Today was one of those days. It started out chaotic and went downhill from there, and by two o'clock Hara-Kiri sounded better than my current situation, so I broke some of my rules - rules are really made to broken anyway right?
Rule #2 - Earn privileges/bonus points for end of the day extras. Usually they earn imaginary points that I tally in my head through-out the day, so they can do something as a special privilege like paint their toenails or have a special desert. But today not one of the kids had earned any kind of privilege and were on the verge of loosing them for the whole weekend. They didn't deserve anything nice.
Rule #3 - No verbal or emotional warfare. This is pretty self explanatory, but when there are 6 girls in the house, this rule gets broken too often with a roll of the eyes or a snide remark.
So back to the beginning. . . By two o'clock I was fit to be tied. No one was paying any respect to rule #1 because they were too busy breaking rule # 2, and the twins had already been woke up twice by the squabbling - no recharging was happening here. I was just about ready to personally violate rule number three when I remembered I was the adult, and needed to come up with a better plan. It was then that I dug into my resource bag - when things are falling apart there are two things that can fix just about anything - water and playground equipment.
Water is wonderful! I can make a warm bath on a cold day, send them out to the sprinkler on a hot day, or let them splash in the rain, and they will play for hours. Water fixes almost everything.
The playground is the next best thing to water. They can hate each other all the way to the park but the minute the van door opens, they are the best of friends helping each other swing on the monkey bars or race down the slides together.
They didn't deserve to go anywhere because of the way they had behaved earlier but sometimes it isn't about what they deserve - it is about what they need, and we all needed a break; we needed to break some of the rules.