Tonight I noticed that I had three BIG bags of spaghetti in the pantry. Obviously I’ve gotten to the store, thought “OH NOES!! Are we almost out of spaghetti?” and acted accordingly. I’ve also overstocked my husband’s Carnation mix because, yeah, I didn’t check to see how much he had. TheBoy (12) and I were laughing about this when TheKid (13) pops off with “Well looks like Mom needs some help in the remembering department.”
I raised my eyebrows and replied “Would YOU like to plans menus, grocery shop, make sure that we have everything we need for everyone for THREE MEALS A DAY SEVEN DAYS A WEEK? HUH? WOULD YOU?”
He was hugging me before I started foaming at the mouth. Because he knows I would totally hand him the pen and calendar.
LilBit was mad at me the other day because he was in trouble for approximately the 50th time in an hour. He insisted on throwing fits every time something didn’t go his way (ie he lost at a video game). He’d get put in his time out chair, then proceed to mouth off or roll his eyes or find SOME way to dig himself deeper. Finally after informing him his butt was about to take a nap, he yelled “THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!!!!!”
My head snapped around. “Do you WANT to have the worst day ever? Because guess what kiddo. I can SOOOO make that happen!”
And from the other room TheKid yells out in dismay “No! Don’t answer her LilBit! She’ll do it!” For once he made the wise choice and listened to his older brother who, trust me, has PLENTY of experience in this area.****
You won’t hear any of my kids utter the words “I’m bored” within my earshot. Although TheKid is the only one who has spent his whole life with me, he has suitably warned the other two. In fact, I just have to say “you look bored” and they jump to find something to do. I’m pretty sure TheKid still has nightmares about scrubbing the kitchen floor.
With a toothbrush.
My sister in law made her son edge the lawn. With scissors. I am totally holding that one in reserve.
I haven’t yet said “I can GIVE you something to cry about!” I hate that one. I have, on a regular basis, said “Because I said so, that’s why.”
What about you? What tools do you have in your parenting arsenal?
***UPDATE: I should note that I do not deliberately LOOK for ways or try to make my children’s lives miserable. However, if one’s attitude and/or actions imply that is how he wants the day to go, then I’m not going to pander to him. My job is not to make these boys happy. I am not their friend. I am their mother. I LOVE them and I have a responsibility, with my husband, to teach them to be self sufficient, responsible, self controlled, kind, loving men. It is our job to prepare them for adulthood and future relationships. And they’re not always going to like that and if they insist on being a bad mood, that’s their choice.