Things in the parenting department have been a little slack around here lately. Over the course of the last year, I've tried to keep up with some regular order and general sense of discipline. Sometimes it has worked, sometimes it hasn't. Let's face it - I am seriously outnumbered. There are four of them, and only one of me, and the one of me has been stretched a little thin. There have been many days when I've thought, "I don't care what you do as long as it is quiet!" Best not to say that out loud, though.
Fortunately, we're adding another adult here pretty soon. We are all super-excited to have Daddy come home, but I am a little concerned about how my kids will react to this shift in power. We've all heard the stereotype of a military dad coming home and imposing his military order on the household. I'm guessing that isn't exactly what's happening at least not all of the time. It seems more likely that it is a simple math calculation: twice as many parents means twice as much parenting. I've got a house full of kids who have grown a lot, taken on new responsibilities, gained some privileges, and gotten away with some stuff that they shouldn't have managed. They have had more control than they ever had before this deployment. Adding Dad back into the equation means twice as many chances to get caught doing something wrong, twice as many opportunities to be reminded to do your chores, and twice as many times that someone is going to be checking on you when you are reading under the covers. The odds are shifting in favor of the grown-ups, and that can't be fun for the kids.
I've talked to my kids about this idea and they act as if they understand. I have my doubts that they've really internalized what I was saying, or that they'll care when they realize how Dad's return is going to change their world. Hopefully, there won't be any dramatic explosions or meltdowns (though I'm not particularly optimistic about that) and we can easily transition back into a family where the parents are pretty clearly in charge of stuff.
Yeah, I'll let you know how that plan works out.