Banish the Banshee

It has been just slightly more than 24 hours since summer “break” began. The boys carried out their end-of-school-year tradition of shrieking like banshees and generally behaving like crazy people. I suppose this is a thing now—-this manic transition from basically decent students to bloodthirsty hounds as we enter the summer months.

By 3:50 yesterday afternoon, I had that moment: the one where I considered driving them back to their sundry schools and dropping them off before I started sounding like a banshee myself, wailing and darkly foreshadowing somebody’s doom.

It has gotten better since then. At 4:00 PM yesterday I cracked 20 eggs in a big red bowl and whipped up a batch of Texas-sized French toast with bacon, and calmed those mangy hounds. Dinner at 4:15? With breakfast foods? This is how we do it.

After all the wigging out subsided, two shopping runs were complete, and the three youngest fell asleep, I had a niggling recollection from the afternoon chaos. At one point as I barked out orders and angrily fought for a return to peace (the irony!), Charlie scowled at me and said, “You stop shouting.”

Touché, little boy.

Later at the store, Henry asked me why I seemed so mad and impatient as he chose a new swimsuit.

Essentially, I was wrecking our outing in my own crazed summer adjustment period. And I’m the grown up.

So this morning as I cooked hash browns, administered meds, moved laundry, and supervised chores, I did a sanity-saving thing. I bagged the planned zoo outing that nobody except me seemed remotely interested in.

We went to Grandma’s house instead where we ate sandwiches and Henry mowed. Baby toddled around Grandpa’s garden and Jack pretended to give himself shots in the stomach with a toy syringe from a now-scattered play doctor’s kit.

And I acknowledged that while it often feels like no one is listening to me, they’re actually paying attention because, by default, I set the tone around here. Honestly speaking, the guys take their social cues from me.

So stop yelling mom, and enjoy summer so everyone else will too.

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