Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Raining Mean Mom Merit Badges

 Stormy weather, inside and out, this week.  
Did you hear the thunder?  Or the yelling?

Dear Lord, isn't it the weekend yet?  And what is up with my kids??  I'd swear they both have PMS (never mind they're both too young, and the boy is a BOY and the girly is only 9).  This has been the most snit-ridden, meltdown-spotted, attitude-overloaded week we've had in ages.  They can hardly be in the same room without getting on each others' nerves, and everything is a crisis.  To top it all off, I'm a really, REALLY mean Mom.  It's been practically raining Mean Mom Merit Badges all week.  Heck, I've probably earned a Mean Mom Olympic gold medal by now, and it's not even Friday yet.

Why am I so mean?  Let me count the ways, according to our son (don't worry, I'll get to PYY in a minute):

a)  I won't let Safety Guy have a laptop so he can have unsupervised internet access in his bedroom, or watch Netflix or YouTube whenever/wherever he wants (so he can avoid his sister and hole up in his man cave and only come out to hoover stuff out of the pantry and fridge).
b)  I won't let him have internet access on any device not in a public area of the house.
c)  I really DO know what he's been watching on YouTube, because he uses my account, and I am smart enough to check the recently viewed videos periodically.  He was mighty embarrassed that I could see he'd been looking at wedgie videos.  (Thankfully that was the worst thing he was watching - but he was mortified.)
d)  I had to tell him, "Just because your sister is having a rough week doesn't mean it's a good idea to get her wound up by being snarky and rude, and make it worse by telling her to shut up and go away every time she's within 10 feet of you, or whenever she talks or makes any noise in your presence."
e)  "When we go to church, you do have to ride in the back seat of the car - with your sister.  We're not driving two cars so you can avoid sitting next to her."
f)  "Yes, this is dinner.  No, you don't have to eat it - here's a glass of water.  Enjoy."
g)  "You have an alarm.  It's your responsibility to set it.  I am not your alarm, or your snooze alarm.  The bus will be here in three minutes, better move fast."  (He really did forget to set his alarm, and I woke up at 7:03 and alerted him.  I was very impressed:  he was up, dressed, and out the door in 3 minutes flat, eating a handful of animal crackers for breakfast as the bus pulled up to our mailbox.  Usually I'm up at 6:30 and knock on his door to make sure he heard his alarm.)

Princess Yakyak has also had an award-winning week of snits, meltdowns, whining and drama.  I've wanted to say all sorts of things to her, and I've managed to be (mostly) calm and reasonable in dealing with all the situations this week.  If my remarks were uncensored and came out the way I was tempted to say them, they might read a bit like this:

a)  You've been reminded daily for years now that you need to pick up after yourself in the bathroom.  So far this week you're 0/5 days.  Yes, we noticed the clothing, towels, and toilet paper rolls on the floor, and the toothpaste in the sink.  Pick up your crap!  Every day.  Enough already, and no excuses.
b)  Just because your brother is having issues doesn't mean it's a good idea to get him more wound up and make it worse.  Even though he's being difficult (okay, I agree he's been a total wienie, a real PITA lately - but you have too), calling him a "dorkchop"  at the top of your lungs won't help matters.  Really.
c)  Jumping up and down and screaming when your brother happens to sit down to watch the same Netflix show you just paused for later isn't going to help anything.  First, you look ridiculous.  Second, the whole neighborhood can hear you with the windows open (and I'm pretty sure the dogs across the street are howling at the high notes you managed to hit).  Third, it's NETFLIX.  You can go back to the place in the episode you left off any time you want, so stop having a hissy fit that your brother chose to watch the same thing and "lost" your place.  Fourth, he's allowed to watch Netflix too.  It's not your personal website or computer.  
d)  Haven't you learned yet that when you do something rude, I HAVE to discipline you?  Upping the ante and being rude in response to the discipline you have just earned means I have to discipline you AGAIN, and MORE SEVERELY, until you get the point and stop acting out.  Stop the hamster wheel and get off - if doing something gets you unpleasant consequences, back down.  You don't always get the last word. (This personality trait, this "I must have the last word and I'm always right" thing, will only bring you trouble. . . .)

And, addressed to both kids, "I don't know who forgot to flush the toilet, and I'm not going to go Torquemada on you two to find out who's lying about it, but I'll tell you both now:  FLUSH THE TOILET.  Even if it's not your business in it.  Don't come running to me to tattle that someone else didn't flush, because they WILL deny it was them, and it WILL result in a prolonged "He's lying!"  "No, she's lying!" spree.  I DON'T CARE.  If you do it, flush it.  I'll remind you to flush, in front of your friends and visiting family, until you remember to flush without my loving assistance."

Princess Yakyak's already been grounded twice this week, and Safety Guy lost his computer privileges early tonight because he can't stand having anyone in the room watching over his shoulder for even a moment, especially his sister, and he had a meltdown.  Never mind that the computer is in  THE LIVING ROOM.  We all live here.  We have eyes.  We're allowed to walk through the room and we will see what he's watching.  After the latest altercation, where he informed me that he could watch whatever he wanted and he would NOT stop the video, I had him turn off the computer, before his video was done, and sent him to bed.  It was ugly.  Very ugly.

So now I'm venting on my blog, thinking that maybe they'll read this in twenty years when they have kids of their own, and recognize themselves in their children.  (Or they'll print this out as evidence of parental imbalance when they go for therapy.)  I'm having a glass of wine.  It's raining outside, and it's peaceful and quiet.  Finally.

 Rainbow over Wegmans, Fairmount, NY.