I was at my wits' end more than once, and may not have displayed the most patient parenting skills available, but there does come a time when I just can't deal with it anymore. There may have been a garbage bag rampage in the girls' room, the boys might have gotten sent to their room more than once, there may have been some toys taken away on a semi-permanent (or permanent in one case) basis, and there may have been a few temper tantrums on my part.
I'm not perfect. I don't even pretend to be.
But, in between the chaos, I had to take Sarah to get her eyes examined. Luckily, The Dude came to my rescue (again) and kept the other 4 kids at home and I just took her downtown to get it done.
We were only gone an hour, but it was a peaceful hour...and in that hour he managed to help/encourage Emily to take care of her mess in the girls' room as well as straighten up the kitchen for me - all the while keeping all 3 of the boys in line. After Sarah and I got home, he got her to take care of her mess in their room too. I don't know how he does it - but he's good at it.
So tomorrow's plans involve having The Dude here all day so that we can clean and start prepping food for our feast on Saturday...we can tag team with the kids to keep them occupied and hopefully prevent them from killing each other and/or burning down the house. At some point, I do have to wrap presents - I was going to do that tonight, but a lack of sleep last night and a lot of emotional stress today (not just the kids, but some other stuff too) are acting together to make this an early night.
If I have to, I'll sneak presents into the bathroom tomorrow during the day to wrap them while The Dude distracts the kids. I really should go out and get more stocking stuffers and a few more small things for the boys....but we'll see what happens in that department.
Right now, the futon is calling my name....