After 2 weeks of pre-school hell, we finally had a breakthrough today; after reading Rakes the riot act last night, then telling him he couldn't play Star Wars on the PlayStation until after school, and THEN only if he got a sticker, I got the call at 12:23 today.
Rakes was... Perfect. Sticker, compliments from the teacher, and enough bragging by his Mom to cause his head to swell. And it lasted most of the day.
Until Ang had to leave to go to the hospital with her Dad; he's fine, just a mix up with his medication. However, with her gone and me at work, my saint of a Mom came over. Bless her heart, if they'd burned the house down and I called to ask "How were they?", she'd swear they were angels and we needed the fresh air.
When I hit the door around 6, he was sitting on the floor, controller in hand, and wiping out Storm Troopers as fast as they showed up. Between getting them dinner, trying to figure out what was wrong with my computer, and Ciera telling me all about the drama of 4th grade in room 404, I felt like that guy who yelled out "I'm mad as hell. And I'm not gonna take it anymore!"
Did I mention he'd changed his clothes 14 times since Mom arrived, and by the time I got home he had no underwear on and was checking himself more than Michael Jackson in the "Thriller" video? Sometime around 8 p.m., Ang arrived like some vision from above to help me get all of them ready for bed; if she hadn't shown up, I'm pretty sure our house would have looked like the one in "16 Candles" at the end of the party.
By bedtime, he was back hollering at his sister and raging against the machine; I calmly turned the PS2 off, he only melted down for about 10 seconds, and went to bed promising to be good at school again tomorrow. It ain't much, but I'll take it.
I've discovered raising kids is like being a recovering addict; the only way you can make it is to take it one day at a time.