Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chaos in the Carpool

Chris and Caleb wearing matching shirts!

I've just discovered a new torture technique for the military, more effective than water torture or sleep deprivation: chauffeuring five kids in a carpool. Yesterday I did just that, and I'm not sure I'll ever be the same! I think part of the problem was four of the passengers were related, and as you know siblings know just what buttons to push on each other.

Cooper is particularly "gifted" in pushing brothers' buttons. He has the unique ability to never actually touch another sibling, but bug them enough that they finally snap. Then the disgruntled sibling lashes out at Cooper in one way or another. Cooper erupts into tears, and feigns surprise with the outcome. (Deep down I know it's wrong, but Cooper sort of had it coming!)

Yesterday was one of Cooper's performances. Collin was sitting in the middle with our carpool friend five-year old Grace. The three older boys were sitting shoulder to shoulder in the back row. A few minutes into our commute, Cooper starts leaning towards Caleb.

Caleb (not one to let things slide): "Cooper's leaning on me."

Me: "Cooper quit leaning on Caleb. Sit up straight."

Cooper sits up straight and starts to look directly at Caleb and blows in his face.

Caleb (with tensions rising): "Cooper's breathing on me."

Me: "Cooper, stop breathing on Caleb."

Cooper stops breathing on him, but then moves on to swing his legs in close proximity to Caleb's shins.

Caleb (completely flustered): "Cooper's trying to kick me."

Me: "Cooper, don't kick your brother."

At this point, Connor decides to join the fray too, not one to be left out.

After several exchanges like this, I could feel my blood pressure start to boil and my fingers clutching the wheel with pure frustration. Just at the point where I thought I'd explode, I started to....laugh. Not just giggle, but howl almost to the point of tears. The whole scene was actually pretty funny: Grace looking bewildered, Collin acting like nothing was happening (as the youngest of four boys he's used to all this), and total and utter chaos in the back row. It was hilarious.

Then I laughed even harder when I thought how my mom would feel witnessing this scene. I'm sure she would laugh too, reflecting back on my childhood and all the torture I inflicted on my younger siblings in the car. After a few chuckles, she would utter, "Finally, payback!"

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