Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Day I Became a Meanie Mom

So, when I get upset with my kids or if they are not performing to certain standards, I often say, "You're grounded." However, I don't even think they know the real meaning of this word. Problem? Me. The Mom. I'm a pushover. I know they would not agree with me on this, but it is true. I am HORRIBLE when it comes to taking away their privileges.

Rule #1: No Toys in the Living Room. Rule #2: No Food Downstairs. Rule #3: You opened it, you close it. You got it out, you put it away. So, the other day - the day I became a Meanie Mom -I went into the Living Room to find Legos everywhere. I start in on LittleDuckling.

Me:LittleDuckling! Why are there Legos in the Living Room???

Now, I'm not shouting, per say... But I am standing at the top of the stairs, calling downstairs towards the vicinity of the family room. So, yes, my voice was magnified so LittleDuckling could hear me.

LittleDuckling: I know! You don't have to Yell. I was just playing there cuz there was no room downstairs.

No room downstairs? How can this be? So, I venture down to the family room, at my own risk mind you, and am pretty sure within the first 2 seconds, I may just blow a gasket. The family room looks like a bomb went off.

Me: Somebody please explain to me why there are dirty dishes down here, when there is not to be food of ANY KIND consumed in this room? And why, pray tell, are there empty Chip bags and candy wrappers? And, What The Freak? Who had a box of cereal down here, which 4-legged-creature has clearly helped herself to?

No Response. (And Yes. I did actually say "Pray Tell".)

Me: (continuing to rant and rave) Are we Barbaric Heathens or something? Your video games have turned you into slobs! Ok, that's it. Starting next week, you will be grounded until this room AND your bedrooms are cleaned.

Next week? Who AM I??? Glenda, The Good Witch? I know, I know. I don't know why I didn't "ground" them from their video games immediately. I guess part of me thought that it wasn't enough "fair warning".

I am bemoaning to Desperate Housewife about how I am creating my own "monsters" since I have a hard time following through with discipline. She encourages me to stick to my guns. I confide that I hate being one of those moms; the Meanie Moms. She reminds me that setting boundaries is not mean, and they will thank me for it years down the road when they are "normal, well-adjusted adults" (fingers crossed). I explain that I've tried before, but after a day, they were back to playing their video games. And I whine about how hard it is because I work till 5 or later, and by the time I come home, cook dinner, and help with homework, I've forgotten all about the "grounding" - and obviously they did too. She offers to help; I accept. (All Hail Desperate Housewife!)

I gather the portable gaming devices, the game controllers, and headsets. I place them in a basket and allow Desperate Housewife to hold them Hostage. This is sort of fun, I say to myself. I am really gonna stick to my guns this time.

Not even 24 hrs has passed. LittleDuckling is "bored" and has "nothing to do". I remind him he has an entire basement to clean. Later, when I am hanging out with Big-D, FunnyMan calls my cell.

FunnyMan: Mom, I need the controller to my XBox 360.

Me: Sorry. I can't get it for you right now. Besides you're grounded from it until the downstairs is clean.

FunnyMan: I know! See, the XBox plays CDs and I was gonna listen to music while I cleaned.

Me: Right. Likely story. Even if that were the case, I don't have access to them right now.

FunnyMan: Gosh! (in true Napolean Dynamite fashion)

He disconnects call. ...about 2 minutes later... cell phone rings again.

FunnyMan: When will Desperate Housewife be home? Can't you just go get the controllers from her? (PrettyPrettyPrincess informed the boys where the controllers were when she came upon them scouring the house, checking every nook and cranny for them.)

Me: You're not getting them back. Sorry. And even when the basement is clean, I still may not give them back. I may just have you guys prove to me you can keep the rooms clean for a while before giving them back.

FunnyMan: That is sooooo stupid!

Again, call is disconnected.

So, there you have it. I am now a Meanie Mom, thank you very much. Hey, you! Are you slouching? Sit Up! Look at me when I am talking to you!...


Susie said...

Sometimes it's hard to be the bad guy. I just tell them...I am sorry they feel bad but rules are rules and you broke the rules. Not my fault. It gives them ownership too.

Anonymous said...

Trust me I've seen a house with no boundaries and it turns out ugly when they're older! You're doing the right thing! I think I'll be a horrible mom b/c I cannot say NO!

Mrs. S said...

First of all, thank you for your comment. You are always so sweet; make me smile!

And second of all, I think it's just finding a balance between Glenda the Good Witch and The Wicked Witch. Read the Nanny Diaries, it explains it (yes read not watch...the movie's different sort of).

Willeyes said...

Good for you, stick to it. You'll be glad you did...and they will too...eventually:)

Tulsi said...

I say "pray tell", too. How funny. When Mikele gets mad at me for making her do something I remind her that maybe Paris Hilton was never told no or asked to do anything. I really hate food in the basement, also. I never go there so I don't find things until way later.

Du Webb Family said...

I know what you mean about the rule of not taking food out of the kitchen, we have that at my house, and yet I am always surprised to see an empty cereal box or chip bag downstairs. Of course "Nathan" brought it down and since it is already down there it is free game for who ever wants some. Happie dayz!

greenolive said...

I love your kids and I think you have done a great job with them. I think what makes you a fantastic mom is that you care. You see an area that you think you can make better and you're growing and trying new things. That's awesome, I have a lot to learn from you.

greenolive said...

also, I like that you say, and I quote "What The Freak?" hilarious.

Puphigirl said...

We too have had to take away the controllers. The kids just can't police themselves, so they don't get homework and chores done. And like you, I get busy with my own stuff (work, school & scouts) that I don't realize they aren't doing their jobs/homework until after the fact.

Ruthykins said...

that's my plan for when my kids are older. right now they don't play with video games and they mostly eat at the table. i guess i'm in for it when they are older.

kanaboke said...

I need training in being a "Meanie Mom"...when are you coming up again?

Heather said...

Around here, we've done the 1,2,3 Magic! system. At least, that's what we try to do, but many times, Kiddo gets 3 and a half or 3 once, twice, three times (so that'd be 5, actually) if we're threatening her with something we don't particularly want to have to follow through on (eg - We will stay in the hotel room and not go to the parks today! threat that slipped out while on vacation at Disney World)...

Being the Meanie Mom sucks, but we have to suck it up 'cause we're the adults, right? Pbbbbbbt!

Oh, and PS - tag, you're it! http://nobody-but-yourself.blogspot.com/2008/10/tagged-meme-time-lucky-seven.html

RhondaLue said...

I love it! I'm a total meanie too! But it's torture for me to follow through. I DO follow through because they need to know with a surety that consequences are a comin' but it's sooOOooOo hard sometimes!

KiennaP said...

ok, first of all, funnyman said if i didn't tell him he would take the remote from the tv away and we would kick and punch me an dwhat not. btw meanie moms are good. when i grow-up i'll have to be a "meanie mom" because if i'm too nice, they'll think "well, mom is nice and she doesn't care if we brake the rules and stuff" and then if i have more then one child, the other one would say " yeah, you right. so i guess this means we can eat downstairs" or "i guess we go play with friends. she won't even know we left the house. she's at work" and things like that.

okeydokeyifine said...

Seems to me I remember the kids saying they were always cleaning (or ridding the house) and yet the house was always a mess.

Just remind yourself that as children are, Mom once was and as Mom is now, children may become.