My kids are riding the school bus this year. It was a big decision...Not! After a week of spending 90 minutes in the car each day driving the *one mile* to and from school and waiting through traffic and car lines, we opted to try the bus. Because our kids would have to walk along a very busy road to get to school, we're eligible for bus service, even though we're only a mile away. There is only one stop between our house and school, so they're only on the bus for about 10 minutes each way. It works out great for us, and they love it. Yesterday I learned that they use those 10 minutes on the way home to plan their afternoon. Yesterday when I picked them up at the bus stop, they were bursting with their plan.
Snapper: "Mom, we have a grand and glorious plan!"
Pepper: "Yup! A grand and lorious plan."
Me: "Sounds exciting! Let's get home and we can sit together and you can tell me all about your plan."
On the 1-minute drive home, I heard that Snapper and her friend C stay in at lunch to sharpen all the pencils and clean the whiteboard because they want to serve their teacher. I also heard that Pepper had to move his star today because he was touching one of his friends when they were in line for the drinking fountain. Apparently this teacher is serious about "keep your hands and your feet to yourself."
Once at home, they unpacked their lunchboxes while I scooped a dish of ice cream for each child. Every now and then it's nice to have a break from their traditional after-school fruit and cheese snack. We gathered together around the table to hear "The Plan."
Snapper: (takes a deep breath, sighs dramatically, places both hands on the table) "Our plan really is grand and glorious. We have decided that we are tired of fighting every day."
Pepper: (vigorously nodding) "Yup. We're tired of fighting. We love each other and we want to get along."
Snapper: "So today we are going to try something. We are going to do our homework. Then, we are going to go in Pepper's room and I will help him clean it."
Pepper: "We'll clean my room together. Then I'll help Snapper clean her room."
Snapper: "Then, as a reward for our hard work, I will put my Irish music on my cd player. I'll put Pepper's favorite song on repeat, and we will dance together." Pepper's favorite song also happens to be Snapper's favorite song, too...
Pepper: "And we'll dance until the cows come home." Where did he get that? I don't think Matt or I have ever said that...
Snapper: "And we will not be mean to each other."
Pepper: "Yup, we're not allowed to be mean. We'll only be very nice. I'll give Snapper lots of hugs."
Snapper: "And I won't push him away when he tries to hug me."
Pepper: "And we won't do anything without permission."
Snapper: "He means he won't come in my room without knocking, and I won't sneak in his room to borrow his toys without asking him."
Pepper: "And we'll all be one big, happy family."
Snapper: "Yup. One big happy family."
At this point Pepper whimpers like a puppy, bolts from his seat to Snapper's seat, and falls into her arms crying. She starts crying. And I finish off my ice cream while my two kids cling to each other and howl. I am still not sure how I managed to keep a straight face. OH THE DRAMA!!! These kids are running on the school's cross-country team this year. I'm wondering if I should put them in theater instead...
When I kissed their sweet, sleeping faces on my way to bed last night, I realized that they had successfully carried out their plan. Not an ounce of argument was heard in our house yesterday. I hope they bring home the same plan today, because I'm loving it!