But in the space of 15 minutes between getting home from school and heading back out to take the boys to their kickboxing lesson, all hell broke loose. The boys went straight out the garden to play and I started tidying up. I could hear some shouts from the garden so I went out to see what was going on. The boys each had a small spade and they were fling soil at each other. Their playhouse was covered, as was the patio, but more importantly so were the boys. Their hands and faces were black, and they left a trail of dirt wherever they walked. I couldn't believe it. Ten minutes before leaving for kickboxing and they were filthy. I am ashamed to say that I totally lost my temper. I shouted at them for being so inconsiderate as they knew we were going out. I got the dirt off as best as I could and then took them to get dressed for kickboxing.
Then Ethan started having a tantrum over his clothes. I was already angry and this just made it worse. I nearly didn't take them to their class, but knew that was just me taking the easy option. I ignored the tantrums, got him dressed and then attempted to get them us all out of the house. Zac was already in the car (I think he knew what was good for him at this point) but Ethan just kicked off again over his trainers as they were covered in mud from earlier. He refused to put any other shoes on so I ended up just picking him up and putting him in the car. I was completely at boiling point. I wanted to scream; I wanted to cry; the last thing I wanted was to get in the car with the children. It was horrible. I adore my children. The are the best thing that's ever happened to me. Yet they drive me to distraction. They know exactly what buttons to press, and press them they do.
I calmed down quickly but they did have all privileges taken away this evening. Though I'm now I feel that I over-reacted. They are four and five years old and they are naturally going to mess around. So I feel guilty. I reacted badly to my children and made everything worse when it didn't have to be. So what if they're a bit dirty? As my husband keeps telling me, they're boys and they're supposed to be playing in the mud. They'd had a brilliant time out the garden and I spoilt it all by shouting at them.
I can't turn back time but I will promise to count to ten before shouting at them next time. Because there will be a next time. One thing that's guaranteed with my boys is that they don't learn from their mistakes :-)