The day started out well enough.
Tyler and Zach both received first-semester awards at school. Tyler received the Awesome Astronaut Award for "always striving to go to the next step while being a fantastic citizen." Zach received a Best Effort award for "totally changing his attitude toward writing and really improving." I actually cried when Zach accepted the award. I'm so proud of my boys for working so hard at school.
To honor their accomplishments, Garry suggested going out for ice cream, but since I had a Relief Society meeting tonight, we opted for dinner out instead. The kids chose Golden Corral because they could get whatever they want at the buffet (including dessert!). They love that place.
Sadly, the kids did nothing but bicker and bully each other all afternoon. The TV became a great source of contention, so I demanded that they turn it off. That led to more strife and then a literal brawl on the floor. When actual punching was involved (with more than one individual), I called off our dinner plans. There was no way I was taking those hoodlums out in public. They'd probably kill each other in the car.
Of course my announcement led to many tears and much pleading for mercy. I was unmoved. Sometimes I'm a real pushover and offer second chances, but not tonight. I was firm in my resolution that there be consequences for terrible behavior. Oh, the drama! After five minutes or so, I started recording the weeping and wailing. My primary motivation was that at some future date, I want to look back and confirm that yes, life really was this hard. Sometimes I wonder if we are raising wild animals. (Warning: This video is two minutes long and not very pleasant. Twenty seconds is probably long enough for a good idea of the drama.)
I made peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. The kids were furious. Zach boycotted dinner altogether. After some time in his room, he sent Gavin upstairs with this note.
Then he ran into the backyard and stayed outside until he was too cold. He never did eat dinner.
On his way home from work, Garry picked up a salad from Applebees for me and a hot sandwich for himself. We ate together at the table as children griped and moaned. It's amazing to me that two of these children were given high honors for their behavior at school. I guess their "best efforts" and "good citizenship" mean different things at home.