It’s been all of…oh…eight days since school ended.
I look in the mirror and see some whacked out crazy lunatic who nags her kids all day long. This crazy lady also follows behind them sweeping, wiping, cleaning, straightening, pushing in, picking up, serving, pouring, filling, folding, taking food order, cooking, playing, fluffing and at times it seems buffing. Also I hear more voices in my head.
It needs to stop because these small people will HATE me by the end of the Summer or I will have to move out and live in a white plastic bubble all by myself where everything is sterile, but thankfully clean.
We now have five people in this house most of the day (why yes my husband works from home a lot) and only one and a half of us cleans up after themselves. Me and a pretty self-aware six year old. The six year old is also known to pick-up after others as she has learned this trait from her mother. I worry for her and her nuturing nature. It may not serve her well. People take advantage of this shit.
And I know it is hard – being served so much as babies and then making that transition. And even though they have chores and are expected to help out – somehow with five people getting crap out all.day.long and not putting it all away because “maybe we will use it later” causes big piles of shit everywhere and mama is going crazy. Also, we live in an older and fabulous home that doesn’t have a playroom or bedrooms large enough to fit toys. So here we live. Together in one room.
So here are the rules for mom’s Summer survival:
1. I will make three meals a day. That is all. My kitchen also has specific hours – if you are not hungry during those hours and are between the ages of 6 and 42 – tough shit. Also – my kitchen makes only one type of meal during those hours. No a la cart service is available.
2. If you do not like what I am making for breakfast or lunch – feel free to make your own meal. You know where everything is. I am happy to help with any burning type appliances as I am happy you are taking the initiative. Dinner – you have no choice. You eat what I cook or go hungry.
3. If you want a snack – do NOT and I repeat do NOT whine “Moooommm, I’m hungry” because maybe I’m not hungry. Also if you say “Mooommm, I’m thirsty!” I will reply with “Well hello I’m Friday!” every time because that is what my mom did to me and it is still HILARIOUS! Again, you know where the snacks are – have at it. Just remember to PUT YOUR CRAP away and reseal all bags/containers and close the damn fridge.
4. Know what is an okay snack to eat. Ice cream is a treat for after dinner if you are good. It is not appropriate at 10 AM. Don’t test me.
5. When are you done eating and have put away the food items you got out – also clear your dishes and put them in the sink. Bonus points for putting them in the dishwasher. THEN wipe down the table where you made crumbs everywhere and PUSH IN YOUR CHAIR for the eleventeenth time.
6. If you get stuff out to play with, art with, read with, whatever with – put it away when you are done. Also, don’t whine about it.
7. If you feel compelled to fight with your sister, you must do it outside as it drives me all kinds of crazy. Let the neighbors listen. Also no running in the house. It’s only 12 feet from one side to the next and hearing kids hit walls grates on my nerves. Also there are fingerprints. And sometimes blood.
8. Shoes come off at the door. I know you are just running in to pee, but you still track the same dirt in even for that 30 seconds. Take them off.
9. Do not complain when I ask you to help out. The correct response when being asked to empty the dishwasher is “yes mother, I will do it right now and when I am done please give me another fun chore to do. You look tired mom and I really want to help you all.day.long. May I make you a cup a tea?” NOT “but Mooommmm, I’m watching iCarly.”
10. Most importantly you will read everyday. And by everyday, I mean everyday. Even for just 10 minutes. Take a chair or a comfy couch. A sit. A lay down and enjoy some solitude and read. Lose yourself. Enjoy that downtime. I will never ever nag you to clean, cook, help, anything if I see you curled up with a book. I will just smile from across the room at you and pick up your dirty laundry off the living room floor. Also, don’t ever forget that I love you. If I didn’t love you so much I would probably not bother to nag.
What rules do you impose for these beautiful yet long days of Summer?