This winter, in one word, sucks. It was cold and then it got colder. There was a lot of snow and then it snowed some more. And then it got colder. Like I said, it S-U-C-K-S, sucks.And as the temperature plummet, so has the behavior of my children. Picture this, a grumpy grizzly bear, a cranky crocodile, and a rabid squirrel confined within your average living space. This situation might be fun to watch for a little while, but eventually you need to get some crap done. It is nearly impossible to fold laundry with all the growling, wrestling, and flying-leaps from the furniture.
Just when I was ready to lock them all in the bathroom and drive far, far away (Don’t judge me! I would have left snacks AND they had access to the toilet.) a miracle happened. The weather warmed…to the 40s! Yippee!It was pure bliss. We took walks. Puddles were stomped in. All of the pent-up energy swirling inside their little bodies was finally released in positive ways. The children began to act…human. I could picture the end of winter. Spring felt so close I could almost pet it. There was a light at the end of the long, horrid tunnel that has been this painful winter.
Then another polar vortex swooped in like a LEGO to the eye of my dream and we are right back to where we were a week ago. Only this time, it feels so much worse for knowing how good we had it last week.I was so patient with the whining. “Yes, my sweet, Mommy knows how much work it is to clean up the refrigerator-size box of LEGOs that you dumped all over the living room. But we have to clean them up or else we will end up in the ER getting a brick extracted from my foot. Let’s do it together!” Big smile!
I saw the fighting as an opportunity to teach. “Whoa, I see two very angry boys here. I know that you two can use your words to come up with a solution. Tell each other how you feel about which head should go on Han Solo’s body.”I reminded them to be grateful when they forgot to thank me. “It is a better idea to thank mommy for buying you a LEGO set. It makes Mommy feel bad when you open your new toy and immediately ask for the $130 Millennium Falcon that we would have to buy two of since your brother wants it too.”
I am so done with all that mamby-pamby, weeny-sounding, bull-puckey. Dunjins. Done-doodle-dandy-with-a-side-of-fries. No more!I am supremely confident that they “know” how to behave and that they are just choosing not to. No more! From now on there will be consequences that fit the behavior.
Dump the LEGOs and refuse to clean them up? Great. They are mine, ALL MINE! I will sit in my room and build the most awesomest vehicles, the way I want to build them, and you will have none. NONE, I say!You want to fight? Go ahead. Knock each other silly. I am going into my room and locking the door. With my ear buds in, I won’t be able to hear your screams. Lord of the Flies it out, little dudes. It will make you stronger.
And I am not buying you jack squat. With all the money I’ll save by NOT buying McDonald’s Happy Meals that you don’t eat because you just want the crappy toy, Mommy and Daddy can go out alone. And we will eat real food that does not have “Mc” before it. (Although I am embarrassed to admit the McRib is disgustingly delicious.)And if that dog waits until I finally get a chance to sit down at the end of the day and drops a toy in my lap I will chuck that Kong ball into traffic.
Do you have any other creative consequences for me? Leave me a comment! I clearly need all the help I can get.