Monday through Friday we are on a tight schedule in the morning to get breakfast, take showers/tubbies, get dressed and ready for the bus. Our little system usually works quite well, and the down time that's left gets used up peacefully; quietly watching a quick episode of Sponge Bob, or playing a video game, or setting up matchbox cars all over the hallway for an unsuspecting parent to step on, and rather ungracefully skate into a wall, leaving an array of ugly bruises and sore feet. Sure, there may be small quarrels over the t.v., or who gets to use the laptop, or what to wear for the day, but they're usually small and smoothed over easily enough.
Saturday blows in like the stink from the sewage treatment plant on a windy day. While I look forward to Saturday all week, it never fails to arrive like a kick in the ass. I wake up to Miles screaming about something that doesn't meet his expectations (his choice of breakfast, someone else watching a television program, the dog chewed his Lego's, he peed his pants and a parental figure is insisting on him changing his clothing). Max is heard in the background complaining that there's nothing to dooooooo and he never gets any time on the computer, and Miles is bothering him. This usually prompts an argument between the two in which an action figure who goes by the name of "Red Power Ranger-with-the-missing-hand-because-Sammy-chewed-it-off-and-ate-it-then-pooped-it-out" is used as a weapon upside the face. Someone wails. The other retaliates by karate-chopping his brother with one of the many "play" swords we have kicking around this house. The other one wails. Meanwhile, we discover the pile of poo that Sammy the dog has left because it's Saturday and we didn't get him out first thing in the morning like usual. And by "discover", I mean someone has stepped in it.
All this is happening while that first sip of coffee is being consumed and we're trying to clear the fog from our brains. I have decided that the easiest thing to do is lock our children in their own rooms until I feel like letting them out. It actually worked quite well for us this morning. Sure, there were some tears initially, but in all fairness, they were both crying already. I have no pangs of sympathy for them, their rooms are stocked full of interesting toys, books, video games etc., with no one else to bother them, take their toys and get into what they are trying to do. However, it's at this moment of solitude that they suddenly realize they sure do love their brother and feel bad about that black eye and do, in fact, want to play nicely. They will exit their rooms with a renewed sense of familial love and may even hug their sibling affectionately before launching into a new battle over who gets to watch what show and sit in the choice sofa section.
By this time in the morning Rob and I are already perfectly annoyed with our children and thinking about if there are any pressing chores or errands to do that will extract us from their presence. It's just something about Saturdays, always so pleasantly anticipated, so hard to wake up to.