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.
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.