Okay, so here's the truth: I was losing my mind.
Robb had been gone for three days (a short trip in the current stretch), and we were in the final stretch until his homecoming. I promise you, it's like the boys can tell when we're getting close to the goal. Dogs and bees smell fear; my children smell the end of my patience. When I'm nearly spent, they try all their best tactics. I'm really sure: it's a conspiracy.
We finished dinner (a frozen pizza with a side of applesauce... yum-o), I gave them their baths (why does the bathroom floor always seem more saturated than the children in the bath tub?), but we still had an unbearable journey in front of us before respite arrived.
There was only one cure in my mind: I needed an iced mocha from McDonalds. Seriously. I had craved it all afternoon. It was the key to a happy evening. Or at least life after dinner.
In a stroke of genius, I said, "Guys! I have a surprise! We are going on a Pajama Ride! We'll hop in the car in our jammies, we'll listen to Bob Songs (Veggietales), and we'll go get a special drink for Mommy. Everybody gets to take one toy along. Hurry! Let's go!"
Tucker chose his elephant, Moe. (Cleverly named when that was one of the only words he could say.)
Tyler chose his blanket and a hairbrush. Sure, kiddo. Your choice.
And off we went. Blaring their favorite song (I've Got the Joy, Joy Joy), we trekked to McD's. I got my precious iced mocha, and they each got a little pack of Ronald McDonald cookies. A perfect plan for everyone.
Coffee, cookies, and an adventure. I believe we have started a tradition. And it could carry us a long, long way during these long days, late nights, home stretches, and business trips.
(Watch for us at your local McDonald's drive-thru.)