Weekend meanie

This weekend Otto and I were trying to spend some quality time with the children—by which I mean that we adults were holed up in the office, each working away on our separate computers, while the kids figured out new and exciting ways to throw bowling balls at each other on the Wii—when our internet connection… started. . . slooooooooooowiiiing. . . down. Wayyyy down. Like, “Dammit, Otto, stop uploading monster photos!” “Uh, I’m not uploading ANYTHING!” kind of slow-down.

So of course we called to report the problem and they had us do some transfer rate tests that proved that our DSL was now chugging along at approximately half the speed of dial-up. Awesome. They gave us an appointment for a technician to come out today.

Which meant I actually had to take a shower and get dressed, this morning. My life is HARD. Also: Today the connection is fine. Of course.

Anyway, I suppose the tech will be here eventually. You know, to look at me like I’m insane. And I’ll be all “Dude, really! This weekend it was SO SLOW! Also, I showered for you!”

Really, I understand that this is hardly a major tragedy. But the weekend as a whole was just kind of… aggravating.

First, we had some friends over on Friday afternoon. (No, that’s not the aggravating part.) Monkey and his pal decided to ride their bikes all over the lawn. Which is fine. What they also did (unbeknownst to us, at the time) was bring some of Monkey’s Bakugan outside, and because they are magnetic, they stuck a bunch of them on their bikes and rode around with them. Which was fine.

Until one of them fell off of his friend’s bike. Did I mention that they were riding around in the yard? The yard which is full of leaves?

We were shocked and delighted when Monkey didn’t have a full-scale meltdown with his friend here. He was very calm about the whole thing, assuring his friend he wasn’t mad, and that he was sure he’d be able to find it in the morning when the light was better. Really, we were ASTONISHED at how well he held it together.

Until the next day.

When it became apparent that said Bakugan was not going to be found—it’s red, as are half of the twelve gazillion leaves all over the grass—Monkey became inconsolable. It was a dragonoid! His favorite one! The second oldest one he has! And it’s probably cold and scared without him! (Extra points for anthropomorphizing a little plastic ball, I guess.) And WHY DID THIS HAPPEN to him! And he’ll NEVER BE HAPPY AGAIN! And we need to go to the store RIGHT NOW!

It was pitiful. And also made my eardrums bleed, which somewhat compromised my ability to maintain the whole “solicitous and understanding Mom” thing.

Monkey was later allowed to go play on the neighbors’ trampoline—something I’m not overly fond of him doing, for all sorts of reasons—as a bit of a bribe, I guess. I was hoping it would take his mind off of things. And it probably did… right up until he whacked his mouth on someone else’s head. Then life was utterly tragic, again.

Later that day, Chickadee was going to make us some soup for dinner. She was very excited about it. I offered to help, and she assured me that she could do it all herself. But I hung around in the kitchen while she peeled potatoes and she grudgingly allowed me to wash them for her. Then I tried to cut up the potatoes and she had a hissy fit, because SHE CAN DO IT HERSELF!

I explained that potatoes are pretty hard to cut, and she huffed and rolled her eyes and positioned herself in front of the cutting board. She prepared to slice the tiniest sliver off of the potato, and I suggested that—as we were gong to boil and them mash the potatoes, as this was potato soup—she instead cut the potato in half, and then into quarters. She repositioned the knife in the center of the potato.


I screamed to stop her, which started hysterics on her part, and once I explained the problem, she repositioned, started to cut into the potato, started losing her grip on the potato, and repositioned her hand… with her thumb directly beneath the knife, again.

I screamed again, and she melted into a puddle of tears, something about how I never let her do anything and she can do it if I just let her; and I replied that I was not actually going to allow her to CUT OFF HER THUMB to prove to me how capable she is, that’s just tough for her that I’m SO HORRIBLE THAT WAY.

And then Otto came into the kitchen and broke things up and sent us to our separate corners.

Eventually we got the soup made, and assembled and grilled cheese sandwiches to go with, and other than the part where I am the meanest most horrible mother on the planet and my daughter aged me ten years by repeatedly attempting to make herself an amputee, it was a delightful meal.

Oh, except for the part where Chickadee didn’t actually eat her soup. You know, the soup she’s had before. The soup whose recipe she picked out. The soup she made because that’s what she wanted for dinner.

When questioned, she said, “Well… I don’t really LIKE this soup.”

I will miss her terribly. (There’s not a judge in the world that would convict me.)

The best part, of course, came when the kids got on the phone with their father, later. I was in a different room, but I couldn’t help overhearing how Otto and I were SO MEAN to Chickadee while she SLAVED over the dinner she DIDN’T EVEN WANT, or how Monkey always gets VERY BADLY INJURED (points for choice of serious words, for sure) every time I MAKE HIM go play with the neighbors. DCFS didn’t show up on our doorstep, so I have to assume that my ex knew enough to take these tales of woe with a few grains of salt, but still. It’s always nice to be SO APPRECIATED.

Of course, last night after the kids went to bed, I made a batch of Chickadee’s favorite granola (for breakfast) and a batch of delicious squishy rolls (for Monkey, a.k.a. CarbBoy, to pack in lunches), and all was forgiven. I’m back in favor with the masses, again.

For now.


  1. Megan

    Which is why from a very, very early age my Children were given Dramatic Whining Lessons. Seriously – taught them to roll their eyes and do the, “You’re RUining my LIUHFF!” Which made it all No Fun At All. Especially when, during a genuine and real whine moment, we would offer helpful and constructive criticism (like, Dude, try to get just a leeetle more nasal, and hey! Way to to hit that high note!). Parenting – whoever’s kid ends up with the best mental scars wins!

  2. Celeste

    Oh, Mir… that made me laugh so hard.. my own kids has BOTH done the same thing: pick a recipe, make something for the family and then refuse to eat it. I wonder if it’s something like seeing hot dogs made, supposedly once you see it made, you never want to eat it again?

  3. RuthWells

    When in doubt, homemade carbs will do it. I baked bread Saturday, and it got me out of more than one parental scrape on Sunday.

  4. Leandra

    Must have been something going around this weekend. I actually told my kids that if they didn’t straighten up, we were going to leave the entire cart of groceries in the store and just go home and starve. Or possibly forage in the woods for food.

  5. Amanda from Maine

    Oh man,

    It’s like reading a day in the life of my 9 year old….

    It’s all soooooo tragic moooooommmmm…..

    I just do what Megan does and tell him to be more dramatic or more huffing and puffing and sighing…..which makes him mad but really makes me smile…..LOL

    Sometimes it’s actually fun to be a parent…..

  6. Jenni

    One of Red’s friends’ parents wanted us to watch their daughter on Sunday while they went to a football game. Which is fine because their daughter is great. But since we had some stuff going on at church and their suggested drop off was during church we suggested that the friend just spend the night Saturday night and then spend almost all of Sunday with us. We still love Red’s friend. But having a friend over for almost 24 hours was a bit much. Particularly since Red just gets so excited about having a friend over that she does not calm down at all the entire time the friend is there. 24 hours of Red at max excitement level was a bit much for me.

  7. Ani

    Sorry to hear about the Bakugan, but had to chuckle about going to the store because, seriously? Where are they hiding all those stupid little plastic marbles? They are impossible to find.

    Here’s to a less drama-filled week. For all of us.

  8. hollygee

    Isn’t there a song about consequences?
    I’m sure there isn’t a song about parents who must use compassion and understanding and push down the passive aggressive responses (or to hell with the passive, just make that aggressive) that they want to use. BUT THERE SHOULD BE.

  9. kd@abitsquirrelly

    ugg…I would need a time out after all of that.

  10. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh, she would’ve stopped cutting at the first sign of red, red blood on the white potato. Still, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to stand by and watch that happen either.

    And Megan’s comment…hahahaha. Am totally going to try that technique.

    Angie (from over at http://www.HalfAssedKitchen.com)
    thanks for letting me plug myself

  11. Kerry

    How about sending him out with a magnet attached to a rake. Kill two birds with one magnet…I mean stone.

  12. The FringeGirl

    LOL! That was hysterical. I love the part where you say “I will miss her terribly.” Ha,ha,ha…I was falling off my chair.

  13. Azul

    You refuse to let your kids cut off their fingers?? Man, I’m glad your not my mom!



  14. Stephanie

    Oh my, I feel your pain re: the BAKUGAN INCIDENT. My 7yo recently lost his Dragonoid (also HIS favorite) & it was not a pretty sight. Oh, the drama.

  15. Lucinda

    I think it was the moon or something this weekend. My husband and I were CERTAIN our children were trying to make us lose our ever loving minds on Saturday. That night he said, well, really, the morning went well, until I reminded him that he was asleep and I was contemplating whether killing them at 9:30 am was bad form or did proper etiquette say I at least wait until after lunch (along with heavy drinking).

    So I’m so sorry. And grateful that your can turn your misery into humor for the rest of us poor souls.

  16. Betsy

    But Mir, food always tastes better when someone else makes it!! No wonder Chickadee didn’t like the soup.

  17. exile on mom street

    Oh my word, there was something in the air this weekend. Grasshopper was a nightmare child. New record for numbers of time outs given in a single day. Whee! Good times!

    In addition, please tell Chickie that when I was 10, I tried to cut an apple in half. With my finger underneath. I cut through my finger and CHIPPED THE BONE. Also, I severed nerve endings to my finger tip. Still have the scar.

    I WISH my Mom had been in the kitchen at the time…

  18. Headless Mom

    Find a large magnet for him to carry around the lawn. Those bakugon balls will fly right up to it and he will be occupied for hours.

  19. Aimee

    OH, the drama! I have to say, though, I like Megan’s idea. I think having your temper tantrum critiqued might really help break the tension. There’s nothing like a good giggle to defuse the drama.

  20. StephLove

    Am I the only one who doesn’t know what a Bakugon is? Is it something to do with Pokemon? (We’re still a Pokemon-free zone here.) My boy is crazy for dragons, though, so if it’s not Pokemon, maybe I should know.

  21. Katie in MA

    Sorry, guys. My bad. I think I used up all the Good Child Behavior that was available this weekend. But, seriously, my Ex-in-laws were over and I kinda needed it. You can have your share back now, won’t happen again!

  22. Randi

    I’m horrible with letting my kids in the kitchen without me – I barely let the oldest make chocolate milk :).

    As for the internet – watch out – a lot of DSL companies are making their people slow down because there are so many people on the internet sites. You may eventually be limited on how much you can download/upload at once!

  23. Melissa

    Yes, please enlighten us as to the Bakugon, so I can ban them from the household (and yard!) now.

  24. Canuckone

    And hence why our bakugans are indoor toys and stay parked on the fridge! I can see my Zed having a total melty-boy fit with losing one in leaves. If he actually understood the game, I might be more understanding when one goes missing, but to him they are just cool monsters from the tv show. I have perfected the “It’s not my toy, I do not keep track of it”. I loved when you said there wasn’t a judge that would convict you…especially if they had kids!

  25. Jenny

    You did the right thing; thumb injuries bleed like the devil. Or so I’ve heard.

  26. Tress

    Yes, I agree with Melissa. I don’t know this Bakugan, but it sounds like I don’t want or need to get acquainted with it. Just stay far, far away.

    I still cut up Fifth Grader’s meat at dinner because I fear accidental mutilation. That’s probably bad, huh?

  27. Katie

    Bakugans are worse than Pokemon cards. My 7 year old lost a couple in a friend’s yard days after receiving them for his birthday. I told him not to bring them but as we all know you aren’t actually suppose to listen to parents. What the hell do they know?

    (I promised to replace them to stop the meltdown and then haven’t… Who wants to go through losing them again?)

  28. Asianmommy

    Yikes! There’s nothing easy about your job!

  29. Karate Mom

    *sigh* All the drama! How dare you not let her cut off her thumb? Meanie!

  30. CrunchyChristianMama

    My son owned ONE bakugan. He lost it outside two weeks ago. Our leaves weren’t that bad but I made the deal that if he raked up the leaves and ran though with the magnet and still could not find it, I would replace it as payment for the raking(although did not promise the same figure because they are impossible to find). He did as I asked and claimed he did not find it. After our trip to target, it conveniently turned up again. I’m both proud of him and disappointed in myself. Yep, I’m the dazed mom at the grocery with the word SUCKER on my forehead.

  31. Flea

    Mir, we replaced siding on our house this summer. It’s relevant – honest! My husband and oldest son did most of the work, while the eleven year old was paid five cents a nail to collect the siding nails which fell. He was given a giant round magnet on a pole which my Hunny probably got at Lowes. I’m sure you could find one for Monkey, with the added incentive that he can keep whatever else he sucks up with the magnet. Provided it’s not sharp and rusted.

  32. Carrie

    Justifiable homocide… yeah, I can see that! My daughter is trying to convince me that I’m the meanest mom in the world because I make her flush the toilet. I guess that I can now tell her that you already have that title! :)

    Here is a recipe that should cheer you up! Bacon Brownies (not kidding) – I thought of you as soon as I read this!


  33. Hecticmom

    I think we may just have the same children. This absolutely sounds like a day in our house.

  34. carrien

    Would going over the lawn with a big magnet help?

  35. Brigitte

    So much advice for fussy kids says to let them participate in the meal-making (pick out food at the store, pick the recipe, help cook) and mine STILL won’t eat it, just like Chickie and Celeste’s kids. Glad to know I’m not alone.

    No advice to offer on the other issues!

  36. MomCat

    A table knife (rounded end, just a few, rather dull serrations) cuts potatoes, until said child is tired of it and then allows me to cut up the rest of them.

  37. ImpostorMom

    I totally want potato soup and grilled cheese for lunch now. I HATE our DSL! It is constantly slow and crappy. Sadly I would go back to cable if it weren’t twice the price now.

  38. Karen

    I’m scared for my future. I’d never heard of Bakugans until your post. My son is 1.

  39. Audi

    Run very fast from Bakugan!!! They are a Pokemon type game that you play with little plastic marble sized balls. The cards have a metal plate inside that opens up the little balls into creatures. They are hard to find and can get very expensive!! Just one guy and his card start at $15. My son and nephew love them. Save me please!!

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