sitting there that I can't use.

You may be horrified, as I am, and you may wonder how this happened. How did they get a hold of a staple gun?? Yes, it is awful. Yes, we are bad parents. What I found out later that night, was that Mike had indeed left the staple gun out. However, please hear me when I say that normally, all tools are locked inside our storage room. We keep it locked. Now here's the best part. The boys pick the locks. I am not kidding you. It's some kind of a game to them, or a joke, or a delightful challenge, I don't know. But there is no lock that can hold them out. So far, anyway. We have two storage sheds outside. One is made of wood, and now has a combination lock keeping it secure. So far, they have not been able to breach it, but one of them in particular is determined to try. The other storage "shed" is actually one of those tent things, so there is no keeping them out of it. They have ripped open every bin inside there, and have even spread documents over the old driveway, which we discovered the other night when we went for a walk out there. It is enough to drive a person to the very brink, or maybe even over. I have asked Mike to please put up an electric fence around that tent shed. I was NOT kidding. Apparently, the shock would hurt them, but not do any damage, so I'm all in. When I told the kids about it, one of them just grinned and said he would just go over the fence. (I won't say which one, but there is one who is the catalyst here.)

Bad parents. Yes. You may wonder, "How can you let them get away with that?" I wonder the same thing. But they get consequences every single time. We have tried just about every consequence we can imagine, and nothing seems to work. I am more than seriously tempted to call off Christmas this year. (I was already tempted, but the flooring incident really snapped something inside me.) I have often thought of the Super Nanny, and wondered what she would do with my boys. The truth is, I have already mastered the "naughty chair", or the time out chair, as we call it. But it's simply not harsh enough to motivate them not to violate the rules anymore.

Anyway, Lauren is now wailing hysterically from her crib, so I guess this post is over. I guess lack of time on my part does play a role in my very infrequent posting. If anyone has any magical parenting formula that will solve all of my problems, please let me know as soon as possible.

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