Well, if I was ever in the running for Mom of the Year, yesterday knocked me out of the running. I may now be up for worst mom of the year. I think if I keep it up, I could be a contender! (It’s good to have goals, I think.)
What did I do that was so bad? Well, first of all, I made my kids work. Yep–work. I asked the three of them that were home and of working age (that would be 5 and up in our house) to pull ALL the weeds in the playground area. Now, the playground area does have weed shield and playground bark covering the ground, but some of those nasty weeds just feel the need to sprout and grown IN the bark. I don’t know why, since we have so many many other dirt or grass covered surfaces for them to grow in–but I digress. It’s really really easy to pull the weeds from the bark, since they can’t establish deep roots. It’s just a matter of leaning over and pulling them out. With the three of them out there, I estimate it should have taken them 1/2 an hour to do the whole area.
Well, after 1/2 an hour, they were out there lounging on the tire swing or cowering under the meager shade of the slide platform. Yes, it was hot, but it was only 9:00 am when they started, so they really couldn’t complain that much. Two of the children are soon inside whining about the work ethic of the other child, complaining that it’s hot, that “she pushed me”–whatever! So, I herded them back outside, shouted at them to get off their BEHINDS and start weeding. After I finished loading another pile of laundry, I went out again to demonstrate how easy it was to pull the weeds (part of their evil plan–get Mom to “show” them how to do it, then finish the job herself) and told them in a not so nice voice that they would be outside until the job was done. None of them could come inside until they were all finished. I went on to explain that they would be coming inside for absolutely no reason–if they were thirsty, they could fill their water bottles from the faucet. If they were out here at lunchtime they would get no lunch. If they were out here at dinner time they would get no dinner. If they were out here at bedtime they would sleep outside. Yes, I know it was overexaggerating the length of the job and the amount of their laziness, but I was sick of their whining and laziness, darn-it!
I went inside, started Tarzan for the little one (lucky child–not old enough to weed) and locked all the doors.
Yes, I’m a bad mother, I know it. I admit it. I was only trying to teach them to WORK and not drag the dumb job out for the ENTIRE day.
At around 11:30, when they had only a handful of weeds left to pull, I tried to redeem myself with popsicles. I took the popsicles outside and held them until they were done, hoping the speed of the weed pulling would be faster than the speed of the melting popsicles. And they did it! They finally got the last few and were able to have the reward (and I let them back in the house).
Throughout the day, there were various other flare ups and some shouting on my part about finding a certain library item. I’m not proud of my behavior, and I’m not trying to justify it–just telling it like it is. By the time we got home from our “outing”, which included:
–taking care of a friend’s birds
–going to the Library (where I complained a little bit too loudly that my kids couldn’t get their own library cards because we dont’ live within the city. I have to PAY $70 for my library card AND my kids aren’t allowed to have thier own library cards? How fair is that?!)
–going to Target to get a new size 4 soccer ball for miss soccer who had a special soccer camp this week and couldn’t possibly use any of the soccer balls we have at home because they aren’t size 4
–going to the bank to cash a few checks and get a large amount of ones and fives so I could pay the kids for their grades ($1 an A) and allowance (for doing such jobs as the weeding–back to the weeds, are we?)
I was about ready to drive off a cliff with myself and the children in the van. Thankfully I restrained my suicidal urges and brought the menagerie inside and gave them fruit snacks.