And unfortunately, I am not referring to my children.
Its a rainy day. I've been trying to engage my children in an activity that does not involve the television or the computer to no avail. No interest in making bead-chains, decorations, water-colors. Joey briefly got interested in drawing cupcakes and coloring them and cutting them out, but then he wanted to take them to a friend. Great.
So I give up, put them in shoes and coats to go for a walk in the lull of the rain. We are out to collect leaves and other now-wet items, and Joey had put his paper cupcakes in his bucket, so I offered to hold them. I take the cupcakes and store them in a safe pocket- to be left also holding the bucket. "No, Joey," I hand him back his bucket. "You have to carry this."
And then the "I have to be first" game starts. Joey runs screaming down the street because Andy is ahead of him. And then he gets ahead of Andy, and Andy starts to run to get ahead of Joey. And they are both screaming. And no one is looking at leaves, or acorns, or even where they are going. We live in the town, you have to watch for things like cars.
So I call them back, and try to explain that we are trying to have a nice walk and... Joey starts chewing on his bucket, wandering away down the street, paying not one nevermind to me at all... actually, he's just avoiding me. Right into the street.
So I recall him, and take the bucket so he will pay attention to what I am saying, and he starts emptying his lungs.
We gather ourselves together, and we start to continue the walk...
And it starts to pour. We need to go home. So I say, "It's raining, we have to go home." And Joey commences screaming again, now a good tantrum- how frustrating to be told everything is fine, only to it suddenly not be fine for an entirely different reason.
I melted down on the spot.
I manage to get hold of hands and half-drag my children back to the house, with Joey screeching the whole block home.
Edited a couple of hours later: JOey is in front of the computer Andy is watching his beloved new favorite, Max and Ruby. All quiet on the eastern front.