I attempted to go grocery shopping with all four kids after school today. They get home about 4. We normally eat about 5/5:30, baths start around 6/6:15 and then I am busy, busy, busy with teeth brushing, dressing, changing diapers, reading books, being read to, etc. until bedtimes at 7:30 (babies), 8 (Avery) and 8:45 (Logan). And I stole their precious hour of freedom and took them to the store. They all complained and whined and fussed on the way to the store. Avery and Meryl cried and fussed through the store. The arguing and fighting began as soon as we got in the car again.
About 3 miles from home I gave the "If you can't stop arguing then I'll drop you off on the side of the road and you can walk home in the rain," line. Yikes. Did I say that out loud? It was 6:00, raining and dusk-ish. It is a busy road without sidewalks. The fighting stops for about 2 miles. Phew. And starts up again. Double yikes! I end up dropping them off at an entrance to the conservation land that connects with our neighborhood with directions to "Stay Together." Logan takes off running down the trail. I honk the horn and poor Avery nearly flies out of her skin. I repeat "Stay Together." And drive away with visions of the evening news headlines.
When they rounded into the yard about 20 (very long) minutes later they were soaked, muddy, sweaty and laughing.