We have a new nighttime routine in our family. Like most things, it sort of evolved slowly over time, but I’d say we’ve been living our current version for several weeks now.
It goes something like this:
I leave work and pick up one child. Usually Krystal is first, but depending on my schedule for the day it might be Belle. Either way, whichever child and I have an enjoyable enough drive to pick up the other child. Sometimes we share parts of our day, sometimes we talk about what is for dinner, sometimes we sing along to the radio. It’s nearly always a pleasant time.
Then we pick up the next child. Cue the ominous music now.
Bicker, bicker, bicker, bicker.
That’s mine! You did it! No, you did it! Get out of my backpack! Don’t touch my homework! Mom! She’s touching me! Make her stop looking at me! She pinched me! Copycat!
I am serenaded by this all the way home. It really puts me in a “coming home at the end of a long day” state of mind.
Once we get home it’s not any better because suddenly there are chores to do. I need to get dinner on the table. Dogs need to go out and get fed. Krystal has homework. Often laundry needs folding and putting away and of course there are always toys, clothes and whatnot to be picked up everywhere we look. Couple this with the duet my children play with each other and it’s a real recipe for stress.
But last night in the car, somewhere after a “Stop breathing at me!” from one child to the other, my hero intervened. Taylor Swift, singing “You Belong with Me” started wafting over the radio, and both girls were suddenly focused only on that song. They quieted down to hear it, and then joined in.
Music to my ears.