This morning, the boys were completely awful. Putzy, rude, wouldn't get dressed, and then were belligerent when they got downstairs too late to have breakfast. At one point they physically threatened us together, Gabriel with his fist raised, Julian shouting "HOW ABOUT I KICK YOU THEN!"
My back is much much better -- I had my last physical therapy appointment today -- but by evening I've mostly needed to be lying down. Tonight, I finally felt like I could stand up long enough to bake something. I've really missed baking.
So I decided to make something light and simple, lemon tea cookies. The boys wanted to help, so Gabriel grated the lemon, and Julian mixed the butter and cracked the egg. We stopped for dinner, and then Julian continued to help me since Gabriel asked, "Can I give Katrina a bath?" Dave thought he needed to be there, but I told him Gabriel had it under control, and since it was still light outside, Dave went out to do some watering and general checking of our landscaping.
Julian then helped me drop the cookie batter onto the sheets. While the cookies were baking, he asked if he could help clean up. Uhh, sure! I gave him a few token tasks to do, which he finished and asked for more -- next thing I knew, he'd rinsed and loaded everything into the dishwasher, and washed the few things that don't go in! Minus some heavy pans and glass bowls, he did everything!
Then Gabriel came downstairs...oh yeah, where was Katrina? "She's in bed," he said happily. He'd given her a bath, brushed her hair and teeth, put a pull-up on her, got her to put her PJs on, read her a story and probably even kissed her good-night. Dave came inside to find that this entire job was completely done.
Then the boys and I sat down to enjoy our lemon tea cookies, which Gabriel raved over. He often doesn't like things I bake, so this was high praise indeed. I knew the cookies were extra-special to them since they'd done so much of the work to make them.
But the helpfulness didn't stop there. The boys both wore their last pair of clean shorts today, so I asked them to go upstairs and put all their pants in the washer and start the washer. They almost argued over who would get to do this, but after they went upstairs I could hear the washer starting -- somehow they worked it out and got their laundry started.
Are these my boys?! I couldn't believe it. Helpful, cooperative, cheerful, and willing -- not just for novel things that are fun, but even for drudgerous things that they usually complain about (laundry). What a great difference from this morning. I don't expect the magic will last long, but I'm feeling pretty enchanted tonight!