I Lost That Win

Luke had his annual school concert this evening. We have sat through many years of these events, sometimes several per year when all the kids were in the elementary school. We have learned from experience that while we love seeing our kids on stage, Micah does not feel so warm and fuzzy toward his siblings. His feeling is more like, "is this over yet? I'll just wait out here, okay?" And by "out here" he means not in the auditorium where the action is taking place. The hallway is a great place to run and avoid sitting quietly. The bathroom is always a must-visit. The parking lot would sure be fun if only mom and dad didn't monitor his whereabouts so closely.

Darn those parents that care.

So tonight we had a plan. Sam and I would use Luke's school concert as a date night (this is what 19 years of marriage and 4 kids looks like) and let Micah home with Josh. It would be a win all around. Josh wouldn't have to sit through the concert, Micah wouldn't disrupt everyone in the entire school building including the kids on stage, and Sam and I could actually enjoy the production this year. We're genius.

Except we're not, because Micah is involved. That boy throws a monkey wrench in everything that we do.

Micah decided that he needed to go with us. Luke is his favorite frenemy, and Luke was wearing a shirt and tie. That means that Luke was going to do something super duper fun, and there was no way Micah was missing out on a tie wearing occasion. Shockingly, he didn't feel the need to don a tie himself. The boy loves dressing up. We explained that Luke had a school concert and that he was going to stay home with Josh, but Micah was having none of that. He cried, and pouted, and yelled, and put his shoes on and sat in the van.

This is one of those moments when you could physically see the thoughts hovering over our heads. SERIOUSLY?! After the Disney fiasco(s) of trying to make the boy sit through musical productions, and having him ask to go potty every 30 seconds to escape the torture, and then having to take him out because it's just too much for his senses to handle, there was no way I was going to have a repeat of that. Given the choice, I'd far rather have watched The Lion King than an elementary school chorale, but I wasn't given the choice. I figure I have the right to at least sit through the second best without any interruptions, and I was claiming that right. I'm the parent, after all.

"Micah, you're staying home with Josh."


"Yes. Josh is staying with you and Luke is going to sing at school."

No. (Mind you, he's firmly ensconsed in his seat in the van.)

"Listen. It's going to be boring, and you don't like these. If you go, you will sit in your chair the whole time. Do you want to stay with Josh?"


"YOU'RE GOING TO SIT THE WHOLE TIME." And we left. Sam and I both decided that this was a battle we were going to take head-on and win, by golly. The boy was not going to go potty every 30 seconds, and he was going to sit through the whole concert. He was not going to step into the aisleway. He was not going to play in the hall. He was going to sit. AND HE WAS GOING TO LIKE IT.

And that's exactly what he did. He patiently sat for 30 minutes until it was time to begin, and then enjoyed the entire production from start to finish. He even asked for more when it was over. It was a win for all of us, but somehow I still feel like I lost and Micah was the real winner. I'm telling you, life with that kid is a roller coaster.

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