"I have a hole in my foot!" Josh's upper lip contorted in 7 different directions before his eyes welled with tears and he sobbed as he climbed back in the car!
Caleb was practically giddy as he did a little quick-step back and forth on the pavement and begging for me to do it again!
Brooks squealed with delight at seeing his brothers again.
...5 MINUTES EARLIER...
On the way home from a birthday party, all three boys were fighting over everything from party favors to who saw the slug-bug first. I was suffering from mild heat stroke due to sitting in the wretched sun at a baseball game, which presented itself in the form of a massive head ache. I was sweaty from cleaning all afternoon. And my legs ached, just because. I couldn't imagine driving home another minute with the screeching from the back seat.
So in an instant, I swerved into an empty parking lot without a plan. I thought about just sitting there until they could calm down. I've tried this before. But that would only torture me further, since it usually takes them 5 minutes to realized we stopped in the first place. So I ordered Josh and Caleb out of the car. I still had no idea what I was doing at this point. But I couldn't stand to look at them another minute. I had to repeat the order 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 times before they got out. I responsibly waited until both boys were clear of the car, then I sped away! I thought about leaving the parking lot completely only to come back eventually, but I worried they would try to follow me onto the busy road. So I just circled them, weaving around light posts and medians. With every turn, I would catch a glimpse (often in my rear-view mirror) of them attempting to anticipate my next move as they zig-zagged back and forth. The whole time, they were running almost full-speed. Did I mention that Josh was shoeless?
After a couple minutes (literally 2 minutes), I figured they had had enough. So I stopped and allowed them to catch up to me. I rolled down the window and Josh screamed at me! I told him calmly that he needed some more time to think about how he had been acting... and then I drove off again!
By this time, I was feeling rejuvenated! Instead of anxiety and anger, I felt amusement, with only a smidge of guilt. I made one final loop among the empty parking spaces and slowed to a stop right next to my tired offspring.
"Mommy just needed a little quite time!" I said happily.
Josh grumbled inaudibly under his breath and Caleb begged me to do it again!
On the way home, we continued to have a discussion about the importance of behaving politely and quietly in the car. When I passed our street and kept going, they both questioned where I was going.
"I'm going to get you all turned around, so when I drop you off, you won't know how to get home!" I teased.
Both little bodies froze, and I could see their eyes on me in my rear-view mirror....
"Cool!" they both said in unison!
I did end up dropping them off on the side of the road... and they took a well-known short-cut through the trees... and beat me to the house!
(Random running pictures)
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