This past week has been draining. I hoped the kids would be on better behavior after the weekend, but no luck so far.

Let’s see…this first one will be a TMI for sure. Skip it if you have a queasy stomach or you don’t have kids. On Tuesday, June took a nap like usual. When she woke up, instead of coming and telling me useful things like “Mama, I woke up,” she took off her clothes and diaper, pooped on the floor, smeared it EVERYWHERE, and then dumped her cup of milk all over it. Guess how fun cleaning up wasn’t. I put her in the bath, set to work cleaning and running laundry, and discovered that June can climb out of the tub onto the counter. She was giving herself a new bath in the sink. I suppose that isn’t too bad, just water everywhere, but while I was dealing with her, Evan was terrorizing the dog. He likes to knock on the door because the dog freaks out, thinking someone is here.

On Wednesday, the kids were both being their usual slightly-naughty selves. Evan demanded that I put on a movie for him, and I said no. He shouted, “Fine, I hate you! June, I hate Mama, so let’s go camping without her.” I try to not let things like that bother me, but HE IS ONLY 3 YEARS OLD. So young to exclude me from camping trips! That night I had YW, and Jarom took the kids with him on a hunt for a frozen 12-lb turkey. After he finally got back (and said the kids were mostly great), my sweet friend Alitha let me come over for hot chocolate even though it was late. It was so nice to get out of the house and have a break from children!

On Thursday, I had plans to meet up with Kimberlee for dessert and thank-goodness-we-left-the-kids-at-home in the evening. Before I left, I told Evan that I wanted to come home and hear that he was a super good listener. And he was! Jarom said Evan was really good (although June made a few messes). That gave me hope for Friday.

Friday evening, Jarom came home from a rough day at work and I told him to go out and do something with friends. He left for a few hours and the kids decided to really show me what they’re like. None of this “super good listener” business. No, they got a can of peaches with a pull-tab lid, opened it, and dumped it on June’s floor. (Thankfully, it’s wood, not carpet.) Then they got my salt and pepper shakers, took them apart, and dumped salt and pepper all over the peach mess. I did manage to get them in bed and asleep by the time Jarom came home, so at least I had a chance to sit down and read in the lovely quiet.

On Saturday, Jarom was working on his car all day. He was already outside when I woke up, and he’d even brought donuts for us! The kids and I were supposed to meet Kimberlee at the mall play area, but Evan refused to look for his shoes – I haven’t got a clue where he put them, ANY of them, and he was so belligerent and naughty that we had to stay home. I tidied up the living room and finally set to work cleaning the kitchen. The kids were watching a movie. Haha, just kidding. June was shaking a bottle of mustard all over the living room. It got on the floor, the wall, the couch, the tv stand, the dog, the doghouse, and June. Evan escaped unscathed, which makes me think he knew perfectly well what was happening and moved out of the way. They both got sent to their rooms. I’ve been talking with Evan about how he’s often an accomplice to June’s escapades (if not her coach) – even if he isn’t the one doing something naughty, he knows he needs to come tell me when she’s making a mess. So the rule is that he gets in trouble with her.

After cleaning up the mustard mess and finishing the kitchen, and getting lunch for Jarom and all his helpers, I needed a nap. I mistakenly thought that Evan had gotten the message that he should tell me if June was being naughty. Nope, they somehow got some highlighters and colored all over the walls in the kitchen and both kids’ rooms. I was furious. Evan told me that he and June would never, ever be my friends. I was still furious, but I was also worn out. I started crying – to which Evan jumped around in a circle shouting, “We beat her! We beat Mama!”

As a 2-year-old, Evan was (for the most part) sweet and mild. Age 3 has been much more difficult. I thought at first I was wholly to blame, since I was stressed and busy finishing school at the beginning of the year. But even when I’m nice, attentive, patient, and helpful to Evan, he’s stubborn and surly and defiant. In short, he is me. And the Terrible Twos have only been the Terrible Threes, which has recently coincided with June’s Very Terrible Twos. She is devious and wild and uncontrollable.

This morning, Jarom got up with the kids. When he left for work I stayed cozy in bed for a few more minutes before getting up to face the day. And I found that June had gotten the parchment paper and unrolled most of it. Fixable, thankfully. She had a few more moments of mischief and I put her down for a nap. Evan settled down to watch a movie (he usually does while she naps, so he asked as soon as I put her to bed). There was a period of quiet. I began to think maybe June was the real trouble after all.

But…I asked Evan to go brush his teeth, and instead he squirted toothpaste all over the bathroom. He said it was for a party. I made him clean it up, and sent him to his room. That’s been the only major incident today. So far.

The kids are just terrible! I must be doing something wrong. Or else they just love seeing me get riled up. I know – I should stop reacting.

You try, when your living room is covered in mustard!