Four kids, by today’s standards this is double the average family size and therefore an exceptionally large family, it is not. You can visually identify 5 objects without counting and the average van has seats for at least 7 so we are still a small family.
That being said, the first week with a new kid around is always a little interesting. I started out the week determined to make the transition of the new addition easy on the other critters. They are always unsettled when mom is unavailable so I figured I ought to go easy on them.
At the beginning of the week I adopted the disciplinary attitude of a Hippy Camp Counselor, “hey kids, Mommy just had a baby, lets have fun and try to help out”. There were exceptions to the rules and multiple second chances. They were allowed to sleep in daddy’s bed, choose the movies, minimal discipline.. Yeah, that dude did not last very long, he did not realize that he was dealing with a professional lot of hardened toddlers, they saw the easy target and decided to demolish that poor sap. Never have you seen a more miserable lot of tots.
Second day, Mr. Hippy did not show up for work. No, his replacement came in, Officer Nice Guy. He was somewhat sympathetic and understanding. He understood mommy was not here but you still have to obey the rules. He was letting these little people off with a warning and he let them choose between two movie options… oh, and they were not getting dessert before finishing the healthy stuff. But alas, the work of Mr Hippy had given the impression that anarchy was the order of the day and ‘Officer Nice Guy’ was a little out of his depth here.
Day Three, Officer Nice Guy was relieved of his duties and was replaced by an ‘Old West Hanging Judge’. This guy had been Sheriff for years and had no tolerance for rule breakers. He was tired and grumpy and he was not about to put up with anything. No warnings, no second chances, you know the rules, you break the rules you pay the price and May He have mercy on your soul… Judge Dad was harsh…you eat what I serve or you will grow old in that chair. I will eat my dessert in front of you as a reminder that you are not getting any. If you are fighting over a toy, Judge Dad does not care who it belongs to or who had it first, the toy is removed indefinitely. You scream at me, you go into solitary confinement and I will throw away the key. 😉
One of my little desperados grew so used to solitary that he started liking it, another had so many years added to her sentence for bad behaviour that I forgot she was in there. Oh and Judge Dad had complete control of the remote, there was only one show playing and it was played on silent.
Day Four, Judge Dad was so happy Mommy was home that he retired, kids were so happy mommy was home that they resumed their normal behaviour and became the slightly unruly citizens I recognized. It also helped that they were so interested in initiating the new member that they forgot just about everything else. Officer Nice Guy’s suspension was lifted and was free to resume his normal duties.
All of us concluded that Hippies suck and resolved if he ever showed his stupid head we would probably have him executed.