Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WWYMD? Or, what would your mama do?

As a parent, do you follow through on your threats? I am the Queen of Empty Threats. "Move your butt or you will get a spanking!" I think I have swatted a butt maybe 3 or 4 times ever in my years of mommyhood. And either got hit back, immediately felt awful, or both. "Eat the dinner I made you, or you will sit here until you do eat it." Um yeah, that never works. I have other shit to do besides sit at a table and watch someone sob. "Stop talking/crying/hitting your sister or we are just going to go back home". I can almost hear them saying "and then what mom? Eat the remaining two packages of Maruchan Noodles and jar of strawberry jam we happen to have in the house? How are you planning on changing diapers with no wipes? Like you did this morning, with a paper towel?" Crap. That's the problem with kids and real life, and jobs, and hobbies, and needing to get out of the house before someone ends up abandoned at the local fire station. You are screwed. And those little heathens really feel no obligation to cooperate when instead they could be sitting back and enjoying the latest episode of Bubble Guppies. Or drawing on the wall(or a sibling) with a Sharpie.

Anywooo..... this leads me to my most recent conundrum. Mama recently scored last minute tickets to see this little cutie pie in concert:

My Annabelle happens to be a HUGE fan, and I don't mind her music one bit. Well, unless it has been hours, and hours, and hours of it. Sang by a 6 yr old. Still, pretty exciting. And not cheap, especially for this mama, who is on a pretty strict budget and currently swinging 2 jobs in order to pay for some other agenda items. I got a great deal, $150 for both, but certainly a luxury for us. I thought #1 would just about die when I gave them to her, but while she was happy and smiling, you could probably describe her reaction as "lukewarm" at best. Crapper. In fact, my ever loving, supportive husband was standing behind her giving me his best thumbs down and chuckling whole heartedly to himself. Whatever. Fun hater.

So not exactly Beatlemania, but still excitement, happiness. Going to the Rose Garden on a school night, probably Red Robin on the way, and no little sisters to cramp our style. Easily coolest mom on the block, right?

Until last night.

I worked late, got home about 8ish, Greg had been a wonderful hubby, girls had been fed, kitchen was in decent condition and he had dinner waiting. We ate, played with the girls a while, then Mia called it a night, and Daddy put the bigs to bed. I was hanging out, catching up on emails and fb while Greg was out bringing in the garbage cans and yard debris bins from trash day. I looked up as the garage door opened, half smiling, expecting to see my darling husband walk back in and tell me how heavy it was to haul the yard debris barrel down to the backyard, as he always does. Except it wasn't him. It was my two daughters, ages 6 and 3, walking in from outside. In their pajamas. Confusion and concern at the same time. Greg followed shortly, and I quickly met his eyes with my best "WTF?" look. "Yeah, these "angels" were outside and met me when I turned the corner with the garbage can." Huh? I looked at Annabelle. "We were scared mom, so we went outside" she says to me like it makes perfect sense. "Through the downstairs slider?" I ask. "Yeah" she says with annoyance, since I am asking such a stupid question. "Since when do you just get to leave the house when you feel like it? And with your little sister?" Clearly things aren't good, because for once in her life Tessa knows now is not the time to be talking. "I know how to open the gate!" AB responds, informing me that apparently that is all you need to know how to do in order to come and go @ Casa de Mongrain. "Go to bed, now," I growl. "And stay there." "You are in really, really big trouble, and in danger of losing some big privileges." I was so stunned I didn't even know what to threaten.

The girls scampered back downstairs, Greg & I sat on the couch and looked at each other. "I guess tomorrow I will be looking at getting a padlock for the gate," he says. "So they were actually outside, just walking around?" I asked, still absorbing the mutiny. "Yep, they were pretty surprised to see me come around the corner," he responds.

We are interrupted by someone struggling to open the baby gate at the top of the stairs. Someone with dark brown hair, approx 60 lbs, and who may not live to start her 1st day of 1st grade at this point. "You forgot my anti-scare medicine" she mumbles when she finally makes it to face me. "Bella, I don't care if we forgot your anti scare medicine, GO TO BED!" She looks back at me, pathetic and indignant at the same time. "Mom, you forgot my anti-scare medicine" she replies, and I realize that she doesn't know/care/understand that I just worked for 12 hours, had a pretty stressful day, have a headache from the quintuple iced venti non fat marble mocha macchiato I had earlier, and that by choosing not to go to bed, she is most certainly sealing her fate.

“Annabelle, if you are not in your bed in 2 minutes, you will NOT be going to the Taylor Swift concert.” Crap. Tears, sobs, snot.

“Mom, I really, really want to go to the concert, I just need my anti-scare medicine.”

“I’ll give her the medicine,” the voice of reason/Daddy chimes in. “Because I don’t want her to have any reason not to go to bed.” Full medicated with anti-scare medicine/liquid Vitamin D, back to bed she goes.

Followed by 4 more return trips back upstairs, sobs of “I really want to go to the concert, but I just can’t stop thinking about it.” And a variety of other excuses. And Mommy and Daddy explaining several times that she might be able to go, if she just follows directions and does what she is supposed to. Which she doesn’t, until she does. Finally.

So now what? Do I parent the way I probably should, teach her a lesson about following our instructions, so that the next time I give her instructions and have to threaten with a consequence, it actually means something? But then that means no concert, and that Mommy suffers too. And trying to sell the tickets, or lose the $$, neither of which I am thrilled about. Or do I justify it by telling myself that she usually does what she is told, and a special occasion like this is totally a good enough reason to not follow through? On 2nd thought, it is probably my fault anyway, right? I should have never opened my big mouth and threatened with something I wouldn’t want to sacrifice. What kind of fighter pulls out the big guns and doesn’t have the nerve to pull the trigger? Mommy guilt, no matter what. Either I am a lazy parent and a push over or I follow through and we all pay. Sigh. Totally not a decision that should be decided without a glass of wine, in the bath. Neither of which are likely to happen soon. So I guess I will ponder it while going to the bathroom, in between telling Mia “no, you cannot sit on my “lapee” while I am going potty” and yelling at #1 & #2 to stop fighting.

What would your mama do?

1 comment:

  1. Ouch. This mama would call my mamma because I don't know what my mama would do...I will have my mom look at your sitch tomorrow. Sorry sweetie.