It's like my boys have this internal clock that goes DING when 5:30 hits and John isn't home from work. Most of the time all hell breaks loose as I attempt to cook dinner.
The other night the mood alternated between the boys attempts to give me a nervous breakdown and battling for my affection.
Snippets of the early evening scenes went something like this:
Me, trying to cook potatoes and gravy over a hot stove while my little one wraps all limbs around my lower body with a monkey like tenacity.
Me, loudly scolding Adrian to stop hitting the dog over the head with the throw pillows as I try to keep the potatoes from boiling over and my gravy from burning. And my 20 month old from pantsing me.
Dinner is on the table (John has not arrived home yet) and I'm red faced and sweaty from the exertion of keeping kids from tearing the house down and me from trying not to burn the house down.
Supper time is never pretty around here. Husband or no Husband.
Me, shovelling the meal down my throat faster than a garburator garbles food while blocking my 3 year old in at the table with my leg to keep him from escaping the table for the fourth time since sitting down 5 minutes ago.
Me, trying not to lose patience with Finley as he thrusts his barely touched chicken, mashed potatoes and corn at me grunting "Uhn! Uhn!"
Adrian climbing over my leg and onto my chair giving my cheek a big smooch.
"What are you giving me kisses for?" I ask, partly amused and a teeny annoyed (he was trying to sweeten me up so that I would free him from his meal prison - I know how his scheming little mind works)
"Because I love you."
Oh see? He knows the game all too well already.
I wonder where he learned it from.
Doesn't stop my insides from turning to mush though.
"I love you too baby ... and I'd love it if you'd start eating your dinner."
Dinner sort-of forges ahead but without Fin. Scenes continue with...
Me, thoroughly charmed and entertained, watching my 20 month old shake his little booty, one arm raised, spinning in half circles, right leg kicking and stomping to the current song on the radio.
Me, looking over at Aidy with surprise and satisfaction to see him gobbling down his potatoes with a vengeance.
Me, exasperatingly reprimanding Finley for munching on the dog's food but not his own human dinner . Adrian then confesses at that moment that he too was eating the dogs food but spit it out.
I've yet to locate where the delicious half chewed bits might be.
Dinner is done.
We move to the living area to join Fin in our post meal exercise of dancing.
Finley lifts his arms to me as Craig Smart's 1 2 3 song comes on the radio. I swing him around, dance with him cheek to cheek and dip him, baby style, as he giggles with pure glee.
Adrian decides to cut in. I accept. I dance around with him, heavy and happy in my arms.
Dip, twirl, spin.
Smiles, joy, laughter.
But. Not so fast.
Someone is not so happy with the cut in and decides it's his turn once again...coming at us threateningly with a plastic pirate sword.
Leg poke, leg poke.
Partners are switched up once again.
This time from Adrian.
I get a full on punch to the thigh.
Aaaaand the dance party is OVER.
I place Adrian on the steps to our upstairs, pulling the child gate across, for a tortuous time out. (tortuous for both of us that is, as he screams, yells and attempts to escape, rattling the gate in a ferocious manner) I set the timer and say words that I never thought I would hear myself utter, "Wait until your father gets home!"
And minutes later he walks in the front door to find this: