This week, I feel like I'm hitting both my parenting local mins and maxes (what, you don't associate parenting with graphs of derivatives?). After the high of the POPS concert, on Monday we went to a nearby fieldhouse during open playtime. I had 19 month old N. with us and ended up staying closer to her than the boys because they were happily on the bouncy slide and she kept bolting to the soccer game. Peter was playing with a playgroup friend for quite awhile until the other family left. Maybe half an hour later, another mom determined that I was Peter's mom and told me he was pushing kids down the slide and had hurt some of them. We left as soon as we could (which took awhile with 3 coats, bathroom visits, etc) and I spent a good chunk of the 20 minute drive home talking to Peter about why that was not okay and how we would not be going back this winter. He was crying, I was nearly crying, he had all his privileges for the day revoked and we all felt rotten.
Today, I attempted to bring the boys to Ash Wednesday Mass at Peter and Dan's school. Dan's singing at our parish's 7pm Mass so I knew it would be me alone with them no matter when we went. I've learned that 7pm is too late to expect the boys to handle it and the other options were either over lunch or dinner, which didn't seem wise. 1:45 in a room full of other kids sounded like my best bet. We got there with time to spare, talked to Dan for a minute, and found seats in the back, with a couple buffers rows between us and the students. Then Leo would. not. stop. talking. Squirming in Mass I can handle, but the never-ending "Where's Daddy? I can't see. Who's that? Why are we back here?" etc etc is so stressful. There were kids from first grade through twelvth there and not another peep in the whole room. By the first reading, the Headmaster came over and asked if he could provide babysitting of some sort. I asked if that existed, more surprised than anything, and when he said not really, I knew we had to leave. Peter was crying because he didn't want to go, Leo was obliviously still asking for Dan, and the choir was singing nearby (with no congressional singing expected in the immediate future) when I told Peter to follow me and walked as quickly as I could the whole long way up to the front and out of the room. I have no idea how to teach Leo to stop talking. Peter had his own quiet-at-Mass issues, but non-stop talking hasn't been a problem. I don't want to keep him away from Mass because that'll be easier for me, but not better for him. Our parish has a side area that isn't quite a cry room, but is generally accepted as the louder area where kids are expected. That sort of works. I'm just frustrated.
In better news, we went to a new-to-us grocery store on the way home and the boys were super-helpful and patient. It's double coupon day and we've already done our grocery shopping this week so I was finding the most useful ways to hit $25 and trigger the double coupons and it involved a lot of wandering around the store. Ended up with 4 jars of organic spaghetti sauce ($0.25 first jar, $2.25 other jars, down from $4.79/jar), 2 pkgs of cat anti-hairball treats for 50 cents each (down from $1.79), a 12 oz box of Rice Krispies for $1.60, next week's organic bananas (green) for 69 cents/lb, 3 kids' toothbrushes for $1, and some other things I know we'll use before too long just to reach $25. Ended up paying $26 for $43 of stuff. Tomorrow we'll make Rice Krispy treats for the first time in ages :)