Today I gave the kids coffee at breakfast. It was a drop of coffee in a big cup of milk, not even enough to colour it, and yet…it seemed like I would have to pay for that. The kids claim their friends drink coffee, and since I always let them do whatever all their friends are doing (insert hysterical laughter here), it seemed reasonable to serve my kids a cup of joe before their morning lessons.

And while it couldn’t possibly have been that drop of coffee, the morning did not go well. Zahra was unusually distracted by what Noah and Leila were doing and kept adding her two cents to their lessons (i.e., telling them the “answers” because, just in case I wasn’t sure if she could read five-letter words in French or complete a simple sequence of ants and butterflies, now I know). As usual, I had a few options to keep Leila busy, but she wasn’t having any of it. I told her that if she didn’t want to trace c’s, she could clean the table, or water the basil, or play with the Magformers, or draw, or make something out of clay, or GO PLAY. But all she wanted to do was throw coloured pencils across the room and whine. Oh wait, she did say she wanted to read like Noah. But not learn the sounds of any letters beyond “a” and “b”. It was a morning of unreasonable demands from Dictator Leila until the populace revolted and drove her to the far end of the kingdom, i.e. the girls’ room. Noah, meanwhile, forgot how to read. The cards in front of him took on magical powers and presented him with letters that were not visible to anyone else in the room. Strange. And there was something hysterically funny about those cards, too, because Noah kept on ending up on the floor giggling. Hmmmm.

So I did what any Parent of the Year would do, and I bribed them. Zahra, practice your piano; Noah, match those blue cards; Leila, put your shoes on without whining. And then we’ll go for a bike ride and out for lunch. And that is what we did.

I just don’t have any pictures to post because my hands were wrapped around a warm cup of coffee for much of the day. It was either that or lock myself in my room.