August 11, 2014

Table Manners

First off...

Lesson 185: Blogging from your phone because your baby destroyed your laptop =white trash
(I tried to find any random acts of auto correct,  but reading microscopic text was killing me! I apologize for any I missed.)

Back to the story...

Anyone who has kids knows there comes a time during summer vacation when you lose all control. Not only do you lose control, but you lose the will to even care.

Well, that time had come in our house. The rule of our house is no TV or games until chores, homework, and instrument practice are done. Even then, they only receive one hour of TV time. They perform other chores off a list in our kitchen to obtain extra time. This past week, everything had gone right out the window.  No one had practiced an instrument (unless playing Rock Band counts). There were several days when they didn't do their one required chore. And the video games! Oh the video games! It was just so much more relaxing for me to have them zoned out in front of the TV than fighting and destroying my house.

Of course, Adam, who spends 99% of his time at work or asleep, told me, "we need to take back control." Which translated to," you need to handle this."

So, I started the long frustrating road to getting my kids under control. The way things started out though, I wondered if they'd finally figured out they out numbered me.

I'd ask them to do something and I was blatantly ignored. Our first floor is a TV free zone, yet I went to the store and returned to find not one, but two televisions in my living room. "We'll put them back when we're done", they told me. They were in my living room for a full week.

I asked my older boys to clean their room. I walked past their door after an hour and heard, "One!" Slap. "Two!" Slap. Apparently they were waiting for a tap-out. I decided to give them more time. An hour later, I put my hand on the door knob then heard, "My seaweed,  my rules." What in the world? I pulled my hand off the knob as if it were scalding hot and decided to give them one more hour to finish the task I gave them.

When the hour was up I went to their door and heard screaming. I entered their room to see the mess had not changed. They all froze, which was impressive seeing as they were in the middle of holding Stone and trying to wrangle him (against his will) into a pair of doll panties.

Adam was right. I needed to get things back under control. "Clean this room now or you're all grounded." They looked at me, dropped Stone (who flopped away like a mermaid), and finally got to work. I resolved from then on I would ask them once and that was it. No excuses.

It has worked for the most part. The No Nonsense Sheriff has rolled back into this no-good-child-run town, and is getting things done. I'm back in my saddle and quick on the draw. No pathetic excuse can be drawn before I shoot a well aimed, "Now!"

"I'll do it after.."


"Just give me a..."


There have been a few times when I'm not such a tyrant.

"Now!" I yelled as Jovie sulked away to clean up stray dishes.

"But I'm really hungry."

"Eat a cracker while you clean." See? I allow little privileges as long as they are still doing what I've asked. I just can't back down right now.

However, this tactic did backfire. During my loss of control, my kids decided they didn't need to sit and eat at the table. They ran around and dropped food everywhere. The twins were the worst.

One night I served dinner. Rex grabbed his corn dog and ran. He jumped in his little Cozy Coupe car and tried to drive away. (Did I mention my kids also brought in all their outside riding toys?) Finding him, I opened the door, pointed and said, "Go to the table." He looked at me with a devious smile and said, "No."

Was he challenging the Sheriff to a showdown? Silly boy, hadn't he realized it had been high noon all day and the Sheriff hadn't lost yet? I aimed and shot, "Now!"

He jumped out of the car and ran to the table. He yelled, "But I poopin'." I didn't really register what he was actually saying. All complaints had sounded the same and I was still strutting around from my latest win. I felt the urge to be a kind tyrant and decided to be lenient.  It wasn't until the words were coming out of my mouth that I realized what I was truly saying...

"You can poop at the table."

(Record scratching)

I rounded the corner to see the rest of my kids looking horrified.

"Really mom?" Jet asked holding his nose.

I stared at the kids' disgusted faces. Hold it together Sheriff. You can't back down. They'll think you're weak and you'll lose everything you've worked so hard for.

"Yes, really. Everyone eats at the table." I sat down, held my head high, and resumed my dinner. A round of groans met my ears. I pretended not to notice and fought the urge to groan along with them.

Lesson 186: Teaching your kids it's socially acceptable to soil yourself at the dinner table = white trash

Is this the point where the Sheriff rides off into the sunset?.... No? ....Bummer.

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