Monday, May 14, 2007

Multiple Choice

So, today after school my kids were playing soccer in the house, despite my repeated (oh, about twenty-eleven billion times) requests to knock it off already. Sure enough, the ball ricocheted off my living room lamp and hit Kendrie in the head, causing tears, at which point I lost it and sent them all to their bedrooms for a time-out. A few minutes later, I walked past their bedroom doors to discover Brayden on the floor listening to music, and Kellen and Kendrie on the floor playing with toys of their own. At which point, I really lost it, about how don’t they understand the CONCEPT of a time-out, and how it is supposed to be a PUNISHMENT and how they are NOT allowed off the bed and so now they can plan on staying there an additional fifteen minutes.

At which point, the following statements were hurled back at me. Multiple choice for you, the reader, as to which one was the least mature and most hurtful:

a) You’re a terrible Mother!

b) You’re mean!

c) Daddy is the more nicer parent!

d) You never let us do anything!

e) I hate you!

f) I wish Daddy would divorce you!

And while I normally don’t put a lot of credence on the things my children say in anger, I’ve got to admit that (f) took me by surprise and stung just a bit.

So, being the calm, rational, mature parent that I am, I responded in a composed, adult, sane manner by dumping their basket of freshly washed laundry in the middle of the hall floor and snapping back at them:

“Fine …. FINE! You don’t like the way I parent??? Then I’ll quit doing it, starting with your laundry! There it is … I suggest you fold it yourselves before the dog lies down on it!” and stalking away, leaving a pile of clean clothes on the floor behind me.

So …… that’s another six months of therapy for my kids. Remind me again, who, exactly, is the grown-up in this house???


scanmom said...

Trust me, those clothes will be there in the morning, with your dog laying happily in middle...And the kids will complain about the dog laying in the middle of the hallway!!!! Ellen

Mixed Up Me said...

Thank Goodness I am not the only one who has this happen . . . My daughter always tells me how awful I am when she isn't getting her way (she's 10, when does this end?) By the way, her freshly washed laundry is in a huge heap on her bed, pushed towards the end so she can sleep, and it has been there for three days!!!!

Here's to feeling your "pain"!! I hope you have a great day (watching and listening to them complain that there is dog hair all over their wrinkled clean clothes!!!!)

arithmancy said...

I don't know when this ends, but I know it begins all too soon. I teach junior high; imagine my surprise to come home one day to find my four year old had turned into one of them. Only shorter, with a slightly less colorful vocabulary. Slightly.

When my daughter would get ticked at one of us she would lament our choice of mates. "Why did you have to marry that boy? Weren't there any others? Was he the only choice you had?"

She is six now. It isn't getting any better. Only now instead of lamenting our choices, we get statements such as, "they should tell you on tv not to trust your parents (this after being reprimanded for almost running her sister over on her bike.) OR "you're not a very good parent, maybe you should read the directions." If only...

It is hard not to take it personally when she lashes out. I try to remember what I was like at six, but I was pretty much a stepford kid because if I spoke out like that my mom would have knocked my block off. It is hard to raise an assertive child while curbing the sharp tongue.

Bribery worked for awhile when she was five. Now she's six, and the house is overrun with toys (bribes.) Bribes don't work anymore which means I am totally screwed.

My little one is 2.5 and she is gearing up. The other day her father told her to do something and she raised her arm over her head, clenched her little fist, and yelled, "never!"

God help me! I think I hate free will...or perhaps the discovery thereof...

Lisa said...

Hmm,I think you got yourself ganged up on there... and of course they don't want you to get divorced - they just wanted in that moment to hurt you - and they got want they wanted.

You may be the grown up Kristie, but you're also human, with a breaking point, and having reached that breaking point you...drop laundry. Stop beating yourself up. In thirty years Kellen will be telling his kids about the day grandma go so het up she actually threw clean washing at the floor. Believe me, this is trivial. Sounds like they all owe you a 'sorry ' though. Hope all is peaceful, love to all and a pat for lager

kim said...

Hehehe...send 'em to "Auntie Kim's" house for a week. They'll be new kids when they get back to you and you will forevermore be the best thing since sliced toast. Hehehe. As the saying goes, it takes one to know one...and I was defintely one! Don't ever remember saying anything about hate, though...I think that would have been crossing the line; and my Mom was already divorced, so moot point there. All of that just over a little time out? Whew! Damn good thing they're cute, huh? HA! You STILL ROCK, Kristie, cause I would have dumped the clean clothes on them! Hope today is better! Hehehe!

Simply Jenn said...

You are the parent. Sometimes the little buggers push you over the edge. It's not a proud moment, but it's definitely not one that will scar your kids for life either.

Tracy'sspace said...

You know what I love about your parenting style - it reminds me so much of mine!

Tracy'sspace said...

You know what I love about your parenting style - it reminds me so much of mine!

cakeburnette said...

Check out the link at the end. An online friend's hubby got her a pin for Mother's Day (her teen-aged kids thought it was humourous; my school-age kids, not so much). Mark and I are thinking of buying shirts... :D

patti b. said...

Wow - a time out and POW! There goes your Mother of the Year Award - and you were soooooo close!! : ) You are a great Mom - always caring for them and bragging on them; volunteering at their school - and always taking LOTS of pictures : )) Don't take any of it too much too heart (I know it is easier said than done) but I'm sure as they get older and become more aware of how blessed you feel and know that you are to have them, they will start to appreciate you as much. You are great!

Jeanette said...

You go, girl!

Anonymous said...

Girl, You Rock!!!! And don't worry about therapy, my kids will be there to keep yours company. : )


The Running Girl said...

You are not alone. I've even secretly hoped the cat would pee on my husband's clothes when he has left them sitting there for a couple of days! And my kids have game boy advance games where they can talk to each other via the game system, so we have to be really careful when we send them to their room. I'm hoping today is a better day for you.

Kelli said...

I am SURE Parent's Magazine would frown upon what I said... My 5 year old told me he wished I wasn't his mommy anymore. My MATURE answer was "great, let's go get an application for a new mommy and I will help you fill it out!"...

Connie F-G said...

Oh Kelli, what a hysterical answer! Nothing like calling a bluff! Where do we find those applications?

Haven't heard it for awhile but mine would tell me, "My Turkish mom would be a lot nicer than you!"

Kristi, Danny went to a 10 week school last year so I single parented and the comment that I got was, "I understand why you are so tough on me. You want me to be a better person." What alien took my child!?! When Danny is being Disney Land Dad out of guilt for being gone, I remind him of that comment and challenge him to hear it come from her toward him. He's trying.

I think with our pre-teens, the comment slinging has just started so time for us to go out and buy thicker skin to get through the next few years.

Mom is the acronym for Mean Old Mom!


Anonymous said...

As a 60 year old mother of three adult children and grandmother of five girls, I can tell you two things:

1) that your mother is probably LHAO (discretely of course) re your children's behavior.

2) it doesn't ever get better... it only changes in relation to where you are in life.

Just know that your children love you enough to say those things to you. If they didn't trust you to still love them after acting like little monsters, they would never misbehave but try to please you to earn your love... that would be the real injustice. It also means you're doing a good job!

So stand your ground -- and listen to YOUR mother! (G)

Marsha --

D said...

Sorry Kristie, but ROFLMAO!!!!!!! One question, were you ever like this as a child? Did you're mom say "one day, you'll have a child who acts just like you?" Well, I distinctly remember my mom telling me this, and it seems as if her wish has come true.

My formerly very sweet and obedient four-year old is going through a stage in which she sometimes acts like a 16 year old brat. Unfortunately, time-out has no real effect om her.

Instead, the thing that has been most effective in combating her attitude when it rears its ugly head is to bring on the guilt. (As a child, I perfected the art of fake crying, a talent which comes in handy.) I pretend like her actions really, really hurt my feelings and I'm on the verge of tears---I'm not overly dramatic in crying over her actions because too much drama is less believable. Instead, I quietly cry to myself and make sure that she has a clear view of my face. I then seal the deal by telling her something like, "I must not be a very good mom at all because I can't even get my daughter to _________," while allowing the pain to show on my face. This weakens her to the point where she's begging for forgiveness. Of course, I reserve the "tears" for times when they are really needed.

Okay, so after re-reading my post, I guess it's safe to say that my daughter will be seeing you're kids in therapy---- Have a great day and as usual, thanks for making me smile.

Anonymous said...

Now you know why some animals eat their young!

Jen from WI said...

Oh, too funny! I'm sorry, but I'm in tears here. I love it! Thanks for the laugh today. And no, they won't need therapy. And you did just fine. Believe me, they will remember this one!

Lene said...

Those were all hurtful things. I am curious what ended up happening. Did they do their laundry?

I question the amount of therapy my kids will need also. Ugh...parenting is so much harder than I ever thought.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy.....I've received a fair amount of attitude from my 12 year old, but she's never crossed the line of saying "I hate you" or questioning my marriage to her father - thankfully. I'm tough when it comes to parenting - I stand and watch her take her clothes up and put them away - do it now when I tell you, not tomorrow or the next day. I still get the stomping and huffing and borderline door slamming, but she darn well does what I tell her when I tell her - I think she's afraid of the consequences lol She's finally old enough to understand that life can be fun and we do lots of great activities until she doesn't listen to me then she gets stuck in her room with no tv or computer. I tell her what my Mom used to tell me "you don't have to like it, you just have to do it".


Anonymous said...

Dear Kristie,
Hope you are feeling better now, I know kid's can drive you mad!!! They can be brats at times! When they say hurtful things I think it is because they want your attention! I'm sure they don't mean a word of it! Maybe they should fold their own laundry regularly now that they've started? I know from experience a mother does too much, we should get the children to do more jobs! They might think twice about annoying you again!!
Take care,
Love Angela

Anonymous said...

The older I get, the more I really just like the concept of children.

Dixie in CA

Anonymous said...

Nope, you're not the only mom who dumps laundry. I've even gone on "kitchen strike" on occasion. But, I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything and I know that it's my job to sometimes be tough and sometimes react with human frustration. Like Pioneer Woman says - "just keepin' it real!"

Your photos yesterday were wonderful. I love the "playing in the sprinkler photos"! Don't we all remember the thrill of playing in a sprinkler - ah, the simpler days. So glad that Kendrie now has a full head of hair and a healthy body! I don't always sign, but I love keeping up with your family. My prayers surround each of you.

Lynne B.

Stephanie in KC said...

Kristie, that would definitely sting. But please don't be too hard on yourself. One of my finest parenting moments was slamming a spoon on the kitchen counter and informing my 7 year old that he could make his own breakfast, after he smarted off one morning. You know you are a great mom and your kids love you! I hope you're feeling better and I'm sure the kiddos are done folding laundry and have thrown themselves (and rose petals) at your feet, proclaiming their love for you!

Patty House Jasonville, IN said...

f most definitely would have been the most hurtful. The littel ingrates! =)

Hopefully, they've realized by now that they shouldn't have said that!

Anonymous said...

You might want to take a step back next time instead of being counterproductive with CLEAN laundry and provide them with this phone number: 1-800-NEW-MOMMY :)
And if you really wanted to make a point - dump dirty laundry on them!

Jst in case you weren't sure - or wanted to drift to some la la happy place - for the most part -it doesn't necessarily get better -the stressors just change! That is until you see their children doing the same sh*t to them and then the laugh is on them because as we all know - payback is a BITCH!

Amy from St.Pete said...

I thought I was the worst mom!! I love that you are so honest about things, it makes me feel so much better. Last night my 3 year old daughter told me that she didn't like me anymore, but she loves the dogs.
I have now lost almost 40 pounds since 1-1-07, and raised over $700 for The Katia Solomon Foundation!!

Jessica said...

Oh Kristi - you ain't got nothin' to worry about.