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.