Today’s installment is brought to you, courtesy of the irritated aura that has been surrounding me for the past two and a half weeks. What happened two and a half weeks ago, that has me so irritated, you ask? School let out for summer! This has resulted in quite the fiasco at my house…well, for me anyway. When I get set in a routine, it kinda knocks things off kilter when the routine changes. Things that throw me for said loop include, my husbands ever changing work schedule and my children’s school attendance! I can handle one at a time, just not both at the same time! Usually, after a few weeks, I start to settle into the new routine..this summer is proving to be challenging, thus far.
I told the girls before school got out that they were going to be helping out around the house this summer. I have had them do a few things here and there, all with complaint, because “their friends don’t have to do house work.”( I call bull shit on that one, but what do I know?) I decided that I was going to start a list of things they need to do before they can go out and play. So, last night at dinner, my husband commented on the fact that he had been upstairs to the girls’ room and that it was pretty gross. I figure now would be a good time to let them know that I haven’t really appreciated their behavior, that they really needed to find their manners, and have some responsibilities. The oldest’s cell phone is freaking out, after I had told her, more than once mind you to put it on silent, and she is having an all out meltdown because she was told “no” to having a sleep over with her friend! I’m talking shoulder heaving, crocodile tears, snotty nose, type meltdown.. . How dare we be so mean, right? So, after having quite enough of her for the day, considering she started an all out texting war with me earlier in the day for not getting her way and now she’s crying a river on to the kitchen table, due to not getting her way again, I tell them that after dinner they need to go up and start cleaning upstairs. This results in more tears because I, also, inform them that there will be no phone, no computer, no tv, and no playing, until the upstairs is spotless and the list of other things I have compiled in my head is complete. I know, real slave driver, right? I also, let them know that the list of tasks to complete will take up most of today, so beware, and that if we worked together these things wouldn’t take as long and it wouldn’t be so hard.
Now, on more than one occasion I have asked them to do the dishes. The oldest has a gag reflex like nothing I have ever seen and she is hugging the toilet before she even puts a finger in the water most of the time..the youngest ones endeavors in dish washing, are most likely to cause bodily injury, because there is more water on the floor than there is in the sink. After dinner, when they are supposed to be headed on upstairs, the oldest grabs the sponge, douses it with nearly a quarter of the bottle of dish soap (I shit you not, it was unreal) and starts scrubbing a bowl…no water necessary, apparently. Puzzled, I ask what she is doing and she claims that she is going to do the dishes. I calmly let her know that I will be doing them tonight and that she is supposed to be upstairs. I am sure by now, that you have all gathered where my children are supposed to be after dinner, and considering the fact I haven’t mentioned it nearly as many times here as I had last night, my intelligent little ones were still confused. At this point, I am seriously thinking I need to take up pencil and paper and draw a map. Head up they do, only to come down a few minutes later to throw a few things away and wander around. I plant the seed in their heads that it would probably be a great idea to grab the cleaning supplies on their way back up. It seems that mom has had a stroke of brilliance with this little tid bit and they return to cleaning. The upstairs isn’t that big so this shouldn’t take too long, so I’m not surprised when they come back down. The oldest then tells me she is so sorry about how she was acting and that she plans to stay up all night, if that is what it takes to clean the whole house. I can only laugh at the sight of her jaw dropping when I tell her that, this is more than a one day thing and that even if she did stay up and I could ice skate across the laminate floor, she would still not have her phone back until I was ready to give it back! (By the way, 11 year olds text some really stupid shit! I seriously felt a tinge of embarrassment while reading her messages!) Needless to say she’s pretty good and pissed at this point. I am putting toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and I will be God damned, if the two of them did not start fighting with me about who was going to clean the toilet! I did mention that the oldest has a gag reflex and throws up almost daily, right? Anywho, I go ahead and let the oldest take the wand and scrub on, only to be surprised by the fact that she comes out to the kitchen when she is done and gets the Lysol cleaner to do the rest of the bathroom! WHAT!! Let me get this straight…she can’t touch the dishes without throwing up, but she is willingly scrubbing the shitter! YEP! I put the youngest on laundry duty and had her change her clothes, while trying to figure out the imposter in the bathroom. The youngest has a bad habit of dropping her clothes where ever she feels like it and then they never make it to the laundry. And, when I say “drops her clothes where ever she feels like it” I also mean, when ever! My youngest is not the least bit shy about running around in her underwear at any given time. I do believe she gets this from her father, as I have seen many underwear only pics of him as a wee one! I prefer to keep as much clothing on as possible! So, after the train wreck that is our evening closes, they go to bed with the instructions to bring their sheets and blankets down in the morning and all seems well.
Guess what I wake up to? A pissed off pre-teen, in my face because she didn’t have her phone this morning to check the time and she was really bored. She was “so mad” that she admitted to entertaining the idea to hide my phone, because it was so unfair that she couldn’t have hers. I explain to her that if she would start in on the stuff that she is supposed to be doing today, she wouldn’t be bored and she would be all that much closer to getting her phone back. This does nothing to appease the situation. So, starts the discussion with her about her attitude problem and the fact that she really doesn’t deserve to have a cell phone since she doesn’t want to help out around the house. You would think that after being warned about her eye-rolling, facial expressions, huffing and snotty tone of voice on a regular basis, that today of all days when I have said phone in my possession, she would at least try to bull shit the bull shitter! Nope! This child is full of so many excuses as to why she shouldn’t have to have responsibilities around the house. My daughter would make one hell of a lawyer, one day. New piss poor attitude rule is, simply, the number FIVE. I’m not really sure where I pulled it out of my ass in the middle of my own defense, but at anytime I feel that she is taking her cell phone freedom a little too far and doesn’t have her inner 30 year old in check, all I have to say is FIVE, and I take the phone for five minutes. Yeah, I know that fives minutes may not seem like a long time, but to this child it’s an eternity! Really! At the end of those five minutes, if she still hasn’t shaped up, I get to keep it for another five. It already seems slightly effective, since, after finally getting after them for most of the day, the constant reminders that I really didn’t care if it took them a whole other day to get this done they still weren’t “un-grounded”, they actually got it all done, privileges were reinstated, she had been with out the damn thing for almost a whole 24 hours. Holy freakin shit..it’s a miracle! Sadly, I think all of the lessons taken away from this little punishment, I was the one that learned the most!
This is what I learned. Grounding your children is more of a punishment for you than it is for them. Not much is different, besides the fact they have limited access to things in the house and they are supposed to be doing chores. They complain more, if that was even with in the realm of possibilities! This grounding business should come with a “hazardous to health” warning that reads.. Will likely result in one or more of the following: headaches, no doubt due to high blood pressure readings that can only be assumed near deadly, causing impaired vision, ringing of the ears, and quite possibly “the big one”. Pimples, yes zits, on the face because of how many times you will have had your head in your hands shaking your head at the load of horse shit your oldest was trying to sell to get herself out of her situation. Bald spots..from intense scratching of the head, trying to figure out what in the hell is so hard about following directions and why you have to repeat said instructions numerous times for the youngest one. Bouts of near asphyxiation for the “grounder” from holding ones breath so they don’t spout of random strings of explitives to the “groundee(s)” that would result in the neighbors in a 3 block radius calling the police/DCFS/ a number of different organizations that you don’t have time for at the moment. Tongue lacerations from biting your tongue ,while holding your breath, to keep from passing out. Unexplained shopping trip to the hardware store for duct tape, rope, heavy link chain (depending on the severity of the situation), dead bolts and ant killer. (What? I have ants!) and Exhaustion..need not be explained, please refer to above mentioned statement.
Honestly, you all know that I would never harm a hair on either of my children’s heads, but I swear, I don’t think I have ever had more patience wearing days…EVER! I love them to pieces and I know they are intelligent little girls, but sometimes I have to wonder what is going on in their heads! So, stand by, if you wish, because I’m sure there will be more to come on this topic of conversation!
P.S. Any and all comments welcome to assure my sanity that I am not the only one! : )