So remember when I talked about how uber cool I like to pretend to be, since I'm a mom of preschoolers who takes them on "field trips"? Of course you remember. You were probably so struck by my using the word "uber" that it hasn't left the front part of your brain yet. Well tonight I have actually proven how truly uber cool I am.
My dear sweet, manly husband has been working extra hours the last few days and he feels bad for our kids, who are obviously getting the short end of the stick by not getting their daddy time. He therefore, requested that tonight I do something "fun" with them. Now Monday I took them to Scoops to get ice cream, last night I invited some of their favorite friends over, this morning I let them have M&Ms and popcorn from Target, and get this...they have continued to behave so badly that I can't stand it. No appreciation.
(This is obviously a bunny trail from my uber cool story.) I talked to the Drink Depot lady this morning about my problem with the children. I happen to know--because I see her several times a week--that she has lots of kids, several of them nearly out of the house. And she homeschooled. So I can ask her the following question without her thinking she needs to call Child Protection Services. As she filled my styrofoam cup with ice, I asked her "What do you do when your kids are so bad you want to run away from home?" She looked at me and said, deadpan, "It's called the 3-Day Reign of Terror. You will be the one who institutes this Reign of Terror."
She began to describe how we, as mothers, sometimes, possibly, start to let bad behavior slide. You know, maybe just a tad. Before too much time has passed, our kids are pushing, pushing, pushing...and they need a reminder of who is really in charge: not them. The time for threats has passed. Now is the call for action. For three straight days, no bad behavior gets to slide. (By the way, perhaps I should've mentioned this earlier, but for those of you who would rather cut off your dominant hand thumb than lovingly spank your child, this may not be a good post for you. We'll have to agree to disagree.) The idea is, just as we fear God's discpline, it is our job as parents to make sure our children fear our discipline. They must learn to want to please us, because the majority of our children do not naturally yearn to obey. If we let our kids get away with stuff for too long, there often comes a point where we must reassert our God-given authority. Thus the 3-Day Reign of Terror. (I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to tell our kids that's what it's called. Also, remember that this is for spank-age kids. Not babies. And obviously if you have a really big kid, this won't work for you...or will it??)
Anyway, I implemented it immediately after leaving the Depot. And so far, it's worked wonders. After I proved that I was willing to spank in the middle of Target, at church in front of Grandma, and right before nap time, they caught on. Now it's true that these aren't the most "I-mean-business" of spankings. Some of them were even kinda wimpy. But it was a good start, since somewhere along the line, (probably on vacation a couple of weeks ago) I quit the oh-so-important task of always following through and they knew it.
So anyway, while the kids were getting ready for naps, my wonderful husband called. As we were saying our goodbyes, he said "have fun this evening. no, really. do something fun. pick something the kids would really love and then try to be a kid and enjoy it with them." Uh huh. I pointed out that this is very hard to do whilst toting around a 10 mo old baby, but said I would do my best. Chandler called him on it, though. When I asked him what would be really fun for him, he said "Can we get a dog??!" I told him with a straight face that he'd have to ask his dad. His dad was forced to say no, not today, but we could still have plenty of fun without getting a dog. Unfortunately, everything kinda pales in comparison when you think for a brief, shining moment that you're gonna get a dog.
I've always thought of myself as a kid-person. I babysat some, and was always talking to cute little kids in stores. But since having so many of my own, and having to keep a house running at the same time, I've discovered I'm not quite as kid-friendly as I used to be. I tried really, really hard to think of something that they would enjoy and could only think of stuff they would like to eat. It didn't help that it was mid-nineties outside and I just can't let a baby stay outside in that kind of heat for very long(plus I don't like to sweat much). So I came up with two ideas, neither of them original, (or even very fun-sounding in my opinion): 1- Go get frozen custard 2- Go to Walmart to buy tulle to make Nadia a mini-canopy for her bed. I told God "You know I have good intentions. But dadgum, it is hot out there, and you know I don't like to sweat and the baby really doesn't need heatstroke today. Please let this turn out okay."
Then things went better than I could've thought possible. They LOVED the frozen custard, much more than regular ice cream. They actually ate it all-- in. the. van. without dripping any on themselves. Even the 2 yr old. At Walmart, the tulle I wanted was only $1.17/yd (cha-ching!). The Walmart people were evidently getting ready for a massive floor cleaning or display change or something, because there was TONS of open space. And not many people. (Most of them were at T Ball, unlucky souls) So I let them(the children, not the Walmart people) run. And I chased them with the cart. And let Kellar hang onto the side, laughing gloriously at his baby brothers(yes, safely belted in), while I jumped up and rode the cart. Whoa. That's crazy stuff. Maybe even a little dangerous. Totally not my mom-style. I proceeded to let them run most of the way to the flower department, where we found the sprinklers to be on. It turns out the old-fashioned "chk-chk-chk-chk-wirrrrrr" sprinklers were mounted above the hanging flowers in order to keep them from parching. I let my children run through them for almost ten minutes. The baby and I even got sprayed a couple of times.
The kids were so crazy-happy by the time we checked out and left, bedraggled and damp, that they were telling me how much they loved me and how cool the sprinklers were and how cool it was for me to chase them with the grocery cart.
Now my itallics won't turn off. Hmm...oh well. The important thing is, now you know why I'm so cool. Because my kids say so.
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