Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's a mother to do?

I am in need of help.

No, I don't need you to confirm if M&M's and chocolate milk are an acceptable breakfast or not.  I already know the answer to that one.  And it's not what color wine to serve with pork- cause we all know I'm not a wine snob and with Dan on nights, you already know we're over here eating pizza rolls (which can accomodate red or white by the way).  It's other important parenting issues.  (names have been omitted to protect the innocent).

I have consulted my parenting book- What to expect the Toddler Years- and it doesn't address anything that is of any importance in this home anymore like poor attitudes, laziness, bad choices, and peeing all over the neighborhood.  So I am throwing it here.  Take my little quiz- will ya please?

1.  Let's say your 10 year old girl child chased down your 4 year old boy child and sprayed him with perfume because he wouldn't get out of her room (and she did warn him ahead of time that this was her next plan of action- just for the record).  Would you:
a. Tell son to listen better next time, after all he was warned.
b. Immediately take all bottles of perfume and chuck them in the trash while trying to act like you are a calm rational adult while muttering things like 'responsibility' and 'potential blindness'.
c. Explain there are consequences to actions and she will now loose her treasured perfumes for a period of time.
d. Scream at them from the sofa while eating bon bons.

2. Now- pretend your 6 year old girl child has gotten into kindergarten trouble (aka- loosing a sacred cube) this week for arguing loudly (kind of like screaming) at another student.  Then, same week, said child got into a horrible anger fit at a neighbors home with another child.  And then last night you witnessed her trying to kick another child for 'stealing' the basketball in a game and then she burst into a screaming anger fit while flailing all over the house just trying to explain why she was angry.  Would you:
a.  Realize she is having significant issues controlling her emotions and give her an alternate way to express them.
b.  Send all children home and ground her little behind for weeks on end.
c.  Send her to her room until she has regained composure.
d.  Scream at her from the sofa while eating bon bons.

3. Your 10 year old daughter, who has expressed displeasement (and by expressed displeasement I mean cried and yelled each and every week since October) with having to take piano lessons.  Her teacher, who is a kind and gentle, loving woman, has tried to encourage you to stick with it and 'be the mom' and 'give her this gift'.  And you have.  Until this week.  This week it all piled up a little too deep and so you asked said teacher if your child could take a little vacation for 4-6 weeks from lessons- meanwhile the teacher would still be compensated for holding the spot for her return.  Teacher, who is always so kind and gentle, gets a little preturbed and says she can't understand this 'vacation'- her mother was strong and would not have allowed that.  But she finally gives in to a four week break- but is outwardly displeased.  Then- your child comes out of the home after her lesson crying because 'Mrs. Piano Teacher was so mean today.  She just kept counting faster and faster and faster and wouldn't explain my questions or listen.  She was angry'.  (Typically you stay inside during the lesson to listen- but your husband works nights now and your two other children are kind of loud so you play in the driveway with them instead or take a while until the lesson is over) Would you:
a. Explain to your child that even adults can be big giant babies and she'll get over it.
b. Confront Mrs. Piano Teacher and tell her she acted like a big giant baby and return to lessons in 4 weeks as planned.
c.  Quit piano lessons all together- obviously your child doesn't want to do it so who cares anyway?  Spend weekly saved piano lesson cash on fancy martini's.
d.  Scream at her from the sofa while eating bon bons.

4.  Let's just say you have a pre-teen girl who is around 10 and she is showing less than, well, any desire to do her household responsibilities.  Frankly, you are tired of asking her to put her clothes IN the clothes basket, close her dresser drawers, load her dirty dishes into the washer, put away her clean laundry and make her bed.  On most given days you are so worn that you just do it because it takes far less energy than having yet another conversation with her about it.  But you constantly are picturing her in your head as an adult, with you still going to her home to do her work for her or her featured on the show Hoarders.  You are even still having to remind her about personal hygiene issues like deodorant and teeth brushing.  Something has to change.  Do you:
a. Continue on- knowing that someday she will begin to do it for herself
b. Pack up every single thing the kid owns leaving her with 3 pants and 3 shirts and explain she will earn back her stuff as she shows responsibility.
c. Make a chart and encourage her to fend for herself and offer a reward (cash works nicely- tie it in with allowance?) for following through.
d.  Scream like a lunatic while saying things like 'slob' and 'lazy' until both of you end up in tears.
e.  Just sit on the sofa and eat bon bons until your mom arrives to tidy your home.


Ronda said...

Let me preface this with I've never been good at multiple choice. I always find the alternative that isn't offered to be the best answer. :0)

1. Stinky purfumed kid -- kick him outside to air out and remember that trick for later when I want him out of MY personal space.

2. Angry kid -- yell back at her over every little thing, then ask her how that felt. Realize she's probably going through a phase and remind self not to kill her in the meantime.

3. Non piano playing kid -- Remind her there are 3 adults making this decision and she can suck it up. In the fall, when learning to play clairnet/saxaphone, let her quit piano. If she feels the desire to quit clarinet/sax mid year, she must reimburse parents for any expenses already incurred (i.e. bandcamp). Dip into her pennies = lesson learned.

4. Laundry, clean self kid -- peer pressure sucks. Let her live in her own filth. The other kids will take care of her. It also may be time to show her the fine art of doing her own laundry. No clean clothes? Tough stuff.

Do I win? Is there a bon-bon prize involved?

Vicki said...

Mynde, you are a such a gem! Anytime I need a little pick-me-up your blog is right there! Too funny! Just have a few suggestions for you...

1. When it comes to kids bickering and fighting amongst themselves, don't bother to intervene...just let them go at each other. The older ones will eventually get bored with it and quit, and the young ones will heal in due time... while plotting to get revenge. If someone gets killed in the process, well, hey... that leaves more bon bons for you. (kidding)

2. Don't let piano-playing flunky talk you into letting her quit. I let my son quit his lessons, and now (at age 24) he wishes I had made him stick with it. He would LOVE to be able to play piano now.

3. For angry yelling kid... yet another good use for duct tape.

Too harsh, you may ask? Maybe... but mine are still alive AND they still love me. ;) Good Luck!