Meet Gavin and Zachary, my two most challenging children. They are also the children for whom I most earnestly prayed and cried and waited and sought medical assistance to bring to our family. I am so glad they are mine, but boy howdy, they are tough kids.
Yesterday morning we went to the boys' school to have ten-minute conferences with their teachers. I was prepared with the stroller and snacks for the Littles, and planned to have the non-conferencing brother walk the halls with Gavin and Lexi while I met with each teacher. However, when it was Zach's turn to meet, Gavin threw a huge, loud, crazy fit from the stroller. He didn't want to be separated from Zach. So the stroller came into the classroom.
I sat down with Zach's teacher, but Zach refused. Instead, while my back was turned, he unbuckled Gavin and Lexi from their stroller seats. They made short work of destroying the classroom. My conference with the teacher lasted about three minutes. I hope that was enough for the year! Thankfully, my "plan A" for conferences worked out for Tyler's meeting. Zach pushed the Littles around the school and we all survived.
Then, just before lunch, Zachary got so worked up about his morning chores that he exploded in a fit of rage and ran away from home. Since he has done this once before, I knew to hop in the van immediately and chase after him. He was barefoot, but even in that state, his two-minute head start was significant. I prayed at each neighborhood intersection to know which way to turn. When I found him briskly walking down the side of the road, he refused to talk to me or get in the van. It was dramatic. I was glad I had called Garry for reinforcements; he was the one who finally convinced Zach to come home.
We limped along toward bedtime. Garry was out for the evening and the kids all refused to eat the dinner I prepared. Zach was so helpful as to write me a note saying, "I don't like this!" with an arrow pointing to his plate. Only Lexi and I filled our bellies. Girl solidarity, perhaps?
And then Gavin wouldn't go to sleep. He was terrified that a ghost was going to come out from under the bed and get him. He was afraid of the dark. He wouldn't let me close the door. He wanted me to stay in the bed and "keep him safe." When I asked why he was so scared, he said that Zach had told him about "ghostes that live in the dark places." After about an hour of his screaming and wailing, he fell silent. I went downstairs to investigate and found him in bed with Zach. I thought it was appropriate that Zach was his protector.
I'm pretty sure I don't know what I'm going to do with either of these boys. At least they've got each other.