We had an ugly couple of hours yesterday. I picked my son up from camp and got everybody snacks; then the fun began.
I'm not going to bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that my son was "Aspergering" all over the place, and my daughter was, in agony, blaming me for completely ruining her life. I did raise my voice, but only briefly. Then I brought it back down to "low and slow." I made my statements and let the ignoring begin. As my ignoring is typically accompanied by their badgering, I packed up my laptop and a book, grabbed my purse, and told them that they could handle being alone in the house for the 15-30 minutes before their father got home and that I was leaving before I smacked one of them or doled out rash consequences impossible to implement.
They accompanied me to the door with cries of, "No, Mom, STAY! I promise I won't do it anymore. Stay, Mom. Don't go!" Just as I loaded up the car, my friend pulled up to pick up something from me. I grabbed it and chatted with her for a few minutes. My children, who had 15 seconds prior promised me to behave, screeched at each other on the other side of the storm door, and I could tell that they were pushing at each other in various versions of "get out of my way" confrontations.
Those few minutes with my friend were enough of a break for me, but I stayed out on the porch for awhile longer as it seemed prudent. Needless to say, dinner was late last night.
We did our post-mortems after dinner, when everyone was calm. Then I went to the grocery store for a short list. I'm not particularly fond of grocery shopping, but I'll take any break I can get. I ran into a friend of mine not 10 feet inside the door -- in the banana aisle, if you're interested -- and there we stayed for the next three hours, chatting and laughing and swapping stories, better therapy than the therapist I don't yet have. (I can only guess that what kept her in the banana aisle for three hours was that she has five kids at home. :) I got home after midnight to a quiet house and a sleeping family, dogs included.
Today is a new day.