Magical fiblet

I've been hastily marking off "morning stars" for the kids on a piece of scrap paper in the car. I open the garage, put the car in gear and scribble them off before we hightail it down the driveway and head to school to begin our days and more importantly, close the door firmly on the morning rush. They have been doing well, but the morning routine wears on me some days when they won't leave each other alone, or one of them refuses to stop whining, and I inevitably lose my temper. They can each max out with five stars, but the number is pretty arbitrary really. Did she get dressed without screaming? Did Connor put his shoes on? Did they treat each other nicely? Were they good listeners? Did they hop into the car without the entire neighborhood hearing we are GETTING IN THE CAR NOW?! Earlier this week, I added myself to the star list. If Mommy doesn't lose it, if there is not one single voice raise, or exasperated sigh, I get my star too. I don't think I will help myself to anything from the dollar bin target treat bag, but I'll feel better if I can get that star most days. The rides to and from school present other challenges. Like for instance Patriot's Day,when I looked back at my cherubs and tried to call a landscaper to mulch for us and he was treated to a free for all in the back seat that no evil eye via the rear view was going to fix. Seriously, did it ever work? For anyone? Some nights I happen to have the kids in the car when steve calls to say he is on his way home and on those days our calls are very short because one of them is touching the other one, or Connor is kicking his window, or Caroline is correcting something Connor said and he is screaming "no!" Caroline hates the ride home because it takes too long/15 minutes. Tonight we were talking about how it might rain tomorrow and "awww! I don't want it to rain!" Actual tears. I opted for silly and made several failed attempts to change the weather with "magic words and a pretend magic wand." Meltdown avoided. Then it was a red traffic light. "Awwww, why does it have to be red?!" Seriously? I took a deep breath and thought of the first thing that came to mind. "let's see if you can change the light from red to green. Focus as hard as you can on something green." I saw her skeptical eyebrow scrunch and then suddenly, "trees!" and I swear to you, that light turned green, and you would have thought she was capable of moving mountains with her brain she was so excited about her magic. She was all warmed up to try it again at the next one, but it was green when we got there. Sensing rising disappointment, I asked her, "have youu been thinking about green things this whole time? You must have been?" "I was! I really was." Those exasperated moments used to make me batty, setting up lectures about patience, and practicality and the rules of the road. Those little lectures go nowhere and this little magic fiblet was may more fun. Plus, I go tmy star, there was an executive decision from the backseat to use e star system for the ride home too. Stars, green things and magic powers, ah to be five.


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