This morning, about three minutes after I had put clean clothes on Squish, I heard him in the apartment:
"I have to poooop!"
This is code for: "I am probably pooping my pants right now because I haven't mastered the art of getting to the toilet in time. For the love of God, could someone please come help me?!?!!?"
My husband started the clean-up process, and I finished it with lots of coaxing and my most patient voice.
With the first crisis out of the way, I set the boys up with a show and got ready for work.
When the show ended, Bug started asking me if he could watch some kind of Christmas Curious George show. Sure. No big deal. When it's Christmastime, my pleasure.
I took Bug to the kitchen to get his sneakers and jacket on and heard Squish screaming from the living room, "Christmas George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want Christmas George!!!!!!!"
Hoping this scream festival would end quickly, I ignored it.
I said, "[Squish], time for sneakers and jacket in the kitchen. Come in here so we can go to school, please."
Squish, still sitting on the living room floor, staring at a television that had been turned off many minutes ago, screamed at me, "I want Christmas George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I explained that he needed to stop screaming at me and start putting on shoes and a jacket. Not effective.
So I carried him to the kitchen and tried to get sneakers on his feet.
He yelled, "I do not want sneakers!"
Having hit my yell/scream quota for the day, I decided not to fight it. I put his sneakers in the bag and started out the door with him in my arms.
Half-way to the car, Squish yelled, "I need my sneakers!!!!"
"You will get them in the car. You chose not to wear them. So this is the consequence. Choices have consequences."
"I WANT MY SNEAKERS!"
"In. The. Car."
We drove to school in relative peace - I don't know how or why.
When we arrived, I got Squish out of the car and held his hand in the parking lot while we waited for Bug to climb out and join us.
Bug, in all of his long-limbed, five-year-old dearness, sort of galumphed out of the car in a way that made one of his arms fly forward.
That arm that flew forward landed on Squish's face.
"He hit my nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Many hugs, apologies, and reassurances later, we made it inside the school.
I heard another parent say to his son, "Yep - today is 'Favorite Book Day,' so I brought your favorite books.'"
I looked down at my two boys, who had just made it through a wringer of a morning, and who were oblivious to Favorite Book Day but would probably figure it out in about ten minutes when they saw all of their friends with their favorite books, and all I could say was, "Sorry."
Which was code for: "Of course it was Favorite Book Day. And of course it felt like a minor miracle that we managed to get out of the apartment with poop-free clothes and shoes on
everyone's feet. Sorry, guys. Maybe being poop-free and wearing shoes is some kind of de minimis standard in other families, but in ours, it takes a lot of emotional energy and an hour and a half. We'll do better next time."