The Quiet Game

I just needed 5 minutes.  Just 5 minutes of quiet.  No yelling.  No bickering.  No name-calling.  No scolding.  No lecturing.  No fighting.  I had a headache tittering on becoming a migraine.  I just needed quiet and caffeine.  Since we were leaving Tornado S’s school, I would settle for quiet.  And I had an idea!

The Quiet Contest!  Perfect!  No.  Wait.  Not perfect.  They don’t compete well, and I want them all to be quiet.  What if-  What if everyone can win?  Is this a bribe?  No, a prize!  Everyone gets a prize for being quiet in the car from Tornado S’s school to home.  What could go wrong?

Me: Ok, boys.  We’re going to play a game.  What prize do you want 50 cents or a piece of candy?

Tornado E: Candy!

Tornado A: Candy!

Tornado S: 50 cents!

Hmmm.  Should they all agree?  Should we vote?  No, it doesn’t matter.

Me: Ok, everyone is able to earn his own prize.  Candy for Tornado E.  Candy for Tornado A.  50 cents for Tornado S.

Tornado E: I changed my mind.  I want 50 cents.  Can I spend it?

Me: You can do what ever you want with it.

Tornado E: When can I spend it?

Me: When we go to a store.  Maybe tomorrow.

Tornado E: Ok, 50 cents.

I get everyone in the car and buckled.

Me: The game is who ever is quiet from the school to the house gets their prize.  So no talking or making noise until we get home, and, then Tornado A gets candy, and Tornado S and Tornado E get 50 cents each.  (I looked them all in the eye to make sure they understood.)  Oh, and one rule.  No one is allowed to make anyone else make a noise, or he is out of the game.  Got it?

Three boys: YES!

Me: Ok, it starts now.

I turned on the car.  We left the parking lot.

Tornado S: Mommy?

Me: Tornado S, remember the game.

Tornado S: But I want to tell you something.

Me: Tornado S. The game.

Tornado S started to whine.  And he’s out.

Tornado E: Tornado S, stop crying.

Me: Et tu, Tornado E?

Tornado E is out of the game.

Tornado S: (Whining) But I want to tell you something.  I changed my mind.  I want to talk to you.

Me: The game, Tornado S.  We were playing a game.

Tornado S: (Whining) It’s not fair!  We need to start over!

Tornado E: Tornado S, be quiet!

Tornado S whined more.

We pull into the garage.

Me: Tornado A gets candy!

Tornado A: YEA!

Huh.  I totally thought Tornado A would lose.  I wonder if I should try it again another time.

Tornado A and I left the older two whining in the car and went and got candy.

God, I needed caffeine.  And chocolate.  And silence.

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