Okay, okay already. Many of you wanted to know if the pooch survived "The Ultimatum" or not. Go HERE (Friday Is Dooms Day) to catch up if needed.
Basically, the chores weren't getting done. And when I ventured down to the basement one day it looked like a bomb went off and 4LeggedCreature had left a surprise that no one had bother to mention or clean up. I completely and utterly lost it. Not just a little. Not just a few marbles. I lost it all. I lost "IT"! That's right. I had a full-blown come-apart.
All three names of all three of the offspring were heard rolling off my tongue. I handed out orders. I barked out threats. This was the last straw. They had one week to prove to me that they COULD manage all of their responsibilities, including the pooch. Tears were shed. Eyes were rolling and feet were stomping. Nevertheless, I stood firm in my ultimatum that the rooms get clean or the pooch goes Au Revoir.
Some of you readers out there in the blogosphere were outraged that I would do such a thing. Some petitioned that it wasn't the pooch's fault. Let me explain.
After my divorce, and having to enter into an 8-5 working world, things at home started to get hectic. I have three different kids in three different schools, with three different schedules (1 is in year-round school). It has been an adjustment for us all. We have made several attempts at getting organized. But it just seems as if we live "flying by the seat of our pants" most nights.
I wouldn't get rid of the dog as a punishment to the dog. Instead I believe that if we can't take care of her properly, then we are already punishing her. It was more of a question to test whether or not we can really take care of her like we should. Additionally, I knew the stakes had to be high this time. The no-video games and no-friends and no-phone calls just wasn't cutting it anymore.
Well, the off-spring pulled it together. Rooms got cleaned. Carpets got shampooed. And the Pooch got to stay. My kids also thought as a reward they should get to have a party. I have told them on so many occasions, if they can keep the house clean, they can have a party every weekend for all I care. And I am serious about that. At least I'd know where they are, right?
Well, they had their party, and I ended up with a houseful of about 10 teenagers, 2 tweens, and 2 pre-teens. It was fun. And those who stayed late wanted to go t.p.-ing. Well, er, um, I guess I sort of brought it up by saying something about what we used to do as teenagers. T.P.-ing and Soaping. They hadn't even heard of soaping. Guess cuz nowadays everyone uses Body Wash.
Anyway - they thought pranks sounded like fun. They wanted to doorbell ditch. I told them No, because it was rude to wake people out of bed this late. I did tell them that I enjoy a good prank as long as A) no one gets hurt B) nothing gets destroyed C) no one gets their feeling hurt or humiliated. They decided the only prank left in that category was T.P.-ing. I said, "No. What would your parents think if I let you do that?"
They begged. I said "no". They begged some more. I said, "Maybe". Thrice they begged. I laid down the ground rules.
1) No damaging of any property of any kind, including flower beds, etc.
2) no hitting houses belonging to that of Old Persons, Persons with disabilities, or Single people.
3) If they got caught, I was hanging them out to dry and would deny any knowledge of it whatsoever. (In other words, I would drive away and leave them to walk back. Cruel, I know.)
4) No Talking. No giggling. And go Pee before we leave so as not to pee in my car.
I made each of them bring their right arm to the square. I placed each of them under oath and covenant to follow said rules, plus a few others I am not at liberty to mention here. We drove. We scouted. I parked. I told them they had 30 seconds and I was leaving without them. (I figured they couldn't make too much of a mess in 30 seconds.) We picked the house. The house with no outside lights on a dark street and belonging to the friend who didn't come to the party. I guess they figured it was punishment; the one who doesn't show up - gets pranked.
Does this make me a bad mom? I wondered. Probably. But we did it anyway.
I turned off my lights as they quickly and quietly escaped. They ran across and just as luck would have it, the Frontrunner train came barreling down the tracks. See, the train runs right behind said friend's house. This couldn't have been more perfect as I'm sure it muffled any giggles that may have escaped. Sure enough, after 30 seconds, they ran back to the van, slid into their seats, and away we drove. I have to admit, that being the get-away driver was just as much fun.
Hey - I'm 35. I gotta get my kicks somehow. Besides, didn't we already establish that I wouldn't be up for Mother of the Year anytime soon? 'Nuff said.