Kids are great, and I love mine. Except when they make me want to bury my head under a pillow and scream. Every once in a while, the adorable darlings threaten to turn mommy or daddy sociopathic. In those cases, it's time for THE LIST:
Home Game. With two boys, two years apart, playdates are a god-send. Four children are much easier to watch than two -- they entertain each other for hours.
Away Game. It's important to make friends with other parents. They are fun and going through the same thing you are. And when you host playdates, it means they can host them, too!
Drown them in extra homework. Maybe my kids are weird, but this works sometimes. In addition to what they get at school, we have several homeschool books and sometimes they really get into the puzzles, mazes and math games. If that doesn't work, skip to the next option.
Lift the electronics limit. Every once in a while, I let my boys have a full-on orgy of electronics time -- with the family laptop, iPad, iPhone, XBOX... whatever they're in the mood for.
The gym... oh yes, the gym. Like the Mom in this week's Coffee Shop Confessions, I've used the gym as escape time. I still do, though I actually work out when I go there. My boys take karate three times per week at my gym, and believe me when I say I would never, ever get there without them. But who's to begrudge this mom a little magazine time at the gym if she prefers it? Next month maybe she can read it on the treadmill.