I wasn't ready for yesterday.
It was the first beautiful day which means playing outside with neighborhood friends which meant TONS of request for outside toys which are buried behind building materials from the construction of our home this winter. So they just ran around the house over all the cement and nails and glass. Seriously.
There is a ton of small bits of debris in the yard from the construction and when you pair that with curious kids and apparently complete mental block, kids get hurt, things get broke.
Somehow yesterday, in the excitement of spring and our friends we haven't played with in months, the kids were really anxious to provide me with lots of opportunity to remind them of all the rules. ALL the rules. It was like there were magnets for doing stupid crap.
When it was dinner time and Paul and I were talking with the kids about our behavior outside and how even in our excitement, we are still Christians and should behave as such. We are still control of our selves. Because we weren't ready for this "How do we play outside and what are our rules" conversation, we just kept looking at each other like, "uh....was there something else?" It was a very moving, convincing family meeting. Five minutes later we found our kid breaking one of the rules.
(You have to understand that with the tornado last spring, everything changed here. Fences are down, houses are gone, debris was everywhere. The rules changed. The layout of their play area changed. They played different and unfortunately it meant pushing LOTS of boundaries in what is respectful and not.)
I get that in the summer we stay up a little later, but we are still in school. I also forgot that when boys play outside, they stink and they are dirty when they come inside. So in my freshly cleaned house, were three rowdy, dirty kids ready for their baths.
Oh, yea. They need to be cleaned.
Crap, I wasn't ready for this task, because now they will be even later getting to bed and not getting sleep which they so desperately need as they are still adjusting from day light savings.
I ran those kids through the bath like it was a factory for cleaning kids. Wash, rinse, lotion, PJ's, teeth.
There are dirty clothes everywhere, water everywhere, friends pounding on the door and peeking through the window still wanting to play, and my kids screaming at the top of their lungs that its time for bed.
Once stories were read, and prayers were said, they were all in their beds giggling and telling stories. I looked at my husband who said he was waiting for me to print our statement of completion for the bank because he just got off the phone with our contractor and the one we mailed in was blank.
15 minutes later, we have all of our paperwork printed, Paul is on a mission to get it signed by the other owner of the home, we can't find keys, kids are having issues with the bathroom, and monsters on the walls, (for some reason middle really hated his room last night and was plaqued all night long with nightmares. Not sure where that came from.) and my friend who has come over to hang out has now successfully washed and dried all my dishes.
It felt like constant reacting, or catching up or parenting on the fly all evening. I wasn't ready and I couldn't keep up. I was faced with making choices that I hadn't even known were questions. It was an exhausting night.
We need to figure out some boundaries for playing outside in the hood.
I need a plan.