I'm not sure why I thought today would be any different than all of the other days of my life. The morning routine was very familiar: wake up in the dark hours, feed the kids cereal amidst a cacophony of sound, prepare lunches, pray with family before school, launch Garry and the boys, shower with Lexi in the jumper and Gavin watching cartoons in my bed, etc. The Littles and I rushed through a Target run in usual fashion, as well: Gavin running amok while I hastily accumulate the items on my short list, then Gavin creating a spectacle in the check-out line.
Normal, normal, normal. (Exhausting, but normal.)
Why, then, was I expecting the heavens to smile upon me during a children's music class? Why? There was no light shining from above, no thunder and lightning, no magical halos over my children's heads that might manifest the signs of a miracle. We didn't have an extra-fabulous night of sleep or a visiting grandmother or Valium IV drips in our arms. No, this was just a regular day, and I was expecting Gavin and Lexi to do extraordinary things.
They had to listen, and obey, and sit. They had to be kind to others and share. They had to participate as the music teacher waved her arms and used her voice to provide glorious entertainment. They had to march and bang a drum and make a puppet's mouth sing.
Well, that's what the other children did.
Mine snatched toys and screamed and hit. They ran on the chairs and out the doors. They wandered the room and intruded on others' personal space. They ruined a fun opportunity for themselves.
Although I was very frustrated, I was not one bit surprised. This is my life as a mother of children who just can't get along. As I wrestled my screaming kids out the door in the middle of class, I wondered to myself how many times I have made such an exit. Several dozen, probably. The Littles and I tend to leave social gatherings in a dramatic fashion. Tension builds until the unacceptable nature of the kids' behavior reaches a breaking point.
At least this time I didn't come home to a locked house and have to climb through the kitchen window.