If you don’t like the weather…

By Mir
March 26, 2006

I grew up in one of those obstinate climates where it often snowed in May, where the cloudy days stretched on forever (it sometimes seemed), and where the rare perfect day made it all seem worth it.

I didn’t know, at the time, that I was living in the Land of the Parenting Metaphor.

Sometimes, you have days where it seems like a pat on the back is warranted. Just look! At my kids! They are SO WONDERFUL!

Just don’t forget your umbrella.

So, I don’t know if y’all know this, but I am the meanest mother on the planet. Do not even bother telling me that it’s not so; that you hold the title or you know someone else who does. It’s not true. I WIN! Just like Joshilyn wins at shopping most of the time, I win at being the meanest most horriblest mom. Trust me.

I live to torment my children. Just ask them.

Take, for example, the way I selfishly hog all of the very best privileges. I get to drive. They don’t get to drive. I get to stay up late. They have to go to bed on time. I get to watch television shows that are rated higher than Y-7. And–the ultimate indignity–I get to WATER THE PLANTS.

Oh, the humanity.

One day Chickadee watched me as I carefully watered my violet, one of only two plants in the house which has survived the curse of my black thumb. Violets, you may or may not know, must be watered from the bottom. So I have a measuring cup which I use to carefully pour water into the pot’s saucer, and that’s what I was doing.

“Can I water the plant?” She asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied, still tipping the water in a small but steady stream, “CAN you?”

She sighed an enormous huffy sigh at me. “MAAAMA. MAY I water the plant?”

“Yes, next time you may. But it has enough water now, see?” I pointed to the shallow saucer, now filled with water in a bulging ring.

“No FAIR,” my darling daughter grumped at me. Obviously my reckless watering of the plant was just part of my continued plot to oppress her. CLEARLY, if I loved her AT ALL, I would’ve known she wanted to do the watering, and stopped, that very minute.

That was bad enough.

But yesterday, about an hour after sharing this experience, I had the utter AUDACITY to once again water the very same plant. I don’t know what I was thinking! Actually, that’s not true. I know what I was thinking. I was thinking: Hey, my violet looks like it may in fact be dying of thirst.

I am such a BITCH.

By now you’ve probably figured out that I was watering the violet, oblivious to the havoc about to befall me, when Chickadee walked into the kitchen and SCREECHED at me.

“You PROMISED!” she accused, eyes moist. I stared back at her blankly. “You SAID I could water it!” Ah, now I realized.

“I’m sorry, honey, I forgot.” I tried to give her a kiss and she stomped away from me, unwilling to be placated. This was the last straw in my reign of tyranny. She’d had enough.

I finished watering the plant and did a few other chores. After a bit I returned to my desk, and pulled out my keyboard tray.

Where I discovered that I’d best choose my actions carefully.*

I’m still trying to figure out who might be responsible for this dastardly threat, but I’m following a couple of leads.

Meanwhile–with yesterday’s bubble already burst–I don’t know why I was surprised this morning when Monkey listened carefully to my pre-church list of instructions. Yes, he would sit quietly in his seat. No, he would not bother his sister. Yes, he would listen to the pastor. No, he would not jump around or squirm when it came time to go up for the children’s sermon.

Silly me, I forgot the part of the lecture that goes, “And you will not become annoyed with your coloring page during the scripture reading and throw crayons at other members of the congregation, followed by crawling along the floor on your hands and knees while howling like a feral animal.” Oops!

Go ahead. ASK me how church went today. I dare you.

Today was the first time in nearly 8 years of parenthood when I have taken away an outing to a birthday party because of egregious behavior. Not exactly a shining moment of great pride, for me, but necessary. Hey, what I WANTED to do was dip him in oil and fry him up for dinner, so all things considered, I think he got off pretty easily.

But I think I may know just the person to leave him a behavioral “suggestion” for next week.

*In case you cannot make out the text on the picture, the girl is declaring “My eyeson fire” and “I Punch you” in addition to the Hulkian “Arhhhh.” I am the figure on the lower right, so stunned by the assault that I have apparently lost an eye.


  1. MsShad

    I love the detail of the purple flower in the middle of her red shirt.

  2. DebR

    Aaaah, ok…now that I’ve seen the drawing, I get why your google ad is pushing headache remedies. Ahem.

  3. Carol

    And now you know why my children no longer even have priviledges that can be revoked. Now they must EARN priviledges. So sorry about church today.

    That said, how did you not fall into a fit of laughter (or maybe you did?) after discovering Chickadee’s drawing? My children are not yet old enough for such detail but I cannot wai t until they are!

  4. Hall

    Okay, color me confused… your kids really ARE named Chickadee and Monkey? That’s what they call themselves?

    Thanks for being so darn funny and so darn human.

  5. Shari

    “Land Of The Parenting Metaphor”… I love it.

    The threatening note – my goodness. I was appalled until I remembered that when I was Chickadee’s age? I used to write letters to my grandmother declaring that SHE needed to DO SOMETHING about HER SON. I may even have wished that his legs would fall off. And look at me! I turned out o… well. Dear, dear. Let’s just not speak of it again. LOL

    Hall – if you look closely, you can see that Mir has photoshopped the name… she erased it and drew “Chickadee” with the mouse. The clue for me is that the writing is different. And yes, I will stop watching so much CSI now. ;-)

  6. Mit_Moi

    Mir –

    You and Chickadee “slay” me! *giggle* *snork* *cough-cough*

    I hope you slept safely last night after the audacity you exhibited yesterday. Bad momma! *snork*


  7. Ms Sisyphus

    Not the plants???? You brute!!!!

    Um, Monkey, yeah. Clearly you were remiss in your instructions. (snort). Hey, maybe next week you can try some of that “positive parenting” and only review the list of allowable behaviours: “Sit there. Breathe.”

  8. chris

    But Mir, you weren’t specific enough in your instructions. It’s not the poor Monkey’s fault ;-)

    We were at a wedding on Saturday and my 8 yr old got angry and threw a hymnal at his sister. Who screamed like her leg had been amputated by it. When I hissed at him, he told me that he wanted to hit her, but didn’t because I had told him no touching each other in the pews.

  9. carson

    Hey, using her words and writing them, no less! Result of great parenting! I’ve just gotten through enforcing the “no throwing the table at your mother or brother” rule. You know, because her brother knocked the cards on the floor from our math game. Not nearly as endearing or bloggable as a written death threat.

  10. Aimee

    So Chickadee left you a gentle reminder about the plant. How sweet. ;)

  11. Posy

    Fire in her eyes. Great use of imagination. I love the punch and they way your mouth is formed. I can almost hear you say…OOOFFF!

  12. Cele

    I am sooooo glad I’m just a grandparent these days.

  13. Theresa

    So um, is that pic hanging on the frig? I’d have put that baby front and center, and referred her to it when she wanted dessert. ;) Aren’t children such a joy?? They are, right? Right?

  14. Sumo

    The picture did have me wondering if you were a cyclops.

  15. Jenn2

    All Hail MIR! Meanest of the Mean!
    We bow to you. (with eye on fire, punching the air.) AAAArrrgh!

    It’s kind of freaking me out, how similar our daughters are.

  16. Nic

    You’ve gotta hang on to that one and show it to any future boyfriends. You know, just so they know what they could be dealing with. “See how it is if you don’t let her water the plants? See how it could be for you with any inappropriate touching?” Plus it’ll be great for her to know you cherish and save all her artwork. Great, as in embarrassing as hell kinda great. Now who’s the mean mommy?

  17. Amy-GO

    I’d frame that picture with the title “Meanest Mom Award.” And Hang it in a place of HONOR. With PRIDE. Somewhere it will be noticed and will necessitate explanation. Which Chickie will provide, of course. Embarrass them into submission! That’s my motto. ;)

  18. Zuska

    I so adore Chickadee. This had me giggling all day. And truth be told, I also adore Monkey for being so … unpredictable. Like MegaBoy, one of Monkey’s missions in life is to keep his mother on her toes. I just wish they weren’t so good at it!!

  19. Niihaus

    I love that it’s from “??”. Like Chickadee wrote it under the pen name ??.

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