And everything was going so well!
We exhausted ourselves yesterday, but woke in good spirits and headed out to the Sandwich Glass Museum at about 10AM. That in itself was something of a miracle, since I'm not exactly fast-moving in the mornings these days. Near constant dosing with Aleve is helping, but the days when I don't seriously contemplate hip replacement are few and far between. Nevertheless, I'm managing.
After the museum -- and the obligatory shopping -- we had a nice lunch in Sandwich at the Taverna, and then came home. We're having July weather now, which means sticky and hazy and hot, which is good beach weather. I wanted to go to the beach straight off, but the neighbors across the street had up their inflatable water slide, so all the kids went over to play on that, having previously received an open invitation.
We finally did make it to the beach shortly after 3, but didn't get to stay too long. The kids have been in herd mode all summer, and seemingly getting dumber and dumber about it each passing day. All kids laugh at potty humor and can be obsessed with bodily functions, but they all know that's not something they should be doing in public. One of them had made up a song they liked to sing which of course involved various naughty words, which they were chanting at the beach. I had to remind them a few times that while we'll tolerate that at home (and where the grown-ups don't have to hear it), it's not appropriate out in public. After repeated warnings to knock it off I finally told them that if I heard it again then we'd be going... and not 10 minutes later DS1 starts singing, followed by one of the cousins.
That's it, everyone out of the water, we're out of here! I let them drip for a few minutes, had them all wrap up in their towels, and bundled them back into the car. I was disappointed because I didn't want to leave the beach, but at the same time I was relieved because I was tired of screeching at them like a harpy for being such rude children! It was embarrassing.
In spite of that, we agreed they could do one last sleep-over, but in retrospect we should've nixed it after the beach incident. On a dare, DS2... well, let's say he did something that he's known not to do since he was about 2 years old, the kind of thing puppies used to get swatted with rolled-up newspapers for doing. The girls came upstairs to tell the grown-ups about it, and that was that: end of the sleepover, much yelling, crying and carrying on from various chidren, not to mention complete disavowal of responsibility. We asked the older ones, Why didn't you stop him? They didn't notice what he was doing. We asked DS2, why would you do such a thing? His cousin dared (or possibly told) him to... to which we replied, so what!
Anyway, my brother is completely disgusted and taking his family home tomorrow instead of Thursday -- or so he says now, we'll see how he feels in the light of day. I'm at a loss as to what meaningful consequence I can impose on my kids at this point. The immediate consequences -- loss of sleep-over, major chastisement -- hardly seem sufficient. DH recommended a complete ban on the potty talk, with severe consequences for infractions, and I'm on board with that, but I just don't know what else to do.
It's really too bad the vacation should have to unravel like this. I just feel disappointed that the kids would behave so inappropriately, and afraid that this is going to taint the rest of the summer. Honestly I wish I could pack up my kids and take them home, too -- it would be so much easier to deal with this there! But that's not an option at all, and DH won't be here until Sunday.