Tonight the three youngest were fighting over everything, complaining about everything and cooperation was not something any of them were interested in. They concerned themselves with whatever it was the others were concerned with, which, in turn, brought out the worst in each of them. Tough times like this in our house call for tough measures.
But don't let the solemn little face fool you. Ethan wasn't being punished with hard labor for failing to cooperate, he loves to clean the floors with my handy little Swiffer SweeperVac. It's my deploy and divert tactic - give them something to do they enjoy - and it generally works like a charm, but tonight my little trick didn't last very long.
Cole, who hasn't discovered the benefits of walking away and leaving well enough alone, found it hilarious that any kid would want to help out with the domestic duties around here and had to make fun of Ethan.
Hence the harmony was short-lived.
While Ethan and Cole squabbled over whether or not cleaning the floor was "dumb", which led to the pete and re-pete "I'm not dumb, you're dumb", see who can say it the longest contest, Chandler stepped in to help...
...which led to Wolrd War III:
"Chandler! I had it first! Why do you always have to coffee me?" screamed Ethan, to which Chandler replied, "I am not coffee you, Ethan!"
"Yes you are".
"No mine not!"
Then it was Grandpa to the rescue to put an end to it once and for all. Well, kind of.
He scooped up Ethan and Chandler and plopped them in the tub. Usually there's nothing better than warm sudsy water to wash away their troubles, but as I retreated to the basement to blog, they were still debating over who was coffee-ing whom while splashing water on each other in the bath tub.
It wasn't until we threatened to withhold their bedtime snack that the copy cats, I mean "coffe cats", decided to end their little battle. They knew it wouldn't be very long before they would have a much larger war to wage: "I don't want to go to bed!"