It was a good job the other schools weren’t back yet.
The first morning after the Christmas break wasn’t as hectic as I’d feared it might be but school bags and uniforms had all been neatly laid out the night before (see how long that lasts!)
We left the house slightly later than I’d planned and the sub-zero temperatures meant we were further delayed as the windscreen defrosted.
However there hadn’t been much need for shouting, just a few gentle reminders to the boys to get out of bed.
The second day was not quite as smooth but, with it being a Friday, when, for some reason the roads are usually always quieter, we left later but arrived at school earlier.
It was after school though that things took a turn for the worse.
Firstly Avi, who came home feeling unwell, had fallen asleep and didn’t want to eat anything, but would later make several exacting demands.
But of course he refused every option offered to him.
By about 10 o’clock after being told of the same choice of available food for the umpteenth time, he snapped.
He lashed out at me and called me a few names and I responded by telling him in no uncertain terms I wouldn’t stand for that sort of behaviour and lack of respect, regardless of how ill he felt.
Although it was only the next day that he pointed out that I’d shouted – and Josh was quick to back him up.
So it’s not that I’ve failed so early on – it wasn’t so much a challenge I’d set myself to not shout (at my children) for a year but a genuine attempt to improve my parenting, the behaviour of my boys, create a better home environment as well as lower my stress levels.
However it shows how hard it can be despite best intentions and endeavours.
My patience was further tested when it was time to do homework.
It’s amazing to think how something as short and simple as the Christmas break had made me forget about the pain of homework.
For when the boys receive homework that means we as parents have work to do.
Please start your homework
The sooner you start the quicker it will be done
Once you’ve finished you can play
You might as well do it all and finish your homework rather than leave it to later in the week
This is what homework starts out like at our house.
I won’t go in to the unnecessary detail of how Josh made it a long, drawn-out process of negotiation and having slept since then I’ve calmed down and forgotten some of the minutiae.
Even me calling it negotiation creates the wrong impression, a much better version than the reality.
It wasn’t a full-blown tantrum but he was on the floor refusing to do his work and even after I’d found a website for him which would shorten the time required to complete his assignment, he refused to accept the relevant information was there to the point where I actually felt my blood was close to boiling point.
So he wasted more time arguing the whole Internet was devoid of what he was looking for rather than just accept what I had already found.
Anyway when he finally saw sense and allowed me to re-find the website it took him about five minutes to actually do that subject.
Which is always my point – he and his brothers can spend so much more time complaining and avoiding the work than just doing it.
Oh well it was done in the end and wasn’t left until 9pm on Sunday night which is at least an improvement.