Cindy's taking the morning off again; she's still sick, unfortunately (though she had seemed to be better yesterday). T.J.'s staying home to care for the boys, same as he did yesterday morning. Cindy's kept her sense of humor, like her fascination with Anne Coulter's Adam's apple.
Later today I'll rent a car for the weekend
As for the kids, Robbie's really warmed to me (yay!), while Eric has been, shall we say, less impressed. They are a handful, trying to get into many things or whipping between emotional states like manic-depressive chihuahuas; oy, it's hard to do more than say "Don't do this" or "Don't touch that," and be positive instead of continually telling them what they can't do. And not point out to them some of the moments when they're making no sense, like when the boys and I were drawing on a big dry-erase and I started to erase lines Cindy had drawn, the lines Row, row, row your boat/ gently down the stream...and Eric got upset and told me he didn't want me to erase that, but never telling me during THE SEVERAL SECONDS I TOOK TO SLOWLY ERASE THE THING IN FULL VIEW OF HIM. Oh, well.
I'm more and more admiring how T.J. and Cindy keep their patience and sense of humor working. Of course, they're used to 4-year-olds; I'm not, and I've probably conveniently forgotten a lot of what I was like at 4 years old. Would that knowledge even help? My knowledge of How Kids Are is more intellectual than emotional; my brother and his wife have both types of knowledge. (And they don't dwell on stuff, Chris. You do. You know that kids have dramatic mood swings; you've seen it; you've written about it; but you act as if the boys will only ever be problems, when they can be and often are joys.)
So here's a happy thing from yesterday: While Eric napped (he's been under the weather, too), Cindy and Rob relaxed on a guest bed in the computer room while I typed stuff on the computer, in big letters for Rob to see from across the room. Cindy told me to type "Giant Tickle Monster"; I did; the two of them recite each word slowly, then she attacked, tickle-tickle-tickling Rob, and he laughed. Then I erased that and wrote "Happy Hugging Mother." They recited those words, and then they hugged. I did that on purpose, to give Robbie a break. Tickling can wear you out.
Waking up straight from a dream, as I'm pretty sure I did this morning, can wear you out, too. OK, Chris, you are clean and dressed and presentable; get on with things.