My house is thrashed because my cleaning lady quit (we're about a month out. It's bad.) I'm working fully time, it's summer, and I've always got deadlines hanging over me and something waiting for me to finish it. The last couple of weekends I ventured out over the weekend mostly so I could avoid having to do anything at home. I go to my sister's (140 miles away) where my older son and his family are as well. It's like going to a resort...a lovely private pool, a computer room, gourmet kitchen (and her cleaning lady is full time) lots of things to do. Between myself and all the relatives the kids are always entertained and never have any meltdowns. We come back late at night on Sunday, tan and tired and fall into bed, then up on Monday morning and out the door. I'm home this weekend and hoped that we'd just have a nice quiet weekend. Lilly freaked out yesterday and yelled at me ("I HATE you! WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!") and flopped around bellowing and in general acting ugly, so I grounded her for the rest of the day and we worked on acceptable behavior and what it means to have it. By "grounding" I mean she got to stay inside and no visits across the street with her friend. Today she's fine; in fact, she's great. But the boy is a wee bit volatile. His friend was here and my son was getting downright demanding and bossy and finally just got carried away so I sent his little buddy home. And when Wallace threw his new Lego Harry Potter game on the ground, I picked it up after he stomped away and told him I was throwing it away. At the time he said he didn't care, but later we had howling, and rolling, and unflattering commentary about mom (which got the teeth soaped a wee bit). Followed by a runaway scene which I will spare you but ended with me holding the phone and threatening to call "Nana" to pick him up and to keep him for the rest of the day. I don't remember the first boys being so dramatic - not until they were in their teens. I wonder if it's a good sign these two are going through it now? Does it mean we got it over and adolescence will be bump free? Or will they just go through a worse stage later, and is their precociousness now just a tiny taste of the nightmare to come????? Parenthood is not for sissies.