I don’t know what it is about the first day of school after the Christmas holidays that is so hard, but today has felt like the perfect storm at our house.

Storm 1: First day of school after 2 weeks off for Peter and Matthew
Storm 2: No school yet for Samuel until Wednesday
Storm 3: Brad is traveling
Storm 4: No groceries in the house so a forced trip to stock up

And so, all these forces began to collide and clash, and as the day wore on, my patience wore thin.

This wasn’t helped at all by answering the approximate157,000 questions Samuel asks in the course of a day.

At one point, he looked over and saw a man opening up a manhole cover on the side of the road. He asked me why he was doing that and I muttered something about how I don’t know [and under my breath, might have said something about how the heck would I know and who cares anyway] and he said “Maybe he lost something down there” and I couldn’t help but laugh. Then he said “You know, he’s a city worker ’cause only the city workers got keys to those covers,” at which point, I replied “How did you get so smart?” and he said “‘Cause I ask so many questions”.


So back to the storm. It was already brewing when the older two kids got home from school, and it didn’t help matters when I saw how much trouble Matthew got into at school today.

Oy vey. That boy can really be a…mess. To put it mildly.

So everything started to really crash and burn when Matthew and Samuel got into an altercation that left them both hurt and angry. I followed parental protocol to a “T”. I sat them in their “learning chairs” so they could cool off. Except that neither one would sit down. Matthew stood with his arms on his hips telling me off while Samuel, in his anger, knocked my iPad right off the stand.

I am proud to say I did not injure the child, but still following parent protocol, sent him to his room (so that I could not harm him). I then moved Matthew into the kitchen so I could keep a closer eye on him.

That was my first mistake.

My second mistake was not skipping all the following steps in the parental protocol and just sending him to bed without his dinner.

Instead, I got to listen to him gripe and complain about every last thing until finally, when my back was turned at dinner, he shoved the ketchup across the table at Samuel and sent Samuel’s cup of kool-aid splashing onto the floor.

As per our house rules, he had to clean up the mess. By the end of that time, my patience was gone and I could hear myself saying things I never thought would come out of my mouth. Like “I brought you into this world; I can take you out of it!!!”.

It was at this point in the evening that Matthew had the audacity to look me in the eye and say “Mommy, you sure are cranky!”.


When we finally made it to devotions tonight, our conversation focused on how God’s mercies are new every morning. Because we all need a fresh start tomorrow. I think I’ll go ahead and start mine tonight…