Another blast from the past. As I read this, it occurred to me how much I miss the kids at this stage I thought would never end…

If I invented a car, it would come with soundproof pods for each passenger and an eject button. There’s almost nothing more irritating than a messy van packed to the gills with sports gear, plastic bags meant for recycling some day in the distant future, recently bought groceries that have to be shoved in the passenger areas because my hatch doesn’t work unless you hold it up (I opened it at hockey practice the other day and 2 bags full of leftover yard sale clothes fell out. Picture me picking clothes up with one hand and holding the hatch open with the other. If you’ve seen a green shirt sleeve hanging out the back, that’s why. I gave up.) Add to that 4 loud, obnoxious, quarrelsome kids fighting over candy and, well, it’s a recipe for complete insanity.

I tried at first to be calm and diplomatic, diffusing the tension and redirecting the conversation to less controversial topics. Like politics. Failure…

Aubrey: “It’s MY candy.”

Me: “You have enough candy for a year. You’re sharing with your brothers.”

Aubrey: “Fine. Then I will divide it.”

Ayden: (bending over to pick up Aubrey’s falling candy bag)

Aubrey (shrieking): “DON’T TOUCH THAT!” 

Meanwhile Addison, who “called” shotgun, was blasting the radio while Avery attempted to tell me a story. I turned it down, nonchalantly, so I could hear him from the “WAY back seat” among the bags. She immediately reached over and turned it back up. Apparently this person doesn’t get subtlety, so I gave her the “mom” look. You know it. And she values her phone, so she backed away from the volume. Peace reigned for exactly 28 seconds.

Did I mention that this was the ride home from our church’s AWANA Carnival? 

Honestly, if we were hamsters, they’d have met their Maker long ago. Diplomacy was pointless at this stage in their moods, so I pulled out the big guns. 

Me: “Listen, people. If you continue to fight and PISS ME OFF, the candy will be mine.”

I know, I know. Don’t judge. Desperation is that part of parenting when you do and say things you wished you hadn’t. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but there’s still room for improvement. The great part about my kids is that when they see that I’ve had enough, they generally respond by only being slightly irritating, or at least torturing each other more quietly. Hey, I’ll take what I can get. There’s not much you can do with a 7-year-old on a cotton candy sugar high except wait it out.

Desperation can lead us to bad places, but it can also bring us to exactly the place God wants us to be. When we are desperate for Him, He is automatically who we search after. He who seeks Him, will find Him. And He never gets angry with us for asking for help. He doesn’t have more important things to do than help you, or me. To Him, it is all important. Plus, He’s God, so He can totally handle all the chaos. 

My chaos threshold is higher than most, but even I have a breaking point. It’s when I get to that breaking point that I have a choice: pray and ask God to get me through it His way, or say bad words. I wish I could say I choose His way all the time, but then when I tell you the story about one of Aubrey’s first 20 words being “dammit”, you’d know I was lying. 

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