On Saturday, John asked the kids to clean up their playroom while I was at the gym. When I returned, they were upstairs, making a racket that sounded like it could be cleaning-related. I went about the house, doing the things I needed to get done.
When I finally went upstairs, I saw the girl one in the hallway, playing with toys.
"I thought you were supposed to be cleaning your playroom," I said.
"Oh," she replied without looking up, "we decided not to do that."
End of story.
A little while later, after lunch, I went downstairs and found one of their milk cups lying on its side on the carpet, and this on top of them not cleaning their room. Basically, frustration, thy name is Julie. The kids leaving their plates and cups on the coffee table is one of my big pet peeves, because a) carry your plates into the kitchen; I'm not your maid, and b) if you leave your stuff on the coffee table, the dog will eat it/knock it over, which is what happened in this case.
The dog decided he wanted to drink someone's leftover milk and he spilled the entire cup on the rug in the living room. (Note: We are not precious about our living room, generally. We don't have enough space in our house to be precious about any one room. Yes, we eat in the living room, sometimes -- oftentimes -- in front of the TV. Yes, I'm a terrible mother. Tell me something I don't know.)
I was livid and repeated my refrain of, "Why did you leave your cups in the living room? Why can't anything in this house stay nice for more than two minutes?"
My daughter came down and hugged me. My son was conspicuously absent. He came down later with this note:
I had to laugh. It took me back to my own childhood. It took me back to being a six-year-old kid when my *redacted descriptions of certain adult relatives* would yell at me for doing...whatever. My kid is exactly right. The yelling didn't make me want to do the chore. It made me not want to do the chore. It was a power play. "Ha ha. I got under your skin. I made you yell. I'm winning!"
We saw Cinderella this weekend, and the big "lesson" from the movie was something like, "If you're kind and brave, everything will work out." So maybe if I do the "brave" thing and respond to spilled milk with kindness instead of anger, the kids will respond in turn? Maybe they'll start doing the thing I've asked them to do repeatedly for the past few years?
When has a Disney movie ever led someone astray?
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