Quondam

Drunk with power

Over the summer?  I have tried to be a little more relaxed about schedules and chores and responsibilities.  Instead of assigned chores and checklists, I have just asked the girls to help me out when I need some help.

Mostly, this has worked.

Today, it did not.

This is the story of today.

First, here’s me, all reasonable . . .

“OK, ladies.  Kallan’s friend will be here at 1:00, and so I need both of you to help me straighten up a little bit.”

Kallan whirls and dances out of the room, “Sorry!  I have to call my other friend and then feed my turtle.”

I call after her, “So you’re not going to help me clean up?”

“Nope.  Sorry about that.”

“OK, so then on your way upstairs, could you grab me the phone?”

She stops whirling, “What?”

“I need the phone to cancel this play-date.  Could you get it for me?”

She slumps, “Oh, fine.  What do you want me to do?”

One girl down, one to go . . .

“Maj, could you help me wipe down the counters in the kitchen, please?”

Maj looks up as though she cannot even believe that I am speaking to her, “What?  No.  Not even.”

“And why is that?”

“It’s Kallan’s friend coming over, not mine.  There is no reason in the world that I should be expected to help clean this house so that a person who is not even my friend will be impressed.”

“Really, Maj?  This is how you want to play this?  Really?”

“I am not cleaning.  Besides, my only real part of this house?  My room?  Is clean.  So my job is done.”

“Maj, your part of the house is connected to the rest of this house,” I spread my arms out to encompass the wonder that is her abode, “and you live here.  I need you to help me straighten up.”

“Nope.  My room.  That’s it.  And it’s already done.”

“Alright, well then you are going to go have to live in your part of this house for a while.”

Her eyes glow big and angry, “You are sending me to my room again?  What is wrong with you?”

“Sometimes, Maj?  It just makes me all happy to torture you for no good reason.  I am all crazy and unpredictable that way.  Yes, I am sending you to your room.  Again.”

She stomps off, “You cannot do that, Mother.  You cannot be all happy and reasonable one minute and then all crazy and punishing the next.  You cannot do that!”

I laugh and spin at the bottom of the stairs and then look up at her over my shoulder, “Yes I can, Maj!  Look at me!  I am all loony and multi-tasking!”

Sigh.

She is now screaming at me from the top of the stairs, “YOU CANNOT JUST PUNISH ME BECAUSE I WON’T DO WHAT YOU SAY, MOTHER!!”

I yell back (because I am having such an awesome mothering day), “Oh, but I so can.  That is the whole joy of being someone’s mother!  Some things are up for discussion, and some things are not.  And sometimes?  I get to tell you what to do.  And if you don’t do it?  I get to punish you!  Wheeeeeeee!!! It is way fun, Maj.  You are going to love it!  When you are someone’s mother?  You are going to love it!”

“You are like a crazy person!”

I spin some more, “Look at me, I am drunk on mothering power!”

And then I giggle hysterically.

And then Kallan walks by me with a laundry basket of shoes.

“Ummmm, babe?  Where are you going with all of your shoes?”

“I am setting up a pretend shoe store in my room so that my friend and I can go shopping.”

“So you’re not actually cleaning anything, then?”

She hoists the basket up so that I can see the error of my words, “I am organizing my shoes, Mom.”

Sigh.

So I straighten.  Kallan sets up her shoe store.  And Maj fumes in her part of the house.

And then the doorbell rings, and the friend arrives.

Kallan and her friend run up to go imaginary shoe shopping.

I go to release Maj from her room.

After we have talked, I ask her, “So what are you going to do during this playdate?”

“What?  I am going to play with them.  Duh.”

“Ooooh . . . that’s not going to work for me.  See, you didn’t help me clean at all, so you can’t actually do the playdate.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

“Not even.”

She stares at me angrily for a moment, and in the background, we hear the happy sounds of shoe shopping.

And Maj wilts, “OK, so what if I were to agree to vacuum the basement?”

“Then I think we could work something out.”

YAY!  Vacuuming!

Plus also?

I need to make some chore charts.

Geez.

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GUEST POST ALERT!

I am guest-posting over at Cate’s Real Life with Kids today!  Come on over and check it out! The post is called Plum Facts. And it’s by me.  Duh.

    70 comments to Drunk with power

    • I love your stories about your girls. They remind me so much of me when I was their age. & scare me a little for when karma bites me in the ass and my daughter is just like me. I hope I’m as witty as you, but I’ll probably just run up to my room & cry.

    • I really hope you actually do swirl and twirl around the room like you described. Picturing it makes me so happy and giggly.

      Although if I were your daughter? I would totally be calling you crazy.

      Who has more fun than crazy people, right?

      • Guess what?

        I sooooo danced and twirled and swirled around the room.

        I left out the part where Maj went to tell on me . . . Daddy? Mother is acting all crazy and mean! You need to do something about her!

        Mark is at a loss.

    • Boy, I sure can’t wait until my kids are old enough to snark at me. I just hope I can be witty & entertaining in my replies to their snark. It will take all the fun out of it for me if they best me too much. Besides, I think I might just get pissed at them for snarking at me. Hmm. Well, maybe I’ll have matured by then….

    • Bahahaha! Love it… Someday? When I am all cool and mother-like? I am going to ask you to teach me… Mmmmkay?

    • I used to get so made I felt like my head would explode when my dad said to me, “You’re right; it’s NOT fair. That’s my job. I have to make sure you learn that life isn’t fair.”

      Now that’s pretty much my favorite thing to say to my kids. They think I’m the most unreasonable person ever put here on planet earth.

      Also? My house is a sty.

    • BWAHAHA! Because that’s what moms do. They tell the kids what to do. Someday, they will learn this joy. But by then? They will be of no use to you because they will be mothering to kids of their own.

    • Michelle

      Oh my. I love this – “Look at me, I am drunk on mothering power!”
      I have some crazy multi-tasking of my own to do this evening. Wheee!

    • Maj!

      It’s sad, because I still feel like that.

      Except all the rooms are my part of the house.

      *sigh*

    • CDG

      You had much more fun disciplining than I did today.

      I had to explain to someone else child that I would no longer tolerate that kind of behavior from her. All up in her grill so she had to pay attention.

      Cleaning up other people’s parenting messes? Sucks.

      Thank you for being a beacon of crazy, whirling mothering!

    • These tactics are so excellent. I can’t wait for Hayden to be old enough for me to use them (enter sinister cackle)!

    • Giggling and twirling. I love it. I can’t tell you how many times we have the discussion about what would happen if I chose to only clean the things I used or needed clean. How I’d have so much free time if I only did my own laundry, etc. They hate that. I like it. Or if they forget to feed the pets for the umpteenth time I have threatened, umpteen times, to not feed them the next day until the time they chose to feed the pets today. There is always laughter mixed with fear that I might just follow through. Now to further make a point I shall giggle and swirl while I threaten. For my own entertainment.

      Thank You.

      Again.

    • I can’t wait till the kids are old enough so I can practice crazy mom discipline! I bet it actually felt pretty good, huh?!

    • These are my favorite posts. The ones where you torture your children. ;-)

      I often have “discussions” with Buddy in which I end up saying (maybe sometimes yelling), “Because I’m the mom. And mom ALWAYS wins.” I wonder how much therapy he’ll need to get over that when he gets older.

    • It’s a fine line between teaching your children a little bit of responsibility and them pulling a Burning Bed on your ass.

      Better keep the kerosene and matches up where little hands cannot find them.

    • Andrea

      Being drunk on mothering power is all kinds of amazing! So much fun when you learn that when you grow up, you can eat cupcakes for breakfast and make kids eat something healthy and boss them around and make them clean up after themselves. Eeeeeeeeee! Such joy!