Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Checkers people.

So um last night? I pretended I knew what I was doing as a mother. Rambo was in on this too.

Our girls have been naughty lately. I think it’s that whole “testing the limits” stage that happens every few months. The 10 year old figured out how to be an ass using her snotty words and the 5 year old figured out how to repeat that and they spew the crap at each other 24/7. And then there are the tantrums before 7am from the 5 year old and the frantic “Mom, she’s being bad” phone calls while I’m AT WORK…cuz I can do so much from 20 miles away you know?

Soooo – Rambo and I decide it’s time to “bring down the wrath of God” on them. Um, yes…those are his words. Not mine. Let’s all remember he’s used to dealing with adult criminals who act like children and he forgets our home is NOT a prison (though I’m pretty sure my girls would beg to differ with you).

Anywhoozle, we have a game plan. We know what we’re going to say and do.

I’m not kidding. I felt like we were running an interrogation or a torture scene in some movie - you know with one lightbulb swinging overhead in an otherwise dark room – only the movie is my life and no one wants to watch it and no one is paying me to act in it. Dammit.

We turn off the TV. We put two stools in the kitchen. We tell each child to sit and listen. Holy shitballs. Can you say “deer in the headlights” look? They looked like we were going to pull out baseball bats and beat them. I can’t blame them. They had to be confused. We’ve never sat them in the kitchen before with the TV off. Sounds horrid, doesn’t it?

So Rambo starts by saying, “Can someone explain to me what happened this morning at the sitter’s house?”

The 10 year old is catching on. She’s looking pitiful. The 5 year old. Seriously – snapping gum, smiling and swinging her legs off the stool. Wow. Clueless youth.

They start explaining. I cut in. Rest assured I never once raised my voice. Never once swore or called names. I stuck to the facts like a good interrogator. I said things like:

“You girls are very lucky. You have everything anyone could ever want and I fear you’re starting to take it for granted. I wish you’d be more grateful. I’m tired of the fighting and sassing and back talk. It is not what your Dad and I want to hear after a long day’s work. You go shopping, have friends over every weekend, have TVs and computers and all the things adults get but lately you’ve been acting like little babies by carrying on with tantrums and such. Let’s all try to watch our words before they come out of mouths from now on.”

Deep breath. God – I sound like a mother. I hate this. Can’t we go back to giggling and turn the TV on? I mean really – everything is okay if the TV is on right?

It now also becomes evident just how different my children are. Watermelon, the 10 year old, has the lip out, her eyes are welling up with tears about to spill over, her shoulders are hunched downward. I feel like I took a rolling pin and smashed her spirit with my bare hands.

Banana, at 5, still thinks this is fun. She’s still smiling – to which Rambo of course says, “You think this is funny?” Wow. Did she miss the part about her Dad being a prison guard?  Still chewing her gum. Still has no idea what is happening. Thinks we’re all having a fun time talking about the day’s events. She is clearly confused. I think she thinks we sat her down so we could all eat cookies and sign the Barney song together.

And now it’s time for punishment. In Rambo's daily life this would be something like - you only get 12 sheets of toilet paper, your water gets turned off, you aren't allowed to brush your teeth, you don't get to wear clothing, etc.  Thankfully he agreed - those were too harsh.  (FYI - I'm kidding.)

We tell them they aren’t allowed to watch their TVs in their rooms for one week. And they need to apologize to the sitter for this morning. The end.

HOLY CRAP – let’s just say the 5 year old just realized this is NOT fun anymore.

They go to their rooms. Sobbing uncontrollably. I, of course, go in and tell them that just because we get mad at their actions doesn’t mean we don’t love them. I remind them they are mad at us a lot but they still love us. Hugs and kisses all around. And silence.

You know – cuz 18,000 TVs aren’t on. I really killed them when I told them this just means they’ll need to spend more actual time with Rambo and I.

Banana must have come up to me about 50 times during the night with her little lip quivering and tears rolling saying, “Mommy, I don’t want to call you stupid because I love you.” What? Okay. Yah, good plan. Let’s not call anyone stupid.

The moral of my story? Being a mom that actually disciplines – sucks donkey dicks. It ain’t fun. It’s that whole “this hurts me more than it hurts you” thing – come to full blown life. I’m not a fan.

BUT – there’s a big but because last night? I did a puzzle with Watermelon. We all cooked supper together. Later on Banana cuddled with me on the couch while we watched a family Cmas movie and Watermelon was cuddling with Rambo.

None of those things would have happened had they been watching TV in their rooms. Yes, yes I know. This is not earth-shattering news. I know that. I guess it’s just a reminder to me that sometimes giving them everything gives them nothing much of anything. Nothing that matters anyway. Too much TV means too little family bonding. Too many material items breeds ungratefulness and expectations that things like that are just normal.

Checkers people. That’s what I had as a kid. Checkers. And look how great I turned out?

Oh shitballs…maybe that wasn’t a very good analogy. Scratch that.

Let’s just go with “checkers are good.”


JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

Good. Momming. Gives me a little bit of oomph to handle my own swarm. Thanks for sharing. You are wise.

Jen said...

:) Great story. Love this one!

MandaPanda said...

First, you crack me up! Second...believe me when I say I understand EXACTLY what you're talking about. My darling oldest daughter...when she was 3 decided that the day after Christmas would be a fantastic day to start hitting people again...namely me. So I told her that if she hit me one more time, I was taking every last toy away from her. And she did it. So the DAY AFTER FREAKIN CHRISTMAS, I packed up every toy the child owned and put them in the garage (this includes the new ones) and she screamed "I hate you!" and I knew right then...I was a mom. She earned them all back within a couple months but she's never hit anyone again. Good luck!

Tina said...

been there still doing it...consequences suck but since I have now adult children and a still growing (and sassing) 9 year old, I can agree with you that they are different (different consequences needed to get the point across) and that it is all worth it when they become relatively together adults who understand consequences...Way to do the parenting :)


MrsFatass said...

Aww. Good mama.

Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Hi Drazil,
I was recently tagged by Leslie to answer four questions, and in return, I have to tag four other bloggers. I chose blogs that are new to me and that I like. You're one of the lucky?? ones!

The questions are:

1. Who has had the most influence in your life? In what way has the person (or people) influenced you?
2. What is your favorite quality about yourself? Similarly, what characteristic would you like to change, lose or modify?
3. When was the last time you cried?
4. What was your very best vacation ever and why

Ice Queen said...

Good for you and Rambo. Every kiddo needs a right proper Come to Jesus moment every so often. The tears, the lip... Boy do they ever know how to rock them, don't they? It is hard to stand firm against them. But in the long run, it is better for the kiddos when we do. :)

Pookey (my son) needed those moments on a regular basis. Revoking privileges, taking away his current Playstation, disconnecting his cable, hitting him where he lived was incredibly effective. Run the mouth? Lose the Playstation. Refuse to clean his room? Fine, I'll come in with green trash bags and do it for you! Amazing how he would toe the line for a while, after that. He-he.

Ginger aka Gidget said...

I am laughing SO hard because I swear those are my two kids - EXACTLY. The 10 year old is the docile one, lip quivering and scared that she's upset someone. The 4 (almost 5) year old basically could care less. She'd stand up to anyone and spit in their eye with a grin on her face. She's clueless when she's in trouble.

I need to get two stools...Maybe that will work? I've tried just about everything. Getting Addie to sit still long enough for a talk is almost impossible. She's like a spitfire.

And you're right - parenting sometimes sucks donkey-dicks.

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

I agree, I took the t.v out of the kids room completely. They are forced to spend time with me in the livingroom now (poor kids) and since I am not the best fan of t,v. we actually read books together and play games. Its little stuff but I love it... Luvs you Draz

Kristin said...

Sigh. Kids today...

Ours are the same. Hubs and I decided that while they're already spoiled, we'll be damned if they're spoiled brats. As always, easier said than done but we're working on it.

You're a great mom. They'll remember the time they spend with you more than any television show, video game or IM chat.

Karen Butler Ogle said...

My kids are grown and they still argue and bicker. Of course, with them all still living here things get tense. Now I just go to my room and close the door. I am NOT playing referee anymore. However, I did tell them all they need to be out supporting themselves again.

Angela Pea said...

This is why we have been MEAN parents and our children do not have televisions in their rooms. Or phones, or video games!

You're doing just fine, Draz. The kidlets will surrvive and grow into wonderful, responsible adults.

How did the apologizing go?

tessierose said...

I'm the mean mom and the cool one all wrapped into one, you can just call me the oxymoron!

Dizzy Girl said...

I love it!

You're a great mom- keep it up girl!


Cat said...

Being (ahem) years old, Mom has said that she hated the "Mom disipline" part, but the one I remember that strikes a chord with what you said. I told Mom in my preschool venom, "I HATE YOU!", to which she replied, "Well, I will always love you, but right now, I don't like you either." I was so bowled over by the statement, I started bawling. So, perhaps, concept time for the kids will come eventually. Hang in there...


Sandy Lee said...

Draz is a real mom. If it didn't make you feel guilty dishing out some penalty, you wouldn't be real. Now you have a bunch of games to pull out--how about Candyland or Sorry or ...

Kiki said...

I don't know how my mom (or any mom for that matter) did it. My sister and I are were certainly a handful. But mom was a good disciplinarian, fair... and my sister and I turned pretty good.

My sister teaches high school and I see the kids she's faced with... I guarantee you 75% of them come from a home without rules or consequences and that sort of thing makes me fear for society in the future.

PS - For the record, I am not a mother!

Bonnie said...

Definitely good to get the kids in line now. We've made it very clear to our 15 and 12 year old that the vacations and fun times will stop if they turn into shitty teenagers. The choice is theirs. So far we are still having fun, thank goodness.

LDswims said...

Love it! Absolutely love it. Hilarious, thought-provoking, real, honest, and insightful.

Makes me realize why I love washing dishes so much. Because I was with my mom....