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Lately, I’ve had the feeling that the sound of my voice has, as far as the boys are concerned, has morphed into the muted trumpet sound of any adult in the Peanuts’ – “Ba bwa bwa bwaaaaaa…..”

And so, I have decided to take another stab at choosing my battles – i.e. not making a fuss over every little thing. I’ve taken some baby steps in the right direction this week and have managed not to lecture the boys about:

1) Bothering the dog. Who am I to say that they’re actually annoying the dog. He’s certainly proved to be very tolerant SO far. We’ve already issued a blanket statement promising that we WILL provide any and all cosmetic surgery and emotional support they might need if the dog, in fact, bites them some day, BUT we will NOT be holding it against the poor dog. Enough said.

2) Sleeping in their street clothes, plus a sleeping bag, plus blankets. They LOVE to be absolutely smothered when they sleep. They’re 9 years old, and I guess I need to stop freaking out when they put their head UNDER their pillows to fall asleep. I may not be able to stop complaining about having to wash the nasty clothes and sheets from these nightly sweat-fests.

3) Reading while listening to their iPods and watching television. You know what? I’m glad they’re reading, and, judging by the lengthy play-by-plays that I get about everything, most of it is getting through. I can’t always figure out whether we’re talking about a book, a game, or a program, but they take all three pretty seriously. I used to harp about doing ONE thing at a time, until I remembered that I’ve been doing that for YEARS. Pot calling kettle, what?

4) Playing basketball….in their bedrooms. The trick to ignoring this one is NOT to be downstairs, under their rooms, where it sounds like the ceiling is coming down. It’s not nearly as loud upstairs. Especially if you wear earplugs.

5) Roughhousing with Daddy. Just.Walk.Away. It’s not easy to ignore the three of them wrestling in the family room, but I have to, for my own sanity. They can’t have it both ways — “Hang out with us!”, they say…..”But, don’t yell at us!”. No can do. If anyone needs me, I’ll be upstairs watching Bravo.

We’ll see how long I last……